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 Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)

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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:40 am

cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
I was discussing this recently with a friend who is involved in the GP. Most unlikely that they will walk in the next year or two, not least because they need to make a mark. Carbon levy, whatever. Something, anything. So at least 24 months it is. And the thinking in the GP is that if they did walk chances are the Labour Party would be more than willing to take up the slack. After all you're talking about 20 odd TDs who haven't had a sniff of state power in over a decade. Now. That changes if the GP walks with only a year to go to an election, say in early 2011. But that's a bit tricky because they might well be seen to be opportunist, only going when it suited them to do so to improve their public image. Either way I suspect we're locked in to a full five year term. And let's not even talk about SF whose goal is to join an FF led coalition in 2012. An important aspect of this is that with Seamus Brennan's passing I believe that the GP is now essential to the coalition, i.e. if other walked they'd be necessary to make up the numbers. No one else will walk. But even so.

And the current climate economically. I doubt FG or even Labour want a part of that. They'll play a long game, with what little they have...

Good to see you WbS.

That would make a lot of sense to me, starting from where we are now. But starting from where we will be in five years time and working back, there is a fair chance of predictions not being borne out. This chalice is both poisoned and very hot to handle. We are not just seeing another cyclical downturn, its more of a shift into a new universe. In previous downturns we didn't have to handle climate change and an oil and gas supply problem of this scale. In Ireland, the boom that is imploding is unprecedented. Being an open economy looks advantageous in a global expansion but in a global contraction, we are trying to hold water in a sieve.

Social consensus over the last ten years was based on cheap and easy credit. In the next ten years the opportunities will have to beaten out of the ditches. There are going to be a lot of angry people around, new parties and fissures in parties may open up.

Whatever happens is unlikely to be something that could be predicted now.

Hmmm... you're taking the optimistic view cactus flower, obviously Wink

That's a fair point about the future to a large degree. But unless we consider the current situation and extrapolate out then we could throw almost anything into the mix.

If the global economy tanks in the way you propose I agree all bets would be off (other than that the government would continue in power because it's fairly well dug in and what would be the alternative for them? They hang together or they hang apart). But is that hugely likely to happen? Even adding the factors that you list, climate change, credit crunch, lack of stability in oil/gas supply/price, and seeing that as producing a perfect economic storm (which I'm still not yet convinced of... I think the global economy will more than likely ride this out, not least because ironically national governments such as the US will suddenly find a hitherto unknown appetite for state interventions in previously low-regulated market areas as we've seen with mortgages there etc) is the inevitable outcome of that negative for FF and the present government? I tend to think not, not least because the impulse to stick with safety will be huge. Consider the 1980s where despite mass unemployment, crippling interest rates etc there no left turn on the part of the population, indeed what fissure did occur happened on the centre right in the shape of the PDs looking for more right wing solutions, not less.

And the idea of a serious fissure opening up this time around in FF seems unlikely, not least because unlike UK Labour at moment they're not resigned to losing the next election. They want power, they like power and they use it. Same with the GP. And splits on the outside i.e. amongst the opposition, or new formations are unlikely to garner sufficient support in the three and a half years or so to the next election. I know people talk about 'new' parties but to win on the ground requires hard work and no new party can do that in the time before the election. It takes decades to root a political organisation/s. And that's what would prevent people going across to a new one say from FG/FF. Why take the chance? The argument will be made 'look at the PDs and where they wound up after the initial excitement'. So I tend to see the danger for FF being an attrition to SF in the cities. Perhaps. Or to Labour. Perhaps. But neither of those is operating at full capacity since the last election which might lead simply to more independents being elected who would then be picked off by FF as the current crop was.

I don't dismiss what you say about anger. But that seems to me to be expressed nebulously, as with Lisbon. Where was it in May 2007? People mainly voted for the 'safe' 'conservative' options, FF and FG. Even with - well, what can I say - Ahern in FF and nice but underachieving Kenny in FG.

All that said, what do I know? It could be as you suggest. Global economic crisis, collapse of political institutions, new government parties emerging. But it has to happen in three and a half years. And it has to be utterly catastrophic.

Addition: Just rereading it and thinking that what you propose is more likely to happen post an election in 2012. And if some clever people have organisations on the ground before that election and ready to pick up the pieces say if an unstable government is elected then - well, then they might hold a balance of power...
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:51 am

WorldbyStorm wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
WorldbyStorm wrote:
I was discussing this recently with a friend who is involved in the GP. Most unlikely that they will walk in the next year or two, not least because they need to make a mark. Carbon levy, whatever. Something, anything. So at least 24 months it is. And the thinking in the GP is that if they did walk chances are the Labour Party would be more than willing to take up the slack. After all you're talking about 20 odd TDs who haven't had a sniff of state power in over a decade. Now. That changes if the GP walks with only a year to go to an election, say in early 2011. But that's a bit tricky because they might well be seen to be opportunist, only going when it suited them to do so to improve their public image. Either way I suspect we're locked in to a full five year term. And let's not even talk about SF whose goal is to join an FF led coalition in 2012. An important aspect of this is that with Seamus Brennan's passing I believe that the GP is now essential to the coalition, i.e. if other walked they'd be necessary to make up the numbers. No one else will walk. But even so.

And the current climate economically. I doubt FG or even Labour want a part of that. They'll play a long game, with what little they have...

Good to see you WbS.

That would make a lot of sense to me, starting from where we are now. But starting from where we will be in five years time and working back, there is a fair chance of predictions not being borne out. This chalice is both poisoned and very hot to handle. We are not just seeing another cyclical downturn, its more of a shift into a new universe. In previous downturns we didn't have to handle climate change and an oil and gas supply problem of this scale. In Ireland, the boom that is imploding is unprecedented. Being an open economy looks advantageous in a global expansion but in a global contraction, we are trying to hold water in a sieve.

Social consensus over the last ten years was based on cheap and easy credit. In the next ten years the opportunities will have to beaten out of the ditches. There are going to be a lot of angry people around, new parties and fissures in parties may open up.

Whatever happens is unlikely to be something that could be predicted now.

Hmmm... you're taking the optimistic view cactus flower, obviously Wink

That's a fair point about the future to a large degree. But unless we consider the current situation and extrapolate out then we could throw almost anything into the mix.

If the global economy tanks in the way you propose I agree all bets would be off (other than that the government would continue in power because it's fairly well dug in and what would be the alternative for them? They hang together or they hang apart). But is that hugely likely to happen? Even adding the factors that you list, climate change, credit crunch, lack of stability in oil/gas supply/price, and seeing that as producing a perfect economic storm (which I'm still not yet convinced of... I think the global economy will more than likely ride this out, not least because ironically national governments such as the US will suddenly find a hitherto unknown appetite for state interventions in previously low-regulated market areas as we've seen with mortgages there etc) is the inevitable outcome of that negative for FF and the present government? I tend to think not, not least because the impulse to stick with safety will be huge. Consider the 1980s where despite mass unemployment, crippling interest rates etc there no left turn on the part of the population, indeed what fissure did occur happened on the centre right in the shape of the PDs looking for more right wing solutions, not less.

And the idea of a serious fissure opening up this time around in FF seems unlikely, not least because unlike UK Labour at moment they're not resigned to losing the next election. They want power, they like power and they use it. Same with the GP. And splits on the outside i.e. amongst the opposition, or new formations are unlikely to garner sufficient support in the three and a half years or so to the next election. I know people talk about 'new' parties but to win on the ground requires hard work and no new party can do that in the time before the election. It takes decades to root a political organisation/s. And that's what would prevent people going across to a new one say from FG/FF. Why take the chance? The argument will be made 'look at the PDs and where they wound up after the initial excitement'. So I tend to see the danger for FF being an attrition to SF in the cities. Perhaps. Or to Labour. Perhaps. But neither of those is operating at full capacity since the last election which might lead simply to more independents being elected who would then be picked off by FF as the current crop was.

I don't dismiss what you say about anger. But that seems to me to be expressed nebulously, as with Lisbon. Where was it in May 2007? People mainly voted for the 'safe' 'conservative' options, FF and FG. Even with - well, what can I say - Ahern in FF and nice but underachieving Kenny in FG.

All that said, what do I know? It could be as you suggest. Global economic crisis, collapse of political institutions, new government parties emerging. But it has to happen in three and a half years. And it has to be utterly catastrophic.

Addition: Just rereading it and thinking that what you propose is more likely to happen post an election in 2012. And if some clever people have organisations on the ground before that election and ready to pick up the pieces say if an unstable government is elected then - well, then they might hold a balance of power...

Thanks for the reply WBS, I'll come back to this tomorrow.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:55 am

We'll all just have to wait for this much touted speech by Cowen in September. I hope its nothing like the present "emergency" legistlation passed by the Spanish Dáil last week. They've cut wealth tax and made it easier for public works projests to be passed through zoning regulation bodies. (The Spanish already have a pretty iffy record on zoning and building regs.) They also passed some laws to cut red tape for small business but this is a long term project and won't produce any benefits immediately. Also the attitude of the Spanish is a bit disconerting. They claim they could do nothing about the construction bubble. Funny, I though govts could pass legislation to ensure their financial regulators monitored lending institutions to enforce prudent lending criteria. It really is very easy to outlaw sub-prime lending and so forth.

As for our poor civil servants. They cannot be blamed for the economic mess we in which we find ourselves. I imagine the people hired on this gravy train, of sorts, have mortgages to pay as well. The whole process may have been mismanaged with regard to hiring but wholesale firing will have consequences as well.

My guess is that there is no easy solution to our economic circumstances. For any easy solution to my mind seems like it will only delay or exacerbate the sitution down the road. And please god they will not plunder the pension scheme to recapitalise the banks and developers. This would be financial suicide.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:48 am

GusherING wrote:
As to whether the Dail lasts, well that depends on how rocky the ride gets for the parties in power.

Besides, the government is likely, if anything, to have to raise taxes in the medium term. Thus, wage restraint is going to become less likely. In fact, as we saw a few weeks ago, the tipping point for social partnership has already begun. I think there is an opportunity to propose a new model. What form that takes is very much open to decision by the political establishment. Had Labour or even the Greens been in government now, in economic portfolio's, we may very much have seen a shift in the basis of out economic prosperity. As FF are in power, this shift may take longer to occur, and may be more conservative, but I'm pretty confident that some change will happen.
With regard to the above are you saying that if those parties had a hold of the purse strings we'd be worse off in the short term or overall in the long term? I'd be interested to hear why you think as I'd imagine both parties would have longer-term plans in mind than do FF, however airy-fairy. Ard-Taoiseach was saying that the Greens based their last election platform on 4% growth over the next 5 years while FF based theirs on something higher which has now turned out to be a bit of a mistake.

I'd imagine also that parties like the Greens and Labour would have stability in mind rather than boom and bust cycles which, though perhaps necessary at some point in the evolution of an economy have to be superceded eventually by a bit more stability. Hence the conservative Green growth figures - they may even have said 3% growth but this year has seen 1.5% or something ...
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:13 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
With regard to the above are you saying that if those parties had a hold of the purse strings we'd be worse off in the short term or overall in the long term? I'd be interested to hear why you think as I'd imagine both parties would have longer-term plans in mind than do FF, however airy-fairy. Ard-Taoiseach was saying that the Greens based their last election platform on 4% growth over the next 5 years while FF based theirs on something higher which has now turned out to be a bit of a mistake.

I'd imagine also that parties like the Greens and Labour would have stability in mind rather than boom and bust cycles which, though perhaps necessary at some point in the evolution of an economy have to be superceded eventually by a bit more stability. Hence the conservative Green growth figures - they may even have said 3% growth but this year has seen 1.5% or something ...

Well regardless of who got into power last year, the credit crunch and the decline in the housing market were still likely to occur. The first grumblings out of the property market began around late 2006/early 2007. Of course, no party was really talking about it, and only after the election did the penny drop. So we may as well take it as given that where we are now was always likely to occur.

Well Labour and perhaps the Greens would always be reluctant to cut personal taxes to generate consumer spending. That's not to say they wouldn't do it, its just that they wouldn't do it as much as say the PD's or FF. In light of that, obviously consumer spending would not be as likely to balloon as it has done in the past, giving a more measured stability perhaps in the long-run.

But what I'm trying to get at is that there is a need to evolve beyond the economic model we have relied on till now. The worst possible thing to do would be to reignite consumer spending on cheap credit or through tax cuts, and to think that restoring the property bubble is a good thing is silly. These have been the two main drivers behind our economic success for the last 8 years at least, while our exports and innovative products have declined. There is a need to refocus on that now.

But I reckon there is a need to go beyond the hackneyed old compromises in social partnership of wage restraint vs. inflation. Obviously they are vital in themselves, but perhaps we could move towards a model of a social wage, whereby wage restraint is shown for an increase in public services. Perhaps we could move towards a model where rather than invest in a property bubble, we could show faith in entrepeneurship. The key to keeping wages high and profits good is to innovate and to rely less on FDI. As we now see, multinationals can up and leave at will, but native multinationals never abandon home!
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:07 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
With regard to the above are you saying that if those parties had a hold of the purse strings we'd be worse off in the short term or overall in the long term? I'd be interested to hear why you think as I'd imagine both parties would have longer-term plans in mind than do FF, however airy-fairy. Ard-Taoiseach was saying that the Greens based their last election platform on 4% growth over the next 5 years while FF based theirs on something higher which has now turned out to be a bit of a mistake.

Yes, I believe Fianna Fáil based their manifesto on 4.5% growth in the period 2007 to 2012. The difference between 4 and 4.5% may sound academic, though it does amount to a big pile of something when you compound the difference. Compound interest, as Einstein reminded us, is the most powerful force in the Universe. The 4% growth scenario would see the 2012 Irish economy 121.67% larger than its 2007 equivalent. In Fianna Fáil's estimation, the economy would be 124.62% larger by 2012. That 3% differential would be the difference between certain projects being funded or not. It also affects the revenue buoyancy and so on.

Quote :
I'd imagine also that parties like the Greens and Labour would have stability in mind rather than boom and bust cycles which, though perhaps necessary at some point in the evolution of an economy have to be superceded eventually by a bit more stability. Hence the conservative Green growth figures - they may even have said 3% growth but this year has seen 1.5% or something ...

Eh, even I'd be surprised to see actual growth in this economy this year. I'd say -1% is what we'll see for this year followed by -0.5% next year.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:25 pm

Quote :
Eh, even I'd be surprised to see actual growth in this economy this year. I'd say -1% is what we'll see for this year followed by -0.5% next year.
Thanks ArdTaoiseach. Isn't it the case that growth isn't necessarily the same as activity ? Growth in the long run is impossible if it's defined in present terms - growth of a qualitative nature might be more sustainable.

By activity I'm referring to economic activities that don't drain natural resources so much - education for example. Shouldn't our economy have an emphasis more and more on activities that are non-inflationary and sustainable?

GusherING wrote:
But what I'm trying to get at is that there is a need to evolve beyond the economic model we have relied on till now. The worst possible thing to do would be to reignite consumer spending on cheap credit or through tax cuts, and to think that restoring the property bubble is a good thing is silly. These have been the two main drivers behind our economic success for the last 8 years at least, while our exports and innovative products have declined. There is a need to refocus on that now.

But I reckon there is a need to go beyond the hackneyed old compromises in social partnership of wage restraint vs. inflation. Obviously they are vital in themselves, but perhaps we could move towards a model of a social wage, whereby wage restraint is shown for an increase in public services. Perhaps we could move towards a model where rather than invest in a property bubble, we could show faith in entrepeneurship. The key to keeping wages high and profits good is to innovate and to rely less on FDI. As we now see, multinationals can up and leave at will, but native multinationals never abandon home!
It's hard to know what to do but there are surely some rules and guidelines that any party, people or nation face. One of those things is Education. Lately there has been a lot of murmuring about an 'engineering crisis' as well as re-introduction of third-level fees. In the Indo today which I just picked up with the latest RSS feeds - check them out down on the left of the portal Wink there is a report saying that

Quote :
There is deepening concern about the poor uptake in science, engineering and technology -- all of which are regarded as a cornerstone for future growth.

Despite the economic downturn, there are 10,000 vacancies in the computing and the IT sector, and 5,000 jobs available in engineering.

A graphic example of the crisis was revealed last night showing that numbers graduating in computer applications from Dublin City University (DCU) dropped from 224 in 2005 to 70 this year.

Michael Ryan, who is Professor of Computing at DCU, said at a recent meeting organised by the college that there were twice as many potential employers as computing graduates.
[url= http://www.independent.ie/national-news/thousands-of-jobs-lost-as-courses-snubbed-1457757.html]Indo[/url]
This type of thing is bothering and worrying. If we haven't a coherent strategy for education and science then we've less of a future than we think we had. Peculiarly we seemed to be more geared up for this when employment was higher but we let it slip. Complacency is a dangerous thing and now we might be paying for it.

I think we need to be more flexible in terms of unemployment/study; there are age and cultural barriers still as well as financial barriers. Sometimes the latter are the least of the problems. We're a nation of saints and scholars and I don't think thats a stereotype - we should try to make it part of our culture - the learning industry. All ages all classes all everyone - foreigners and whoever. We've a genius for being interested in all sorts of crap I don't know why we don't use it on a more political basis. People will always need to study and people will always need to learn to speak english and Ireland could be one of the top destinations for that as well.

Ideally, half of one's life could be spent studying something and often travelling while doing so and the other half working. Instead of the full life working my god...
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:04 pm

I voted no. I think they will fail to pass a budget this december or next.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:12 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
I voted no. I think they will fail to pass a budget this december or next.

They'll be put under the greatest fiscal strain for Budget 2009 and Budget 2010 than has been witnessed in this country for a generation. If they get through those, they should get to 2011 at least. I feel that the Boundary Commission Review in 2011 will be the greatest snag to this Dáil seeing a full term. I feel the adjustments necessary for the demographic pressures across this country will necessitate significant review of our constituency structure. As a result of this, the current system which elected this Dáil to Oireachtas will be put under strain and an Taoiseach will have to call an election 1 year before this term sees itself out. As a result of this, I voted No, I cannot see this Dáil see a full term. 4 years maximum is what I'd give it.

This poll has had some volume of responses btw.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:26 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Thanks ArdTaoiseach. Isn't it the case that growth isn't necessarily the same as activity ? Growth in the long run is impossible if it's defined in present terms - growth of a qualitative nature might be more sustainable.

It is the case. Growth is the increase in the level of activity. There is activity worth approximately €160 billion happening in this economy every year. Growth means that this activity rises to, say, €170, €180 billion. Growth is sustainable if its based on conserving resources, using technology to expand production and consuming the same-to-lower levels of energy. If we can keep the inputs just about constant, our output should be limitless. Besides, we're a small economy that does very little to affect the world trends, we can do things which don't cause too much upset. It's the US, the EU in total, Russia and China which have to really think about their global impact.

Quote :
By activity I'm referring to economic activities that don't drain natural resources so much - education for example. Shouldn't our economy have an emphasis more and more on activities that are non-inflationary and sustainable?

Yes. We should concentrate on technology, financial services, tourism, renewable energies and so on. These industries are sustainable and are relatively sparing in energy use.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:20 am

GusherING, I find some of what you say regarding a new approach very interesting indeed. I also think you're right. Whoever came in in 2007 would have faced precisely these issues at this point in time. But without ignoring those issues I'm still unsure what people think will be the motive force that would, for example as regards budgets, rip the coalition apart at a vote. I genuinely can't see Lowry or McGrath going - particular not after what the latter has put up with over the past year or so. The FF gene pool Indo's are rock solid. The Green Party has no reason to go, indeed arguably the demographics of the contemporary situation suits them well. With at least one byelection on the horizon and with the opposition potentially able to win at least one of them their centrality to government stability increases. The Green Party TDs look, touch wood, reasonably healthy. Can the same be said for the FF ranks? Which suggests that the GP might be well able to call the shots. There are other issues, despite the down turn it is possible as the Business Post did some weeks back to identify areas to reduce government expenditure without too much general pain.After all big capital projects deferred is somewhat easier than cutting expenditure on health or whatever. That said reduced expenditure, for example in third level is causing pain but generally within institutions and this hasn't yet carried over to students, etc. If the situation worsens radically...
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:39 pm

GusherIng said:
Quote :
But I reckon there is a need to go beyond the hackneyed old compromises in social partnership of wage restraint vs. inflation. Obviously they are vital in themselves, but perhaps we could move towards a model of a social wage, whereby wage restraint is shown for an increase in public services. Perhaps we could move towards a model where rather than invest in a property bubble, we could show faith in entrepeneurship. The key to keeping wages high and profits good is to innovate and to rely less on FDI. As we now see, multinationals can up and leave at will, but native multinationals never abandon home!

That is exactly what partnership was supposed to do, but the inherent drift of the TU leadership is to sell rights and benefits for wage increases. This is not much good to anyone once inflation strikes.

There was a series of reports in the early 90s that tried to make this the national industrial strategy. This article is a fascinating look at development of industrial development policy in Ireland. http://www.iol.ie/~rjtechne/century130703/1990s/culliton.htm

Telesis and Culliton went some way but were never really taken on by the IDA or politicians. The quick fix of FDI was a tsunami that swept away discussion of developing indigenous industry. Indigenous industry has declined since 20002.

I was involved in the discussion at the time the Culliton Report was drawn up and lobbied hard for development of indigenous industry. We will never know whether that approach would have been successful or not. Some of the models, like Northern Italy, have not proven robust.

Things have changed now in many ways, for the better or worse, and that discussion needs to be revived. But the idea that indigenous multinationals don't move abroad does not hold up.
They go wherever they need to to survive and grow.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:30 pm

WorldbyStorm wrote:
GusherING, I find some of what you say regarding a new approach very interesting indeed. I also think you're right. Whoever came in in 2007 would have faced precisely these issues at this point in time. But without ignoring those issues I'm still unsure what people think will be the motive force that would, for example as regards budgets, rip the coalition apart at a vote. I genuinely can't see Lowry or McGrath going - particular not after what the latter has put up with over the past year or so. The FF gene pool Indo's are rock solid. The Green Party has no reason to go, indeed arguably the demographics of the contemporary situation suits them well. With at least one byelection on the horizon and with the opposition potentially able to win at least one of them their centrality to government stability increases. The Green Party TDs look, touch wood, reasonably healthy. Can the same be said for the FF ranks? Which suggests that the GP might be well able to call the shots. There are other issues, despite the down turn it is possible as the Business Post did some weeks back to identify areas to reduce government expenditure without too much general pain.After all big capital projects deferred is somewhat easier than cutting expenditure on health or whatever. That said reduced expenditure, for example in third level is causing pain but generally within institutions and this hasn't yet carried over to students, etc. If the situation worsens radically...

Thanks for the kind words! Smile

You have a point in terms of electoral arithmetic though. It does seem likely that they'll last till 2012 though it won't be easy. My concern is with changing the government. The key is for the opposition not to seize on populism (all of the time) but to articulate a grand vision for the future/critique of the status quo. If they (particularly Labour) fail to do this, well then they're just never going to get into government. And that's a shame in my book. If they do succeed in promoting a genuine alternative (and not in the Mullingar electoral strategy sense), then perhaps they'll turn Cowen into Gordon Brown. But Cowen won't turn into Gordon Brown himself, even if the economy tanks. It requires an alternative narrative to shape the discourse. (End postmodernist lingo here!)
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:17 pm

GusherING wrote:
rockyracoon wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
. . . In Ireland, the boom that is imploding is unprecedented. Being an open economy looks advantageous in a global expansion but in a global contraction, we are trying to hold water in a sieve.

Social consensus over the last ten years was based on cheap and easy credit. In the next ten years the opportunities will have to beaten out of the ditches. There are going to be a lot of angry people around, new parties and fissures in parties may open up.

Whatever happens is unlikely to be something that could be predicted now.

I was wondering about this myself. There is already a general unease opening up among wage earners across the country. There's a notion forming that the current economic-political scale is terribly askew and not in favour of the average worker. The old left-right devide is largely irrelevant imo. Anyone or any party who can galvanise this unease may attract considerable support. I would think that some central common denominator would have to be established to bind a new party together, but I can't see anything developing right now beyond a general disquiet. Anyway, the FF broad church approach makes it hard for a new political entity of the centre to take hold. As is evidenced by the GE and opinion polls, FF's core support of c.35-40% seems rock solid. While fringe parties may come and go, we can be nearly certain that FF will be at the core of Irish politics for decades to come.

On a side note, SF has no stated policy on political alliances, not least of all with FF. It doesn't take a political genius to realise FF would rather destroy SF than be in govt with them.

You're spot on with regards the socio-economic basis of the Irish economy. I think with the downturn and the decline of the housing market and cheap credit the social-partnership model we are so used to is fatally ruined. Not too many commentators have noted it, but social partnership was about more than wage restraint between the unions and IBEC. The government also chipped in tax cuts, which I don't think can occur any longer. Public dissatisfaction with public services is latent, but has never really reached a tipping point so long as tax cuts kept coming. Lets face it, FF won the last election because people voted with their pockets in mind, not public services.

As to whether the Dail lasts, well that depends on how rocky the ride gets for the parties in power.

Besides, the government is likely, if anything, to have to raise taxes in the medium term. Thus, wage restraint is going to become less likely. In fact, as we saw a few weeks ago, the tipping point for social partnership has already begun. I think there is an opportunity to propose a new model. What form that takes is very much open to decision by the political establishment. Had Labour or even the Greens been in government now, in economic portfolio's, we may very much have seen a shift in the basis of out economic prosperity. As FF are in power, this shift may take longer to occur, and may be more conservative, but I'm pretty confident that some change will happen.

As to whether the centre can or can't hold, much depends on the extent to which FF can hold on to its "safe hands" reputation. With 20% of GDP coming from construction and much of the rest coming from fairly unstable foreign direct investment, it is hard to see why we wouldn't have 10% unemployment in a years time as current building projects wind up. A lot of people are seriously indebted with loans for properties that are unsaleable without taking a large loss. Some people retiring are going to find their pension fund has evaporated. This is leaving aside any further outside or internal catastrophe: with the banks tottering along, we probably should not leave that out.

The rest is down to the opposition. I don't see why the Lisbon campaign would not give us a notion of where people go in extremis.








http://www.finfacts.ie/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_10009225.shtml
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:35 am

I do think the government will last the full term. The increasingly prominent role played by the oil crisis and, to a lesser extent, global warming, in the current global economic situation (and by extension Ireland's economic woes) makes the Greens' policies more relevant to FF's economic goals and is leading, IMO, to greater convergence in opinion between the Greens and FF on how Ireland should go forward. And of course these major cutbacks on government spending are pleasing the PDs (or, rather, the PD). So I think that the coalition is probably stronger and more stable than ever. For these reasons I can't see any coalition party walking out of government, and I also can't see Cowen losing a vote of no confidence, as FF tend to be very loyal to their leader when it comes down to it. Though I do see Enda attempting a vote of no confidence before the Dáil term is out.

As for whether or not they get back in in 2012, that is of course an entirely different question and really cannot be answered right now. It all depends on how the economy fares between now and then.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:48 am

evercloserunion wrote:
I do think the government will last the full term. The increasingly prominent role played by the oil crisis and, to a lesser extent, global warming, in the current global economic situation (and by extension Ireland's economic woes) makes the Greens' policies more relevant to FF's economic goals and is leading, IMO, to greater convergence in opinion between the Greens and FF on how Ireland should go forward. And of course these major cutbacks on government spending are pleasing the PDs (or, rather, the PD). So I think that the coalition is probably stronger and more stable than ever. For these reasons I can't see any coalition party walking out of government, and I also can't see Cowen losing a vote of no confidence, as FF tend to be very loyal to their leader when it comes down to it. Though I do see Enda attempting a vote of no confidence before the Dáil term is out.

As for whether or not they get back in in 2012, that is of course an entirely different question and really cannot be answered right now. It all depends on how the economy fares between now and then.

That does make a lot of sense. The Greens will hang in there as tight as they can. Mary too I guess, although I'm not sure the PDs will last the term. That only leaves a serious scandal or collapse in public confidence, and they are inclined to happen when you don't expect them. Unless you consider Brian having to tie his credibility to a Yes vote, and not getting one?
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:42 am

cactus flower wrote:


As to whether the centre can or can't hold, much depends on the extent to which FF can hold on to its "safe hands" reputation. With 20% of GDP coming from construction and much of the rest coming from fairly unstable foreign direct investment

cactus, construction accounts for far less than 20% of Ireland's GNP, never mind GDP. According to the latest National Accounts published by the CSO, the building industry was worth €3,426 million in a GDP of €41,395 million. That leaves us with a percentage of 8.3% for the building industry. Compared with the 9.7% accounted for by construction in 2006, we are seeing a very welcome reduction in the weight of building in our economy. This reduction will be over by the time that the next election occurs and the economy will be fully rebalanced.

Link.

Foreign direct investment into this country is remarkably stable with overall employment levels steadily rising over the past decade, ebbing and flowing with the economic tide. Most FDI is secure since the IDA has attracted FDI which is difficult to immediately relocate elsewhere and te environment is so propitious here with the clustering effect.

Finally, Fianna Fáil's vote held up when they destroyed our economy with the Economic War. It also held up when they ran the most irresponsibly profligate government in the history of the State between 77 and 81. Fianna Fáil is a fact of Irish political life and recession or no, it will always command the votes of at least 35% of the Irish people. That is an irrefutable reality of Irish politics.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:32 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:


As to whether the centre can or can't hold, much depends on the extent to which FF can hold on to its "safe hands" reputation. With 20% of GDP coming from construction and much of the rest coming from fairly unstable foreign direct investment

cactus, construction accounts for far less than 20% of Ireland's GNP, never mind GDP. According to the latest National Accounts published by the CSO, the building industry was worth €3,426 million in a GDP of €41,395 million. That leaves us with a percentage of 8.3% for the building industry. Compared with the 9.7% accounted for by construction in 2006, we are seeing a very welcome reduction in the weight of building in our economy. This reduction will be over by the time that the next election occurs and the economy will be fully rebalanced.

Link.

Foreign direct investment into this country is remarkably stable with overall employment levels steadily rising over the past decade, ebbing and flowing with the economic tide. Most FDI is secure since the IDA has attracted FDI which is difficult to immediately relocate elsewhere and te environment is so propitious here with the clustering effect.

Finally, Fianna Fáil's vote held up when they destroyed our economy with the Economic War. It also held up when they ran the most irresponsibly profligate government in the history of the State between 77 and 81. Fianna Fáil is a fact of Irish political life and recession or no, it will always command the votes of at least 35% of the Irish people. That is an irrefutable reality of Irish politics.


My source is here -
Link

Quote :

The Report says that the pace and intensity of housing investment have arguably been amplified by monetary stimulus, through low interest rates. The strong expansion in the construction sector and the high market valuation of real estate clearly point to the risk of a significant reversal, which could amplify the contractionary effects of real appreciation once a downturn starts.

In 2005, the construction sector in Ireland accounted for approximately 20 percent of the country’s GDP and employed more than 10 percent of the labour force.

I think there are a lot of remaining strengths in Ireland that could be built on to give us a viable economy, but a "business as usual" approach when our competitivity is still declining would not make sense to me. We need to get our heads together as a population to come up with new solutions.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:45 pm

cactus flower wrote:


My source is here -
Link

Quote :

The Report says that the pace and intensity of housing investment have arguably been amplified by monetary stimulus, through low interest rates. The strong expansion in the construction sector and the high market valuation of real estate clearly point to the risk of a significant reversal, which could amplify the contractionary effects of real appreciation once a downturn starts.

In 2005, the construction sector in Ireland accounted for approximately 20 percent of the country’s GDP and employed more than 10 percent of the labour force.


Well that source is wrong and I remember freedomlover taking it apart on P.ie. You see, the authors of the report make one critical mistake, they fail to adjust for the value-added of the construction sector. They have not made that adjustment so therefore their calculations are skewed. They fail to understand the construction sector consumes the goods and services of the other industries in Ireland and this brings its contribution to the Irish economy down to 8.3%. The building sector, at its very height, accounted for about 11%. It never accounted for 20%.

It's like buying a house for €200,000. That doesn't add €200,000 to national income. This is because you have to adjust for the cost of the land, building materials, labour, legal fees and so on. This means that the profit margin of, say, €25,000 which the developer pockets when you buy the house is the value-add and it is this €25,000 which is counted in this activity, not the €200,000. The CSO understands that the €25,000 is the correct figure because to count the €200,000 they would be double-counting and distorting the national income statistics. The CSO are the official statistics-gatherers of the State and they bring a far greater rigour to their statistical adjustments than that report and it is for this reason that I believe their figures over that report.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:59 pm

Full term unless Lisbon rears its ugly head again... but I don't think FF are stupid enough to re-run it if they KNOW it will be lost. They only have to wait for Cameron to get in next door and Lisbon will be toast anyway

The opposition are only woeful (with the honourable exception of Gilmore and Co. Ltd, sometimes). The only policy Kenny has is "I hate Fianna Fail" While he is entitled to his opinion, 'twon't dig us out of this mess.

A few policies from the Opposition would help.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:03 pm

Lisbon will be put to another referendum - do you think it won't? I wonder what would happen if they just tried to ratify it anyway...

When is Cameron due to come in over there and what will he do anyway?
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:05 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Lisbon will be put to another referendum - do you think it won't? I wonder what would happen if they just tried to ratify it anyway...

When is Cameron due to come in over there and what will he do anyway?


Dick Roche said today that because of the previous referendum, "the people had better be consulted".
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:10 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:


When is Cameron due to come in over there and what will he do anyway?

The current Labour government can put the election off till June 2010 at the very latest and then the Conservatives will win by a margin of between 80-120 seats if current trends continue.
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:14 pm

So can Cameron overturn the Commons decision as expat said there? It's already voted in isn't it - or could he put a referendum to get out of it?
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PostSubject: Re: Poll: Will this Dáil see a full term? - Support for FF falls 15% (Joe Behan Resigns from the Party)   Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:23 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
So can Cameron overturn the Commons decision as expat said there? It's already voted in isn't it - or could he put a referendum to get out of it?

I think the Conservatives are going to put a pledge to put the Lisbon Treaty to a referendum and recommend a No vote in their manifesto for the General Election in 2010. That seems to be the wide-spread belief in the British bodypolitick. That is why Lisbon enthusiasts wanted the Treaty safely ratified before the Conservatives took power in the UK as they are almost undoubtedly going to do.
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