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

Odds and Ends.

Posted by Jason O on May 9, 2011 in Irish Politics |

Interesting move by Fianna Fail to open up their presidential nominating process, as detailed here. Let’s hope they mean it, and that a few Oireachtas members and councillors have the courage of their convictions to follow FF Cllr. Malcom Byrne of Wexford in nominating David Norris. Fianna Fail have a lot to win here, by endorsing another candidate. After all, the presidency is not a normal partisan job, and we don’t regard the current incumbent as a Fianna Fail president. It’s also a severe juxtaposition to Fine Gael in power, whose “New Politics” involves instructing their councillors to deny voters as many choices as possible.

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The Morgan Kelly article continues to both fascinate and terrify, as remarked here in the Indo. I’m of two minds about defaulting, primarily because of the need to instigate eye-watering Army-on-the-streets cutbacks if we go through with it. Having said that, if we can put shape on the consequences, as Professor Kellyhas outlined, and have a clear picture of the outcome of default, then maybe it’s time that both options be put to the people. Comrade Joe and Richard Boyd Barrett will of course say that it’s a false choice, and that a socialist republic should also be on the ballot. It should also be stressed, by the way, that we would not be defaulting on our national debt, nor would that be a good idea. We had a very respectable debt before the bank guarantee, and it would be important that we clarify in the minds of the markets that our word is still good when it comes to real sovereign debt. After all, we will want to go back to the markets eventually.  

Will public sector workers, people on welfare and the dole vote to accept 33% cuts? We could be about to enter hold-onto-your-hat times.

5 Comments

david morris
May 9, 2011 at 8:57 am

With the public debt of the Irish sub-division of the EU now standing at €120,000 per worker, its not a question of whether workers whose wages are paid by the taxpayer will accept cuts, they are being imposed (in true EU fashion) by the back door.

The Irish guvmint has decided (after reading their instructions) that rather than simply default and upset the private bondholders (banks, hedge funds) that it owes, it will raid the private pensions and savings of Irish citizens instead.

Greece IS about to default, causing a Portuguese and Spanish crisis that will cripple the Germans and end the Eurozone as we knows it. The Irish pipple need to tell it’s State to stop throwing good money after bad : Time to junk the system that signed up for slavery to a banking cartel.

Tip – Buy Baked Beans !

Kind regards


 
William Quill
May 9, 2011 at 11:03 am

It seems a little odd to be writing as if the last election didn’t happen. I agree with you that the office of president isn’t a normal political office, that parties shouldn’t treat it as such. The fact is that since 1945 (after Hyde was an agreed candidate in 1938), at every election it has been. You say we don’t think of the incumbent as being Fianna Fáil. No, we don’t now, but we definitely did in October 1997.

Fianna Fáil are probably not nominating a candidate in this election. The reason has little to do with the nature of the office of president as against the fact that they have no money and just lost 58 seats. They know Gandhi would have trouble being elected if he were an official Fianna Fáil candidate. The two other parties with more than twenty Oireachtas members are nominating someone, as you’d expect given past form. Maybe they shouldn’t, but Fine Gael has been clear about what New Politics means. If the party doesn’t make changes in the Oireachtas to give backbenchers and committees real power, if it doesn’t break the whip system down to some degree, if it doesn’t call a citizens’ assembly and do something serious with the ensuing report, and if it completely sidesteps the promise to put the Seanad to the people, then you can join me in what criticisms I will have of our broken promises. But judge the party on the standards it has set itself. The only mention of the presidency in Fine Gael’s New Politics is to reduce the term to five years (something I wouldn’t actually favour myself).

If David Norris doesn’t find a way to be nominated, fair enough, then be critical. But you have to be realistic. Particularly as the Fine Gael candidate hasn’t been chosen yet, you can see why we’d want that at least sorted before helping other candidates. Don’t give FF credit where they have no other options. I’m also curious where Labour and other parties stand on this


 
Jason O
May 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm

William: FG has already decided to not permit Oireachtas committees approve semi-state chairpeople. Surely that’s the real power you talked about? I mean, if the Oireachtas is good enough to make Enda Taoiseach, surely it’s good enough to decide who should chair the fisheries board.


 
Criostoir
May 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

if they can, FF should nominate a nice conservative candidate – pro-life, pro-family, pro-marriage – there’s votes there for the right candidate.


 
Jason O
May 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Pro-Life is presumably against permitting people to travel for or having abortions here. How do you define the other two?


 

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