Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some feedback on recent posts

There has been mixed feedback to some of my recent posts concerning the political situation in Ireland over the past few weeks. This has been a difficult time for everybody - I have never felt so much anger in the air, or on-line. It has also been a difficult time for Fianna Fáil supporters - much of what has happened grates with us too. I have declared openly that I have always voted Fianna Fáil, and am almost certain to do so again in the upcoming Election. Some people can't believe this! Other political parties can knock on my door to canvas my vote - I will listen. But if their opening line is "we are not Fianna Fáil", they will need to try harder.

"Larry" in a comment on the My vote won't be Green post takes me to task as follows when I attacked the Greens for double standards over cabinet appointments:

I think there is a constitutional argument here which you seem to be missing. Article 28: section 10. 
Ultimatly its about responding to the will of the people, and I know of very few people who had any feelings other than outrage at the proposed apointments.

My response was as follows:

Hi Larry - thanks for the comment, I too have met very few people who supported the proposed appointments. God knows that the Greens have had plenty of issues that they could have pulled out of the Government - but why choose this one when they did exactly the same themselves? (That's my point).

Thanks too for the point about the Constitution - I had to look up what Article 28/Section 10 was:

"The Taoiseach shall resign from office upon his ceasing to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann unless on his advice the President dissolves Dáil Éireann and on the reassembly of Dáil Éireann after the dissolution the Taoiseach secures the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann"

I'm guessing this refers to when a Dáil vote goes against the Taoiseach. Brian Cowen probably never had the support of a majority of the Dáil (add his opponents in the Fianna Fáil party to the Opposition) at any time since he became Taoiseach.

"Richard" goes further (with his permission I reproduce his email):

Just found a link to your blog at mamapoulet...........
Interesting read, though I cannot agree with all you said. Your intention  to vote  for the "best of a bad lot of local candiates" is what  brought FF in again in 2007.
Do you really want a repetition of that fiasco? It's difficult for me to fathom your rationale  for voting for FF; I can only presume you inherited that habit and haven't yet got around to questiong  it. 

The Maman Poulet reference is to this link. My response was as follows:

First - many thanks for reading my blog post and going to the effort of writing to me. I hadn't ever heard of Maman Poulet before and did not know that a link was posted there to my blog. It does look like a very interesting site and I'll be sure to follow up - especially during the Election.

Secondly - a confession/declaration. I was a classmate of Brian Cowen in secondary school (you can see a picture if the two of us in our 6th year class photo here!) and have watched his rise to the top of Irish politics. 

I did vote for FF in 2007 - along with 858,564 other people (1st preferences), I wasn't the only one. When he was elected Taoiseach, Brian Cowen had approval ratings over 50%. If we knew then what we know now........

I didn't "inherit the habit" - you don't know me, and I'm certain you don't know my parents. I have the ability to make up my own mind. Long live democracy - I'm sure you'll agree with this. Many people still don't understand why people vote for Sinn Féin given their past. I have rural friends who can't understand why anyone would vote Green because of things like bans on stag hunting (I actually agreed with this ban). There are still Civil War divides where FG voters would never vote for FF (and vice versa) under any circumstances. Some people think voting for Independents is a wasted vote. The list goes on...

As I explained in my post - my "rationale" for voting FF is that I have long admired Mary Hanafin and see no candidates in the Dún Laoghaire constituency that inspire me to change (they have the opportunity to knock on my door to persuade me differently). Don't forget the old adage - "All politics is local"! I don't have the answer to over-coming this - I don't sense any appetite in any of the parties for a List system as used in other countries.

"Richard" very kindly responded to my response and was "envious" of the choice of candidates in the Dún Laoghaire constituency.

All comment is welcome on this blog - even if some of it is hard for me to read (I'm always nervous when someone criticizes me, or dislikes what I say/write). The wonder of blogging is that it is very personal - this is my blog and I can say what I want. But in doing that and publishing to the Web, I have to expect that not everybody will agree with my personal comments.

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