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Thread: Elections 2014

  1. #1
    Colm Foley
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    Elections 2014

    Some of us must suffer from amnesia. This place was a basket spot 3 years ago.
    Last edited by 600clubsaint; 22nd May 2014 at 03:58 AM. Reason: bad spelling

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    D'ya mean in regard to Fianna Fail polling relatively well or FG and especially Labour polling badly?
    We are at war with Eurasia. We've always been at war with Eurasia.

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    Congrats to Councillors Dermot Looney and Greg Kelly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Nightdub View Post
    Congrats to Councillors Dermot Looney and Greg Kelly
    Yeah and a shame Phil Nolan didn't get in, came close enough in the end.

    Ivan Yates has been banging on for ages that we'll have a FG/FF coalition after the next election. That sounded like the stuff of fantasy but it's now just 5/6 with Paddy Power to be the make up of the next government. Would never vote for either but think it'd be a good thing for Irish politics if they did go in together - might finally lead to a left/right option for government in this country.
    We are at war with Eurasia. We've always been at war with Eurasia.

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    I think Labour had the chance to create that after the last GE but decided to go into government instead.
    "We've seen you come, we'll see you go"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodge View Post
    I think Labour had the chance to create that after the last GE but decided to go into government instead.
    Possibly but instead they've created another generation who won't forgive them for a very long time. I think they won't get near Sinn Fein's level of popularity again until SF themselves get some taste of power and face the backlash for abandoning all their populist policies too. I think in time you'll see some level of convergence among the parties here.
    We are at war with Eurasia. We've always been at war with Eurasia.

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    Yeah, that's kinda what I meant. Labour could have emerged as leaders in a left alliance but went into governement with FG instead. I actually think they've been OK in govt and got some decent concessions against the harder right elements in FG but anyone who voted for them for change in the last general election is unlikely to go near them again.

    Will be interesting to see if all the massive egos in FF and FG can work together
    "We've seen you come, we'll see you go"

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  10. #8
    Paul McGrath
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    Possibly but instead they've created another generation who won't forgive them for a very long time. I think they won't get near Sinn Fein's level of popularity again until SF themselves get some taste of power and face the backlash for abandoning all their populist policies too. I think in time you'll see some level of convergence among the parties here.
    Is that "populist" pejorative?

    Two key differences here between SF and Labour: One, in government - now and in the past - Labour have had to kowtow to conservative parties, alienating not only their supposed support base but also their own rank and file. SF won't need to do that. Two, Labour Youth in particular and Labour Party members in general are to the left of the parliamentary party. The opposite is true of SF. The internal democracy of SF boils down to the parliamentary party converting the conquered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleguer presas i renom View Post
    Is that "populist" pejorative?
    I'd say their electoral approach and sloganeering is calculated to target the Government's most unpopular measures and hence maximise their appeal. That's pretty much the dictionary definition of populism. Whether you consider that an insult depends on your perspective I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by oleguer presas i renom View Post
    Two key differences here between SF and Labour: One, in government - now and in the past - Labour have had to kowtow to conservative parties, alienating not only their supposed support base but also their own rank and file.
    Not sure exactly what you mean by 'had to'. If you mean they had no choice but to abandon their core principles, I'd definitely disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by oleguer presas i renom View Post
    SF won't need to do that.
    Why not? Even if they got the largest share of the vote (which I don't see happening anyway) they won't have enough candidates to convert that into being the largest party in the house. If they're in the next Government, it'll be as a junior coalition party and they'll have to make the same compromises every party who's ever been in that position had to make.

    Quote Originally Posted by oleguer presas i renom View Post
    Two, Labour Youth in particular and Labour Party members in general are to the left of the parliamentary party. The opposite is true of SF.
    Disagree and I'd say most people who've had dealings with SF reps on the ground would too.
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  12. #10
    Paul McGrath
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post

    Why not? Even if they got the largest share of the vote (which I don't see happening anyway) they won't have enough candidates to convert that into being the largest party in the house. If they're in the next Government, it'll be as a junior coalition party and they'll have to make the same compromises every party who's ever been in that position had to make.
    Thinking SF would enter into government as junior partner undermines any other point you might be making. That's the difference between them and Labour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleguer presas i renom View Post
    Thinking SF would enter into government as junior partner undermines any other point you might be making. That's the difference between them and Labour.
    Time will tell. I believe they'll prove as power hungry as any other party when it comes to the crunch. They took to the role of being like any other party like a duck to water north of the border.
    We are at war with Eurasia. We've always been at war with Eurasia.

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    Paul McGrath
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    They took to the role of being like any other party like a duck to water north of the border.
    Their record in the power sharing gov doesn't tally with their rhetoric in the Republic, that's for sure. I think we can agree the circumstances are exceptional though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oleguer presas i renom View Post
    Their record in the power sharing gov doesn't tally with their rhetoric in the Republic, that's for sure. I think we can agree the circumstances are exceptional though.
    Granted they are. But it's their hypocrisy that leads me to question their sincerity. They have been among the most vocal in opposing the introduction of the Property Tax here in the Republic while simultaneously up North councils they control preside over the broadly equivalent Council Rates, which costs on average three times what the Property Tax does. Those rates have increased in each of the last four years too. They've lambasted the Job Bridge scheme here as a stunt to provide cheap labour, while their own minister in Stormont legislated for and introduced an equivalent scheme up there which in some cases tops up dole payments by just £15 per week.
    There are many other areas where they say one thing down here and do another up North.
    I just think if they ever do get into Government here a lot of people who've put great faith in them to fundamentally change the system for the benefit of the underprivileged are going to be bitterly disappointed.
    We are at war with Eurasia. We've always been at war with Eurasia.

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    I think most here know I am usually more middle ground, if a little right, so to my eyes the emergence of Sinn Fein as an actual option for people is quite remarkable.

    In my eyes they are simply a party of protest who oppose everything, and rarely if ever offer actual answers, and as Gaz says, they are full of double standards.

    Even the most left wing here cannot really take alot of their proposals seriously because while in the short term they would undoubtably boost revenue, its obvious that it would make the IDA's job almost impossible and it would kill job creation in this country with increased cost of employment and within a matter of years alot of the multinationals would relocate their businesses elsewhere.

    Even the arguments about the corporation tax paid by the large miltinationals ignore the fact that it only takes the flick of a keyboard switch to funnel these profits through Holland or the Isle of Man instead of Ireland.

    In my opinion its obvious that Labour benefitted from people leaving FF in their droves, the comfortable middle class, quickly became unemployed working class and this boosted Lab votes. These same people (and many other it appears) are now running to SF because they dont believe in the established parties of Lab/FF/FG any more.

    Its strange- I thought Lab have done well in govt, they only had a Mandate for 20% of their policies and had a deficeit fo 20billion to plug- themselves and FG (neither of whom I have ever voted for) in fairness have done a decent job to date, although for those on the ultimate left, its probably still not enough.

    SF have some excellent candidates, Mary Lou and Pearce seem exceltional politicians, and in fairness, SF is very hands on locally in working class areas.

    I guess what I am saying is that the recent vote shows people arent happy with what they are getting from the Govt - Its just I simply cannot see any set of circumstances occurring that would "give the people what they want"

    If we get rid of Water Charges and LPT, there is no rational thinking replacement that has been proposed by anyone. Wealth taxes are unsustainable because the wealth simply leaves the country, Corp tax changes will damage FDI (when we have no indiginous industry to replace the jobs/revenue we would lose), Leaving the Euro may/may not work, but at this stage it doesnt make sense anymore. Starting a programme for increasing people disposable income is premature and Public Sector increases can only happen after private sector ones.

    I get it that people are disenchanted with policies, but unfortunately the mismanagement policies of FF and the vested interests (Banks, Politicians, Builders, Unions etc) for a decade left us in a position that when the economy collapsed we had an extremely high cost base and little revenues to match.

    I get it that people are unhappy- but once in this position, what do people expect? how many people who voted for SF actually know their policies? its suicide to even countenance putting them in power, unless we were going for the atomic option of leaving the euro, defaulting our debts to EU, IMF and other countries (inc the UK and US) and isolating ourselves from the financial markets.

    On the other side, as a regular FF voter, I cant believe how son the electorate has come back, but then again, people who are afraid of the left only really have 3 options, FG, FF or an Independent - and lets face it, the IND's are hardly worth the paper their ballot if written on, the can and do achieve nothing as far as I can see (sorry dermot!). Maybe with more INDs it may change - but every OND has a different mandate and most are utterly incompatable..

    Anyway- thats my 2 cents worth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caolan View Post
    I think most here know I am usually more middle ground, if a little right
    Keep going that way >>>>>>>>>>>
    "We've seen you come, we'll see you go"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodge View Post
    Keep going that way >>>>>>>>>>>
    As Bertie said- aren't I a socialist really!

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    SF having power scares the bollox outta me
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  23. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caolan View Post
    Even the arguments about the corporation tax paid by the large miltinationals ignore the fact that it only takes the flick of a keyboard switch to funnel these profits through Holland or the Isle of Man instead of Ireland.
    Sinn Fein’s policy in this regard is particularly duplicitous. Until very recently they were calling for Corporation Tax here to be increased from 12% to 20%. All of a sudden that’s been dropped (as was their proposal for a Wealth Tax when they couldn't provide costings for it). Meanwhile in Stormont they’re lobbying the Westminster government to allow them to cut Corporation Tax in the North to 10%, something which would undoubtedly cost jobs down here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caolan View Post
    Its strange- I thought Lab have done well in govt, they only had a Mandate for 20% of their policies and had a deficeit fo 20billion to plug- themselves and FG (neither of whom I have ever voted for) in fairness have done a decent job to date, although for those on the ultimate left, its probably still not enough.
    Agree that at a macro-economic level this Government has performed pretty well considering the mess they inherited – it has stabilized the economy and got it growing again, got us significant relief on the bank debt with the promissory note deal and cut unemployment by 2%. I applaud them for their stance on some non-economic matters too: final legislating for the X Case, the proposed introduction of gay Marriage and for Kenny standing up to the Catholic Church for their attitude to Clerical child abuse, none of which would ever have happened under a Fianna Fail-led government.

    I think a lot of what’s made them so unpopular is down to how they’ve achieved that rather than what they’ve done. One of the main reasons I’d find it difficult/impossible to vote for them is that through this entire crisis they’ve steadfastly refused to alter a fundamentally unfair tax system where somebody on a salary of say €1 Million or more pays income tax at the same rate as somebody on €42K. I don’t buy this horseshit that people on these salaries are going to up and leave the country en masse if they’re taxed more – they have it good and they know it. Ditto the changes to USC that were snuck through the Dail there a couple of weeks back – the pensioners and medical card holders currently given a special 4% rate are going to be brought up to 7% from January 1st, whilst the self-employed earning over €100,000 a year will have theirs cut from 10% to 7%. That’s an absolutely obscene transfer of wealth from some of the neediest people in society to some of the most privileged. In a way I expected nothing more from FG as it has always pandered to the demands of the wealthy but for a party purporting to be left wing to vote this into law (which is essentially what they’ve done by voting not to extend these exemptions) isn’t a ‘difficult decision’ – it’s an abandonment of their most core principles and in turn of the people who voted them into office precisely to stop FG railroading taxes that favour the very wealthy through the Dail.

    There’s also an arrogance and air of detachment about this Government that infuriates people. The Labour TD for my constituency is Emmet Stagg, who has always got a vote from me in the past (not always a first preference but high enough to be useful to him). When asked about his €97K annual package (salary plus expenses) last December, he replied that he’d earn more as a plumber. Seven years earlier that might actually have been near enough true, but evidently the loss of 200-odd thousand jobs in the Construction sector since then (many of them his constituents) and the resultant collapse in wages for those lucky enough to be left working in it didn’t register inside his Kildare Street bubble. At 69 he probably doesn’t intend standing at the next General Election but if he does he may whistle the Red Flag through his arse before he’ll get any vote from me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caolan View Post
    If we get rid of Water Charges and LPT, there is no rational thinking replacement that has been proposed by anyone. Wealth taxes are unsustainable because the wealth simply leaves the country, Corp tax changes will damage FDI (when we have no indiginous industry to replace the jobs/revenue we would lose), Leaving the Euro may/may not work, but at this stage it doesnt make sense anymore. Starting a programme for increasing people disposable income is premature and Public Sector increases can only happen after private sector ones.

    I get it that people are disenchanted with policies, but unfortunately the mismanagement policies of FF and the vested interests (Banks, Politicians, Builders, Unions etc) for a decade left us in a position that when the economy collapsed we had an extremely high cost base and little revenues to match.
    Agree with that to an extent – we’re between a rock and a hard place. I’m not sure you get just how tough it is for an awful lot of people out there to get by – rationality tends to go out the window when somebody introduces a tax that takes the last 20 quid out of your pocket.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caolan View Post
    On the other side, as a regular FF voter, I cant believe how son the electorate has come back, but then again, people who are afraid of the left only really have 3 options, FG, FF or an Independent - and lets face it, the IND's are hardly worth the paper their ballot if written on, the can and do achieve nothing as far as I can see (sorry dermot!). Maybe with more INDs it may change - but every OND has a different mandate and most are utterly incompatable..
    Agree the paucity of viable options is pretty frightening. Come 2016 it’ll be a case of voting for the least bad option for me.
    Last edited by Gaz; 28th May 2014 at 11:39 AM.
    We are at war with Eurasia. We've always been at war with Eurasia.

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  25. #19
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    Pretty remarkable that FF can get the most first preference votes in the Euro elections but only end up with one MEP – I’ll never moan about Proportional Representation again.

    Does go to show how few transfer votes they got, implying that a lot of people haven't forgiven them despite their percentage vote suggesting they had. Something that hopefully continues long into the future.
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  26. #20
    Curtis Fleming
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    I'm not a Sinn Féin voter but I find it ironic that FF and FG constantly harp on about SF's 'lack of credibility' when it comes to their policies. Every government in the short history of this state has either been led by FF or FG and we've seen over and over again that they set out policies in the run ups to elections, then get elected and see the 'real' situation and 'real' figures and then just make up whatever policies they see fit. Whether they're the opposite of what they promised or not, is irrelevant. They push on regardless.
    So, we should've learned by now that Irish elections should not be about policies - since they bear no resemblance to what goes on in government.
    Imo they should be quizzed on 'philosophies' or how they think our society should be run.
    So for example, if someone said 'I'd like to see richer people taxed more' or 'I'd like to see a health service like the Danish model' or 'I'd like to see less investment in roads and more in rail' - these are broad ideas, how they actually achieve them in government well, that's up to them. It's like we're saying 'we're appointing you to run the country; here's your objectives; you look at the figures and find a way to achieve them.'
    FF and FG have been picking narrow policies that they think will get them elected (which often conflict with each other from one election to the next) but they have no 'philosophy', no vision of what way the country should be in say, ten years. It's all short-term thinking to buy votes.
    This thing of scaremongering that other parties' policies won't stand up is all a ruse. It's easy for FF and FG to say that, when we've only ever had governments led by them. It's as if they're saying, "elect us, we've been in government for the last 92 years, we'll know what to do!"
    But it's precisely because they've been the only ones to lead governments in this country that we've seen how shite they are and that's why people want to try someone else!!! We won't know if SF's policies are any good until they get into government. Maybe they'll be crap, maybe they'll be great but it makes sense for us to stop voting in FF and FG if they've been the only ones calling the shots and they made a bags of it.
    It's like a manager who sticks by his centre-forward when he's never scored a goal. It doesn't make sense to keep picking him.
    In the 1982 General Election, 85% of the people who voted, voted for FF and FG. In the recent local elections, it was 49% - the first time in our short history it's been under 50% in any election. Maybe we're about to change the broken record......

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