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Thanks for a very informative read Luis.  There appear to be some similarities with Ireland's political landscape perhaps caused by a somewhat similar electoral system (proportional representation within quite small constituencies) although Ireland uses a Single Transferable Vote rather than a list system in constituencies, which lends itself to a plethora on localist independent candidates without a clear national political agenda. There is also hardly any organised anti-EU vote in Ireland with the left/right divide centering around anti versus pro austerity economic policies.  

The outcome of Ireland's next general election (due by next Spring) is similarly uncertain with the Governing coalition unlikely to gain an overall majority and yet no clear and obvious opposition parties with which it could work.  This is, in some respects, surprising, given that Ireland's economy is again growing at 6%, unemployment is down from 15 to 9%, net emigration is slowing, and a tax rate reduction and spending increase budget is expected in the next few weeks.

The key issue which could lead to the Government's downfall is, surprisingly, a ham-fisted attempt to introduces charges for water services which would hardly raise an eyebrow in the rest of Europe.  But perhaps that issue is only a lightning rod for a general ennui at austerity Government and a desire for a change and some new faces.  Unfortunately the opposition aren't in a position to provide much of this: Fianna Fail, the main opposition party is led by Micheál Martin, a survivor of the Fianna Fail government of bank guarantee fame, and Sinn Fein is led by Gerry Adams, a survivor of the Troubles in N. Ireland.

So some sort of stale-mate is likely to emerge, and it will probably require a second election for a clear governing majority to emerge.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 28th, 2015 at 12:16:04 PM EST

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