Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Negative campaigning is democratic. And it works.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 17, 2009 in Irish Politics |

From The New York Times.

The Republican National Committee (Boo! Hiss!) is targetting 30 Democratic Congressmen from marginal districts with radio ads attacking them for their votes on the Obama stimulus package. What’s interesting is that, regardless of whether you think they are right or wrong, in the US individual congressmen are held accountable for their votes.

Why do our opposition parties let Fianna Fail TDs away with their records? We have FF TDs who vote in favour of government policy, and then campaign against it in their constituencies, and then go back to the Dail and vote in favour of it again.

The fact is, FG and Labour TDs are afraid to hold FF TDs to their personal records in case the FF TDs came back at them with attack ads. People say that negative campaigning “won’t work” in Ireland.  Curiously, those people are nearly always in Fianna Fail, and have the most to lose from the public actually knowing what they do. I always recall a story about a PD councillor being attacked in the street by an FF councillor for handing out a list to constituents as to how councillors voted on a rezoning issue. The FF councillor accused him of “blackening my name”. By telling people how he voted?   

These aren’t Fianna Fail policies. These are Michael Mulcahy policies. Chris Andrews Cutbacks. Barry Andrews no receipt expense policies, and they should be personally held to them. After all, they voted for them.

Hmm.

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