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 Is this the end of Civil War Politics then ?

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PostSubject: Is this the end of Civil War Politics then ?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:22 am

Hopefully it is.

Now that the Jack Lynch/Charlie Haughey/Garret Fitzgerald generation have decided to reinvigorate their militance, and walk away from civil war family heritage politics in favour of medical cards, the end is nigh.

Good I say. Not a decade too soon.

I have never witnessed a FF poll lower than this (RedC SBP 26th October 2008)

(copied from cookiemonsters post on P.ie) Politics.ie Poll thread
FF - 26% (-10)
FG - 33% (+5)
Lab - 15% (+6)
Green - 6% (-1)
SF - 10% (+1)
PD - 2% (-1)
Ind - 8% (no change)

The entire concept of 'core vote' is now gone out the window. I had always assumed the core vote of FF was 32% and would remain forever. Clearly that is an incorrect assumption. Lifetime FF voters have gone away in droves. Whether they stay away or not is anyone's guess. But the civil war motivations are clearly dead. HoooRaaaaaaaayyy.

How can you have a modern democracy when people are voting according to the colour of their grandaddy's underpants ?

Every cloud has a silver lining....
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PostSubject: Re: Is this the end of Civil War Politics then ?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:50 am

It's an interesting development alright. It's also interesting to note that the Lisbon vote was split very much along class lines, though obviously different rules will always apply for referenda. Still, I do believe that civil war politics is at an end and I think that is to be celebrated. But the big question now is, where is it going? Another thing we saw in Lisbon was the irrational voter rearing his head. People on both sides of the issue voted for reasons that weren't relevant to the Treaty, such as provisions which weren't there or the fact that Europe has been good for Ireland in the past. But mor eimportantly we saw a lot of people voting No to protest government policy or to voice general dissatisfaction (though obviously it wasn't the biggest reason for voting No). Similarly, this poll represents a big drop in support for FF because of the budget. Obviously that is to be expected since it was FF's budget, but we were told that it would be a tough one, and certainly the current global economic climate demands such a budget. Yet people are still enraged and this anger translates into a transfer of support from FF to FG, many members of which openly admit that they don't even want power (see the RedC thread on P.ie).

Basically, in the absence of civil war loyalties people seem to be voting out of anger at the current global economic situation, I personally don't believe that these people have much faith in Fine Gael to do much better. All you ever hear from people is how they hate the government, not how they love the opposition. I wonder what this irrational backlash against the government will mean for the future of democracy in Ireland. Will anger come to dominate voting patterns? How healthy can that be?

Perhaps other voting patterns will arise out of this maelstrom. The most obvious alternative to civil war politics would be a traditional left-right system, but in order for this to occur our main parties would have to change dramatically. Fine Gael and Labour, who are currently very centre, would have to swing to the right and left respectively, but this would destroy any prospect of a FG-Lab coalition. Meanwhile you have FF who are all things to all people, and I don't see why they would drop that since it has worked so well for them in the past. These poll figures are exaggerated because of the budget fiasco obviously, but I think that if such a loss for FF and gain for FG were to hold even in part until the next election, it could force FF to ally with Labour and the Greens which would create a centre-left coalition government with a strong right-wing opposition. That, in my opinion, would be the closest we could get to having a left-right political system like the US or UK.

Just my two cents!
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PostSubject: Re: Is this the end of Civil War Politics then ?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:14 pm

Very interesting posts. I'm not so sure that the core vote has gone out of the window. The Poll was taken the day after the budget and FG / FF are in some respects non-identical twins who together make up the core vote.

Irish core politics (FF in particular but all parties imo to some extent) are very nakedly about getting power for one's own gang, and then benefitting from it both directly and with appointments of cronies, allocation of tax benefits and and so on. FF is now faced with the prospect of not enough money to buy its vote.

The world economic crisis is shaking the political superstructure around like an earthquake. At this stage I don't think its possible to know exactly where the cracks and fissures and plates will all end up. I agree with evercloserunion and EVM that more class-based politics might open up, but this is going to be very severe and the advantages of clan and tribe looking after their own may exert a strong pull.

Which party would make the best job of feeding the whole population, if we were in the same boat or worse than Iceland? Who would keep agricultural and other production going come what may and keep our children in education?
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PostSubject: Re: Is this the end of Civil War Politics then ?   Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:27 pm

End of Civil War politics ? Nice angle to look at this from because it's based on the grandaddy's voting pattern alright - often left in people's wills for their children. Who'd go against Daddy's ghost eh?

evercloserunion wrote:
Basically, in the absence of civil war loyalties people seem to be voting out of anger at the current global economic situation, I personally don't believe that these people have much faith in Fine Gael to do much better. All you ever hear from people is how they hate the government, not how they love the opposition. I wonder what this irrational backlash against the government will mean for the future of democracy in Ireland. Will anger come to dominate voting patterns? How healthy can that be?

Perhaps other voting patterns will arise out of this maelstrom.

I like your analysis evercloserunion - reactionary voting patterns might have no real basis so we'll have to wait and see a little what comes out of this. As Seán O Rourke said last night on the Week in Politics, "Fianna Fáil have squandered the boom but will FG squander the advantage evident from this poll?" The core vote may not swing to FG forever - FG will have to try to keep this advantage now and sell themselves to hitherto core FF voters many of whom will swing back, make no mistake. People down here in Clare swear they will never vote FF again after the Heathrow slots were allowed to be stripped from Shannon and on top of that now there are complaints that the €10 ticket tax might be a good reason to kick the GP if Shannon sinks further.

Now might be a good time for a lot of parties to reconsider their economic policies based on the new information we have about the bubble economics that could have coloured a lot of economic party politics for the last half decade. It could be back to economic basics for a lot of parties now and the Opposition parties may have more breathing space to reconstruct their economics. It could be that FF will adapt on the fly and wing it but they haven't started off on a very good foot in fact they might be pointing a gun at their own foot. One poster Tulach on the p.ie thread says the below which I wouldn't put it past FF to do but I hope they don't. Unless they use this crisis to grab some more power and somehow 'save the day' and come out better in the long run. I wouldn't put them anywhere near any danger area yet - they are a stubborn knot in Irish politics and won't be unravelled anytime soon.

Quote :
Its only the start, FF in my opinion need to call an election cut their losses and let FG deliver all the gloom and doom for the next 4 years and then hope to get back in when things start to improve although I don't know if FF see it that way, they may hope they ride out the bad times and be in power for the upturn if it ever comes
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