Thursday, February 24, 2011

Probable Irish government already hopelessly out of touch

I've accepted it. I'm horribly depressed by it, but it seems the people of my adopted country are going to vote in the dicks at Fine Gael. They might even be the sole party in government. In fact, I kind of hope they are.

It's been said that a vote for Fine Gael is a vote for Fianna Fail in four years' time. I think that is true only if Labour join Fine Gael in coalition.

The Fine Gael strategy is unrealistic, capitalistic and full of holes. It will not work. Whoever goes in coalition with them will end up chewed up and spat out like so many Greens and Progressive Democrats. Nobody remembers the good done by the Greens, although they did accomplish several things that Fianna Fail would never have considered if they'd had the choice. Unfortunately, tainted by association, the Greens are almost obliterated.

Labour's best bet right now is to become the strongest opposition party. They need to be able to stand up and represent the people of Ireland who are definitely not represented by the earth-destroying, uber-capitalist, Christianist lunatics of Fine Gael.

Labour had the best ideas, but their campaign failed on a huge scale. They appealed to their base -- yes. But they didn't even appear to try to appeal to older people and rural people. They bragged about polling high in Dublin when they should have kept their smug mouths shut. They produced ads that were all words. Those slow to read wouldn't have paid a bit of attention. In short, Labour don't deserve to win this election. But they now have four years to campaign, and do it right.

This week, there is an uproar over Fine Gael's Equality spokesmoron Lucinda Creighton opining that marriage was simply not open to gay people and shouldn't be. She time warped a couple decades back and used the argument that marriage is about procreation. We can all look forward to Creighton's first bill annulling the marriages of the elderly, infertile and those who use contraceptives. We also look forward to her wedding and the very speedy proof of her eligibility to marry by spawning as soon as possible.

But the gay marriage thing is ridiculous for more that the reasons presented. It's ridiculous because the Irish people support it.
THE majority of people want gay marriage to be legalised.
More than six out of every 10 voters believe same-sex marriages should be recognised by the State, according to the latest Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne survey.
The figures show just 27pc of voters are opposed to the idea of gay marriage

Ireland is so totally unlike North America, where the courts tend to legislate for minority rights long before these have popular support. In Ireland, these rights have popular support but the politicians are genuinely shit and refuse to legislate for equality, despite the popular support.
The people of Ireland are better people than those intending to represent them. They are hard working and honest. They care whether their friends and children have the same rights as they have. They look at the church with skepticism, and even if they still go,  are happy to take the comfort they get from their religious practice without obeying all the petty rules that might go along with it.

Unfortunately, they vote for people whose ideas are not as sophisticated, nuanced or as fair as their own. That said, the only real option was Labour and, as I've said, they practically threw the campaign. They were actually more popular before they started campaigning.

Will someone please wake me when the 4 years are up? Cheers.


feralgeographer said...

Wow, how frustrating. Have you read Whoredom In Kimmage by Rosemary Mahoney? I read it this past fall, and felt that it painted a hard but optimistic future for equality in Eire... Considering that Mahoney researched it in 1991, and I found Ireland to be quite modern when I was there in 2001 (albeit I visited only for a month), I would have thought that things would totally be better by now.

A Strange Boy said...

Even though I'm in Canada I feel your pain about Fine Gael. Reminds me of Canadian politics with Harper's Conservatives mainly winning because the Liberals keep screwing up right, left and centre (for the record, I tend to vote NDP).