I don’t know if I will vote in the next general election, as I don’t see a party that shares my values.
FF are finally doing the right thing, but only because they have no choice. You know what you are getting, but it is a stale, visionless thing. FF may get us through the recession, but like the way they led us into boom-and-bust, it is with little imagination. There is nothing to make one believe that FF would not make all the same mistakes again.
Fine Gael don’t think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the way we run the gaff that can’t be solved by them being in power. That and the fact that a party that defines itself by what it is not (FF) is a party with a political age of a six year old.
Labour are ethically honest, and sincere, but trapped in an economic model of the past. They do not accept that it is ok to want to make money. They are also gutless on the second part of their beloved ideology, in that they are not willing to make the argument to the ordinary PAYE worker that higher taxes paid by all will create a better society. I don’t believe that statement, and Labour’s problem is that they know the Irish working class don’t believe it either. Instead, Labour rely on the magical (and fictional) pot o’ gold at the end of the Tax the Rich Rainbow.
The Greens’ hearts remain in the right place, but they have been so outclassed by FF as to be irrelevant. They’ll be exterminated at the polls, and will take a decade to recover.
The Shinners are the Shinners.
So who to vote for? Where is the party that is socially and economically liberal, that just wants to leave me and my wallet alone to lead the lifestyle I wish?
Failing that option, there is one criteria that it is reasonable to consider: Who will promise the least? One of the great flaws of Irish politics of recent times has been the hyping of expectations beyond any realistic possibility of achievement. For example, Fine Gael are currently promising an end to waiting lists. Oh Please!
Rudy Giuliani summed up an approach to politics which is the exact opposite: Under promise and over achieve. If FG reckon they can abolish waiting lists, don’t promise it, just do it. But stop setting people up for bitter disappointment by over promising and under delivering. The problem is that I have lived under FG governments, and they have failed to deliver. Take the last Rainbow coalition. All the achievements of that govt were Labour policy.
Show me a candidate who grasps reality and promises little and I’ll show you a candidate who just might be worth voting for.