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

One good reason to vote for Fianna Fail.

Posted by Jason O on May 21, 2010 in Irish Politics |

No, I’m not endorsing the soldiers. I’m just making a point, and it is this. For all their many, many flaws, and they have many, the one thing you can be certain of with a vote for Fianna Fail is that you know what you are getting, and probably won’t be disappointed. Fianna Fail stands for pain  and cuts and higher taxes.

But here’s the thing: I have no idea what the FG/Labour alternative is, because they won’t tell us.  I know, to use a Clinton phrase, that they “feel our pain”, but to claim that there will be less pain under them is not really that credible. Cuts are caused by spending exceeding revenue, and they are vague about how they’ll deal with that, other than magical “efficiency savings” and closing “loopholes”.

So here’s the truth: If your purpose, as you look at your ballot paper, is to give Fianna Fail an eye-watering, stomach-nauseating kick in the knackers for mismanaging the economy, then by all means vote FG/Labour. But if you are voting FG/Labour because they say they will somehow lessen the pain, you’re deluding yourself. Pain is all that is on the menu, and in that context, Fianna Fail are actually the most honest party. And no, by the way. I can’t believe I’m putting the words “Fianna Fail” and “most honest” in the same sentence either, but these are the times we live in.  


May 21, 2010 at 9:26 am

How about this for an election slogan – “Fianna Fail, doing the right thing. After we have exhausted all the alternatives”

May 21, 2010 at 10:56 am


I remember you previously arguing that what FG said they would do was irrelevant as it would have to get approved by Labour in any future government.

Unless you believe that a FF majority government is a realistic prospect, you should logically seek to hold FF to the same standard as you hold FG.

As an aside, I’d disagree with your contention that FG are not being honest with the public – going back to benchmarking, FG have been willing to tell people uncomfortable truths. In December, FG set forth their alternative approach to their budget which was fairly upfront about what you could expect from an FG government. Labour are playing a nakedly populist game, but unless you believe that FF could govern without Labour post a general election, then…

Jason O
May 21, 2010 at 11:03 am

Fine Gael has put up posters saying that there will be no hospital waiting lists under FG. Do you really believe this?

May 21, 2010 at 11:11 am

I believe that if the FairCare proposals are implemented, the waiting lists can be slashed and no more than minimal waiting lists subsequently like in the Netherlands.

Do you believe FF will be able to govern alone after the election?

Jason O
May 21, 2010 at 12:33 pm

No, I believe that FF will be ejected, although not as badly as people expect. I continue to be amazed at the people I meet who vote for FF candidates but are surprised that such actions help reelect FF govts.

FairCare has some considerable strengths to it, but I just do not believe that Enda Kenny will close down a hospital in Mayo if it does not attract enough funding under the “money follow the patient” principle outlined in the policy.

May 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm

This falls into the same logic as ‘We are lost, but making good time’ Or like people who follow their GPS’s off a bridge under construction. The directions are correct, just disastrous.



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