It has come up repeatedly in press commentary over the last few weeks and was a feature again last night on Vincent Browne that FG and Labour should published an agreed program for government before the election takes place. We know that Vincent isn’t the greatest with numbers so I’ll be really slow with this.
If FG get 60 seats and Labour 30 then that’s a 2:1 ratio or if FG and Labour both got 50 seats then that’s a 1:1 ratio or a 50/50 split.
The ratio of the parties would affect and reflect more than the simple make up of the cabinet. It would reflect the level of public support that each party’s manifesto had gotten and thus the legitimate negotiating strength for each position. That is why for the parties to negotiate now in advance of the people giving their verdict on the proposals of each party would be sure lunacy, as it presupposes or rather completely ignores what the opinion of the public would be. The election isn’t just about who is Taoiseach or how many bums each party gets to seat around the cabinet table, but it is about whose ideas the public favour more.