A few thoughts on the Family & Care Referendums.

1. Fianna Fail and Fine Gael backbenchers have just been humiliated over a referendum to deliver a policy that neither really care about. It must surely raise a desire in both parliamentary parties to remind their cabinet colleagues that they work for them, not the other way around. FF backbenchers in particular must be tempted to do a Progressive Democrat over Roderic O’Gorman and his comments on the AG’s advice.

2. This referendum must surely have an impact, certainly in FF and FG, on the influence of left-of-centre NGOs on those parties. The question has to be asked: what is the political gain to pandering to them? The referendum has called into question their ability to actually mobilize first preference votes, and let’s be honest: the Labour party is the defacto parliamentary wing of the NGO sector.

3. Are there now actual votes to be had taking on a few taxpayer-funded NGOs? What would be the political downside, for example, to slashing the funding of the National Women’s Council? After all, if we have learned one thing this weekend, they simply can’t claim to be the voice of the majority of Irish women.

4. Once again Fine Gael’s inability to grasp issues that actually matter to its base or potential voters is on display. Where’s the referendum on making it easier to jail lads with 250 previous convictions? What’s the plan for stopping people destroying ID documentation mid-flight? Has anyone in the FG PP actually spent a few hours in an A&E recently, and if so, what are you going to do about it?

5. Finally: Michael McDowell has absolutely got to be itching to put on his Dublin Bay South canvassing shoes once again…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *