1. As the foreign policy analyst Michael McLoughlin pointed out, it’s mostly theatre now, and not even good theatre. Most political issues are about how “X is bad, and really hurts Y. Look at Y’s little face!” as opposed to “X is bad. How about we cut Z instead?”
2. We now have a two party system. FF, FG and Labour are different wings of the same party, and the Shinners and the United Left the other party, with the Shinners itching to defect.
3. Self Regulation is possibly the dirtiest phrase in Irish life. From letting politicians set their own salaries to letting the professions run themselves, it never works.
4. The more other countries like France and Germany treat the EU the way we treat it, the more eurosceptic we become.
5. The most likely alternative to our right-left FG/Labour Govt at the next election is a right-left FF/SF coalition. You say tomato, I say tomato.
6. The Irish obsession with personalities of politicians and local geographical loyalties over political values is what has us where we are today.
7. The great hoo-ha about political reform during the election is now nearly completely gone, with the public only slightly more interested than politicians.
8. There is almost no good reason to bother voting in an Irish European, presidential or local election, as none will have any real effect on your life. Even if the UL won control of a majority of seats on a council, it would be more entertainment value than substantial, as the county manager would just ignore them. Sorry, let me correct that: there is still entertainment value in voting.
9. Short of the United Left or the Shinners looking like they might win an overall majority, there is little point even voting in a general election. Is this what non-sectarian voters in Northern Ireland used to feel like?
10. There are party hacks who will read this list, be outraged, and post comments about The Men and Women of 1916, etc, and believe what they are writing.