“ I found Ireland on her knees, I watched over her with a paternal solicitude; I have traced her progress from injuries to arms, and from arms to liberty. Spirit of Swift! Spirit of Molyneux! Your genius has prevailed. Ireland is now a nation.” ( Henry Grattan )
The final results are still trickling from a few remaining recalcitrant constituencies – and Election 2016 will be consigned to political history. Where do we go from here? What will be the likely formation of a future government. Will it be a Dail of the political right – where the old Civil War foes, i.e. Fianna Fail and Cumann Na Gael (Fine Gael) finally bury the hatchet? Or an alliance of the left lead by Sinn Fein, AAA, AI and the remaining Independent TDs? Who knows, only time has the definitive answer to this question.
What we do know about this election result, is that, a perfect equalibrium of left and right is now the political reality in Ireland. The predicted success of Sinn Fein was overestimated, and indeed, never really materialized – whereas a Fianna Fail recovery wasn’t factored into the equation.
Lazarus wasn’t just Bowie’s final album and parting gift to the world, but a name that now bests underscores Fianna Fail’s re-emergence in 2016. The Irish electorate are a very forgiving lot to give FF another chance – after the cruel and unrelenting financial austerity they inflicted from 2007 to 2011.
The coalition of FG/Labour were punished for not leading us to the economic promised land, but betraying us with their austerity, fiscal rectitude and by giving us no real recovery. Whilst inflicting cut backs on the populace in the name of national recovery – they have to date, squandered €38 million on Eircode: a Dublin 4 based political quango. Irish Water was another unnecessary, unwanted and expensive utility foisted on by Fine Gael and Labour. Their reckless spending in times of economic retrenchment; their attitude of dismissiveness; arrogance towards the people who elected them – have resulted in them receiving the Judas treatment at the ballot box.
Will the Left and the Independents be our saviours or the new revolutionaries? Can they all agree to get Ireland off her knees and form a decent and free government by Easter 2016? Or will the numbers be sufficient to form a stable government in this 32nd Dail? Perhaps the only resolution to this split election result dilemma is a brand new general election in a few months time. With so much uncertainty, maybe a brand new general election is best option in these challenging times. Or God forbid, maybe our masters in Brussels will pressure Fianna Fail and Fine Gael to do the unspeakable and unthinkable – form a government together! Who knows, certainly not me – only time will tell.