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Politics 101 with Michael McDowell

11.13.2005

We are all aware of the potential for verbosity that in the Head Office in Stephens Green, doling out Law and Justice in equal measure. It is thus so reassuring to see that Michael can descend to the level of us mere mortals to explain the internal workings of the dark arts of party politics.



"The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, has said Sinn Fein's aim is to get the balance of power in the next election and use it to control the next government."

In a word, Duh.

The outburst suggests two responses. Is it only now, after eight years in office that Michael grasps the dynamics of small party politics? Unlikely since he ran on that exact platform in 2002.

Or

Does he think we don't really grasp the fundamentals of what it is Sinn Fein are doing and thus being duped into voting for a sleeping Leviathan?

Again non, I think Michael was engaging in, what will be next weeks lesson, playing party politics with the 'balance of power' cos it seems likely at this stage that the Shinners balance of power will be bigger that the PD balance of power.

While he may be right to worry about office etc., the whole thing is a practice in stating the obvious. "Political Party in play for Power Shock". Or not. There are times when statement of the obvious really becomes his second post in government. This is one of those times.

RR
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  1. Blogger EWI | 1:15 p.m. |  

    You've gotta understand that McDowell, like Sinn Fein, is fishing in very specific electoral waters. Keeping the spectre of the Green Peril uppermost in his constituency's minds is good politics from his POV.

    By the way, I'll wager odds that the PDs aren't going to make it to another twenty years. McDowell will reverse them into FG, then take it over, just as Rabbitte did with Labour.

  2. Blogger Cian | 1:42 p.m. |  

    Oh i understand, its just fun to point out some simpleton behaviour. Contribute to my sense of superiority.
    All parties try to get a balance of power. McDs statement of the obvious is a tad embarrasingand simplistic.
    I'll wager odds that the PDs aren't going to make it to another twenty years
    Agreed. I think this election in 2007 could trigger serious implosions, after all they are primarily a dail party with little rooting locally to get by in a melt down. C.f. Fine Gael local resurgance as plating new roots for a resurgence.
    PDs will be gone soon enough.

  3. Blogger Simon | 4:55 p.m. |  

    i wonder about pds dieing they are beginning to get a lot of support that they didn't have before. I think in 20 years it might come very thight between labour, fine gael, greens, sinn fein, and the pds. with finna fail droping a good bit down again. I would not be surprised to see the sinners greens and pds all around 20 seats in the future.

  4. Blogger Cian | 5:34 p.m. |  

    Im not sure the PDs have what it takes to get anywhere near twenty seats. They may enjoy support but its not enough to guarantee twenty seats. They need clusters of support across constituencys to get in twenty TDs. Their current levels of support suggest large swathes in areas while near non-presence in the rest of the country.
    The needed expansion requires good grassroots, council, activity and presence. Their local presence is woeful in most spots and not improving much. Im pretty sure that the PDs will struggle, even on 4% to retain seats.
    Concentration of votes is crucial to the party and its under attack from FG. It doesnt compete favourably with FG.

    I agree with the propect of some levelling in party support, whether FF can milk more seats from less voters is not unlikely. Still its more likely to be a two tier levelling. FF,FG,SF(Maybe) and then Labour, Green, Other.
    RR

  5. Blogger EWI | 11:37 a.m. |  

    Agreed. I think this election in 2007 could trigger serious implosions, after all they are primarily a dail party with little rooting locally to get by in a melt down. C.f. Fine Gael local resurgance as plating new roots for a resurgence.

    Yes, they definitely leech more from FG than anywhere else (look at the make-up of our old friends in the 'Freedom' Institute, for example. Nearly all Young FG/PD)

    Their current levels of support suggest large swathes in areas while near non-presence in the rest of the country.

    They're a curious mix of Irish Times social liberalism and US-style crony capitalism. No constituency outside of certain ewlitist social circles - they're very much a niche party. The Parlon wing won't remain long - the issue of the CAP will lead to a parting of the ways, sooner or later.

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