Here’s a few political predictions for 2013:
1. Enda Kenny will compromise with his and Labour senators and offer a Seanad Reform proposal before the referendum on Seanad abolition, pledging to legislate for it if there is a No vote in the referendum. He will still do a Liam Cosgrave and advocate an abolition vote in the referendum.
2. The Constitutional Convention will say that there is nothing wrong with the electoral system. It will, however, advocate changes to symbolic things like letting emigrants vote for a powerless president. It will also recommend a referendum on same sex marriage. It will not even debate any sort of transfer of power from the cabinet. In short, it will ensure that the political system that caused the collapse of our economy will remain almost entirely in place, defeating the stated purpose of FG and Labour in setting it up in the first place. Both parties will collude with this. Fianna Fáil will deserve an Oscar nomination for its mock outrage at the lack of significant reform.
3. Eamonn Gilmore will bend over backwards to avoid Labour Party members having to choose between him and Colm Keaveney in a vote.
4. Fianna Fáil will be within 5% of Fine Gael in the polls by this time next year. The reforming agenda started at the last election will be replaced by FF TDs making the same types of undeliverable promises that FG and Labour made before Election 2011. FF will pledge to abolish the property tax and set up a commission to examine alternatives, to report AFTER the next election.
5. Fine Gael will narrowly win the Meath by election, with FF coming a very close second. Labour will come in fourth.
6. No credible non-religious new party will emerge on the right.