The lunacy of an agreed FG/Lab program for government

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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.

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2 Responses to The lunacy of an agreed FG/Lab program for government

  1. Eoin says:

    And it ignores the possibility of an overall FG majority.

    And it ignores the basic fact that they are two separate parties, fighting separate campaigns.

    The Mullingar Accord was a mistake. There is no good reason to revisit it.

  2. mike says:

    It is understandable that negotiations are required to form coalitions. Inevitably these negotiations result in certain parts of the manifesto of each party involved to be dropped. Do the people who are voting for these parties have no right to know what the party thinks is important or not. How can you really evaluate a party if the party is not willing to say, these are the most important parts of or manifesto and without them we will not go into government.

    > it is about whose ideas the public favour more.
    No, it is about which party has the most popular candidates. If the manifestos were important, they would be made legally binding before the election so that elected parties would not make promises they cannot deliver or promises that they would not get through if they go into coalition. There was much talk about transparency in Irish politics but unfortunately it was just talk.
    yes this is idealism, but unfortunatly no one likes to aspire to that any more.

    ps. very hard to write a comment in this size a window.

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