And so it finally ends.
This writer usually loathes those who throw out the notion that all politicians and political parties are the same. The idea is the refuge of those who haven't the attention span to immerse themselves in events that will have an impact on their lives. But the longer the campaign went on the more unpalatable all the options have become. They may all assuredly not be the same, but that doesn't mean they can't irk in almost equal measure. The key moment of the campaign actually may end up being the inability of the David McWilliams/Fintan O'Toole to form a coherent group, as this may lead to a Fine Gael overall majority.
Michael Martin has run an impressive campaign, debating rationally and proposing plenty of sensible change. One would almost pine that he isn't leading a radical new party. But the reality is that he was playing naughts and crosses in the back of the state car for the last ten years. The public have been impressed with him: But it's heartening to note that they aren't remotely ready to vote him into government. Re-apply in five years Micheal: Or better yet ten.
Gerry Adams isn't a member of the I.R.A. Nor did he ever join the I.F.A. And it's apparently a smear to point out that no serious historian or commentator believes him: And he also believes the Government's behaviour in recent years regrading the economy is akin to terrorism. You couldn't make it up: Gerry Adams does though.
Labour: For many people Labour's campaign can only be looked through the prism of their linkage with trade unionism. Eamon Gilmore hadn't the gumption to comment on the Croke Park agreement before the unions had voted on it. Members of ICTU Youth were prominent at Labour's election launch. The message was hammered home in late 2009 that a concerted effort was being made to divide public and private. But the lean to Fine Gael, throughout the campaign, despite their manifold faults, indicates that many in the private sector still cast a jaundiced eye at Labour despite their overall moderate policy agenda. Plus Labour's bizarre profligate use of the word 'family' in the last days of the campaign would find favour with the likes of Rush Limbaugh.
United Left Alliance:
Whatever you think about their far left policies one issue hasn't been commented on sufficiently. That is even if you wished to implement left wing policies in Ireland, you can't as you would then be unable to raise money from abroad to pay our way. Thus if you want Ireland to be red, you would really be best to be storming a Bastille on the continent trying to ferment International revolution.
They won't be going away you know. The Green agenda was prominent in warning us about the insanity of over-development in the naughties. We paid them no heed and now we're out to get them for their, admittedly, mistaken decision to enter government. Yet do we really think a Dail without Eamon Ryan would be a better thing?
All in all a supremely oily, controlled Fianna Failesque campaign. Enda Kenny dodged the awkward squad interviewers outside of R.T.E. ( Vincent Browne, Matt Cooper ) When he did debate he did it with all the naturalness of an automaton. They want to bring back stag hunting. They will promise anything to the farming community. If you feel you have no choice but to vote for them, seeing Lucinda Crieghton, Alan Shatter, Peter Matthews, Michael Ring etc on your ballot paper may be the final straw. It really will be hold the nose time!