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Where are the conservatives in Ireland?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,611 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    Would a big part of the conservative demographic be made up of the older generation here?
    Tim Poole had an interesting take on the censorship of conservative views on the various social media platforms in that your typical American conservatives are made up of older generations who get their news from TV and Newspapers whereas the younger generations all use Facebook Twitter YouTube for their news feeds. But if conservative voices are being silenced on these platforms then potentially their ability to influence the US elections and elsewhere will increase in years to come.

    I think what we've seen is that the conservative wing has proven itself to be more competent at adapting to the new platform which is social media. See Trump and Brexit for examples of this.
    Whether or not they are doing so in a legal manner is very much debatable.

    That is the biggest risk of the digital world, the lack of transparency in the voices behind the message.

    Already, Farage's new party is showing itself to be better at getting it's message out there in the UK while not disclosing who is funding the parties activities in this space.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,778 ✭✭✭✭briany


    I don't think it's enough to ask why there is a dearth of conservative people in Ireland. A better question would be to ask where the conservatives are on an issue-by-issue basis.

    I think a big reason why we're seeing a resurgence of the right and/or self-described conservatives throughout the western world is because there's a bit of a war going on for what I would call societal orthodoxy. Interestingly, I think this is a pushback to something capitalistic forces helped create, i.e. the rise of individualism powered by advertising, as one example, and the disparity in incomes around the world being another.

    So the result is that a lot of communally-held values feel like they've been thrown up in the air, as the number of different lifestyles and life choices being deemed permissible skyrockets. The result is that some people feel lost, confused or even angered by this, especially as the Internet has allowed so many people to communicate and for at least some of those people to agree that they feel like values of the past were more definite and sensible. So this has led a lot of folk in the west to try and assert the boundaries of what is OK. In short, a backlash to what some feel has been an overly permissive society.

    From the resurgence of things like neo-nationalism, to fat-shaming, to anti-feminism, to racism, and to the red-pills and all that other stuff, I think it's all spokes on the same wheel.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 886 ✭✭✭Anteayer


    I think trying to view Ireland and our political system through the lens of US or even UK left vs right is a bit of a fruitless and futile exercise.

    There are huge differences in political culture here, in part because of how the parties originated and more so because of the unusually open form of PR voting we use.

    I think we sometimes don't realise quite how unusual that system is and the fact that it does deliver a type of democracy that most countries simply don't have. Even in continental countries where PR is also used, it's typically based on party lists, ours is entirely open preference voting - giving huge scope to voters to shape the Dáil.

    It is increasingly creating a consensus-buiding type of politics.

    As the old civil war FF vs FG mentality has also faded, you're seeing that system very much come into its own with a more diverse parliament.

    We also don't have historical heavy industry base and a long history of a divide between labour and capital, as would have been the case in the majority of European countries and in the US and Canada, so we've never really had a very hard left vs right divide on socio-economic issues.

    That's possibly why the Labour Party never developed to the extent that others did around Europe. Most Irish political parties are pragmatically picking policies that could be considered centre left and centre right when it comes to economics.

    If you look at FF and FG, economically they're probably more akin to the French Gaullists than they are to British conservatives. They can be quite pro business, but at the same time they're not going to go around on Tory or US Republican style slash and burn policies when it comes to welfare or social services. I know we like to portray FG as Tory-leaning, but in reality they aren't and I don't think there's a public appetite here for hard cuts to welfare, you can see that in any survey or election - there's a constant demand for better public services etc.

    Then when it comes to social conservatism, the main protagonist in that was always the Catholic Church acting almost as an arm of the state in some kind of weird form of religious corporatism for most of the middle 20th century. I think the result of that has been the public has learnt some hard lessons about what social conservatism actually is and what taking it to the extremes can do.

    I would doubt there's a family in Ireland who weren't in some way hurt by some aspect of that horrific period - broken marriages leading to forced exile due to no divorce, enormous families that people couldn't raise due to lack of contraception, contact with institutions of social control / oppression like Magdalene laundries, industrial schools, etc etc., then dark oppression for single parents, LGBT people or anyone who stepped outside the conservative rules. Even those who weren't directly impacted knew someone who was or felt the fear of it and those born after that era feel it in their cultural history and either seem to have a sense of anger or shame about the past.

    So, I think in a way Ireland may have reached peak conservatism decades ago and learnt some very hard lessons about what it is. I suspect that's a huge part of why attitudes changed and why you're not seeing any desire to go back to that kind of society.

    In a way, Ireland's also running maybe 20+ years later than the US and most of continental Europe. We had our 1960s/70s in the 90s and 2000s. I think in many cases some of those countries have forgotten the battles that were fought in the mid 20th century to establish those rights and how grim life was under cold conservative societies.

    On top of that, we've a relatively young and well educated demographic, so it's inevitable that you'll have more openminded views here than in some of our peer countries.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,967 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    Sadly Ireland has no right , in the sense of financial conservatism. Unfortunately often any attempt to start a party or movement like that gets bogged down when a candidate gets too vocal on a divisive social issue like abortion.


    You remember the PDs, right? Financially conservative with liberal social values. They crashed out.

    Jim2007 wrote: »
    You might want to try studying the economics of the Thatcher years and get back to us with evidence of how she rewarded hard work....

    Thatcher's legacy is the she oversaw the dismantling of British industry and as a result the UK has not produced a positive balance on trade in over 30 years. Vast parts of the country has been decimated as a result of her policies, that is how much she rewarded the hardworking citizens of her country.


    It's not just that she decimated the country. She divided the country, between the prosperous professional south east and the remaining areas that relied on manufacturing and agriculture - complete and utter division that we're still seeing today, a generation later, that went on to facilitate Brexit through the need to find someone to blame for the damage done.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 840 ✭✭✭The Late Late Show


    I get a feeling too that a lot of so-called 'conservatives' are more like radicals. Groups like Identity Ireland and the National Party are very much 'The Handmaid's Tale' type 'Sons of Jacob' politicults I know of. These should not be lumped together as conservatives. They are racists, anarchists and Nazi types. The Tea Party in America morphed from an anti bank bailout group to a much more racist and warmongering type of group.

    Hate groups and racism groups are not either right or left, or conservative or liberal. I see the extreme and irrational hatred Tea Party types have of Iran, a country they actually know next to nothing about, as not all that different to the types of anti-British chants you hear at Wolfe Tones concerts and the like.

    I have met some hardcore people who consider themselves liberal, left and pro-IRA who talk about equality for all and speak of their support for gay rights, the need for an end to American reactionary imperialism, etc. (and I agree 100% with them) but when you get them started on the British, they sound just like the American imperialists they hate. Just exchange Iran with the UK. I think all this hate is something that is not needed and it is what is ruining every ideology.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,356 ✭✭✭✭rossie1977


    I don't think in the history of mankind there has ever been a party, conservative or otherwise as you describe.
    The US has the Republicans, who will say they have such 'values' but have shown to be fake.

    There is a place where he describes. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,280 ✭✭✭✭Eric Cartman


    Ireland has a conservative element.

    62% voted for same sex marriage, indicating 38% who were not in favour.
    66% voted to repeal the 8th, indicating 34% who were not in favour.
    While I obviously do not have definitive proof, I would not be surprised if the people who voted against each referendum were from the same group.

    By this rational, you could argue that circa 35% of people in Ireland are still somewhat conservative.

    We are becoming more liberal in a democratic society and so the results of such votes lead to some saying their is no conservatism, or their voices are always shouted down. That is not the case. We are still lukcy enough to live in an open engaged country with lots of public conversation and frequent elections at every level. There is a conservative element in Ireland, it is just being outnumbered currently.

    I think youll find that those percentages of ‘no votes’ on those specific issues align more with a more staunch belief in catholacism and islam rather than a political leaning, strong religious belief is more prevalent in poorer communities due to lower education levels.

    You would have many cases where people in working class communities would vote SF/AAA/PbP for a ‘free house’ yet believe what the priest tells them about ‘de queers’ and ‘baby murder’


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,611 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    I think youll find that those percentages of ‘no votes’ on those specific issues align more with a more staunch belief in catholacism and islam rather than a political leaning, strong religious belief is more prevalent in poorer communities due to lower education levels.

    You would have many cases where people in working class communities would vote SF/AAA/PbP for a ‘free house’ yet believe what the priest tells them about ‘de queers’ and ‘baby murder’

    :confused::confused::confused:

    Don't think there is any evidence to support this statement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,777 ✭✭✭✭gmisk


    You would have many cases where people in working class communities would vote SF/AAA/PbP for a ‘free house’ yet believe what the priest tells them about ‘de queers’ and ‘baby murder’
    I am sorry but this sounds like complete and absolute rubbish to me.
    Some of the traditionally "working class" areas in Dublin for example voted overwhelmingly yes in the marriage equality referendum.

    Edit see example below
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/working-class-areas-embracing-change-faster-campaigners-claim-1.2224352
    In socially disadvantaged areas of Dublin Darndale, tallies indicated an 80 per cent Yes. In Coolock it was 88 per cent.

    On the southside, tallies suggested the Liberties voted 88 per cent Yes, Cherry Orchard 90 per cent and Ballyfermot 85 per cent.

    In Jobstown, where the Tánaiste, Joan Burton faced the wrath of anti-water charges protestors in November, the Yes margin was reportedly 87 per cent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,386 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    You would have many cases where people in working class communities would vote SF/AAA/PbP for a ‘free house’ yet believe what the priest tells them about ‘de queers’ and ‘baby murder’


    Free house?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,356 ✭✭✭✭rossie1977


    I really think people need to edcuate themselves on the massive difference between theocratic religious control and influence over a society and political conservatism / financially conservative right wing politics.

    You can have plenty of right wing parties that in no way infringe on womens rights as you can equally have left wing authoritarianism subjugate women.

    Once you start moving further and further from the centre extreme politics takes over whether right or left.

    I can't think of any mainstream party who identify as 'right wing' (not talking Tories or CD in Germany here) who aren't dominated by social conservative politics above most other things. The Republicans in the US have been moving further and further to the right since the 1990s. It's pretty obvious given the chance and certainly without Roe vs Wade (which they try to chip away at all the time) they would greatly infringe on women's rights. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are the only Republican pro choice senators currently in government.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,280 ✭✭✭✭Eric Cartman


    :confused::confused::confused:

    Don't think there is any evidence to support this statement.

    https://thehumanist.com/news/national/why-are-the-poor-more-religious

    Poor people are more likely to be religious, its a well recognised corrolation.

    The votes against those two specific social issues are ultimately steeped in catholic and islamic fundamentalism.

    You have an argument here trying to conflate the no votes in those referendums with financial conservatism / a desire for immigration restriction and other ‘conservative’ values when the reality is a venn diagram with little crossover.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,611 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    https://thehumanist.com/news/national/why-are-the-poor-more-religious

    Poor people are more likely to be religious, its a well recognised corrolation.

    The votes against those two specific social issues are ultimately steeped in catholic and islamic fundamentalism.

    You have an argument here trying to conflate the no votes in those referendums with financial conservatism / a desire for immigration restriction and other ‘conservative’ values when the reality is a venn diagram with little crossover.

    That's a fairly tenuous link.

    A, it is an article from a humanist organisation.
    B, it relates to America.
    C, it uses google search words as an indicator for religious affiliation.

    The highest No vote in the repeal referendum came from largely rural areas.

    image.png

    I would expect that conservative views within this area would extend to migration and financial viewpoints. There may not be a Venn diagram, it might be more a case of a single circle.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,270 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    :confused::confused::confused:

    Don't think there is any evidence to support this statement.

    There is evidence to contradict it in fact. The majority of no voters in both elections were in rural constituencies.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 21,270 Mod ✭✭✭✭Brian?


    https://thehumanist.com/news/national/why-are-the-poor-more-religious

    Poor people are more likely to be religious, its a well recognised corrolation.

    The votes against those two specific social issues are ultimately steeped in catholic and islamic fundamentalism.

    You have an argument here trying to conflate the no votes in those referendums with financial conservatism / a desire for immigration restriction and other ‘conservative’ values when the reality is a venn diagram with little crossover.

    Why are you bringing Islam into this? The Islamic population is tiny in Ireland.

    People in council estates voted overwhelmingly yes in both referendums, the numbers have already been posted. You’re getting nowhere with this one, have some sense.

    they/them/theirs


    And so on, and so on …. - Slavoj Žižek




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 886 ✭✭✭Anteayer


    The geographical spread on that referendum are basically just matching urban vs rural. You'll always get more open minded points of view about those kinds of topics in urban areas because of density of population - and demographics (age, educational level, social mobility and so on).

    While it's not always the case, in general rural areas tend to lag behind urban areas on social progress. It's not anything unique to Ireland and it's not new.

    Donegal is also somewhat more influenced by Northern Ireland than it is by the Republic on social issues sometimes. I've noticed that quite a lot with relatives of mine up there. They're very much in a bubble on some issues that can be more like predominantly catholic and rural parts of NI than the rest of the Republic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,280 ✭✭✭✭Eric Cartman


    Brian? wrote: »
    Why are you bringing Islam into this? The Islamic population is tiny in Ireland.

    People in council estates voted overwhelmingly yes in both referendums, the numbers have already been posted. You’re getting nowhere with this one, have some sense.

    People in dublin voted overwhelmingly for yes, in rural ireland with lower average incomes and higher rates of religious beliefs voted no, those same people often bote for parties like sf promising free things.

    My whole argument is to dismiss the conflation of roght wing politics with these social issues.

    Youll find tonnes of people in this country who hold right wing views who voted yes in both, but youll find very few who voted no who wont proudly declare their belief in organised religion


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,801 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    People in dublin voted overwhelmingly for yes, in rural ireland with lower average incomes and higher rates of religious beliefs voted no, those same people often bote for parties like sf promising free things.

    My whole argument is to dismiss the conflation of roght wing politics with these social issues.

    ...instead conflating "urban" with "wealthy" and "rural" with "poor", which is an incredibly specious argument.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,280 ✭✭✭✭Eric Cartman


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    ...instead conflating "urban" with "wealthy" and "rural" with "poor", which is an incredibly specious argument.

    Donegal has some of the highest no vote record on social issues , it has some of the highest unemployment and welfare dependancy figures, is one of the highest ‘declared catholic’ counties on the census and they perpetually vote for the shinners and anyone else that offers the free stuff.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,013 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Donegal has some of the highest no vote record on social issues , it has some of the highest unemployment and welfare dependancy figures, is one of the highest ‘declared catholic’ counties on the census and they perpetually vote for the shinners and anyone else that offers the free stuff.

    Might they have some geographical reasoning?
    Do you think the majority vote for 'the greater good' over and above their own wants and needs? I don't think so, sadly.


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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Mod Note

    Several posts have been deleted. If you think someone is a troll, a sock puppet, a bot, or involved in any way in a coordinated campaign, please report their posts and the mods will take a look at them. Don't raise it on thread.

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,966 ✭✭✭laoch na mona


    Renua would be the out and out social conservatives, Aontu (Peadar tobins new party) is socially conservative as well

    Fine Gael are fiscally conservative and would be more socially conservative (aside from repeal and gay marriage)

    Fianna Fáil are basically as conservative as Fine Gael

    Irish politics is dominated by the right and aside from so weak support for gay marriage and repeal both FF & FG are conservative parties


  • Posts: 5,917 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    I think youll find that those percentages of ‘no votes’ on those specific issues align more with a more staunch belief in catholacism and islam rather than a political leaning, strong religious belief is more prevalent in poorer communities due to lower education levels.

    You would have many cases where people in working class communities would vote SF/AAA/PbP for a ‘free house’ yet believe what the priest tells them about ‘de queers’ and ‘baby murder’

    Some Muslim clerics came out in support of repeal of the 8th
    https://www.irishpost.com/news/leading-muslim-cleric-comes-support-repealing-irelands-abortion-laws-150412

    Now I know you normally get your knickers in a twist about Muslims and the poor but do you have any evidence to show that the majority of them voted no.

    Donegal may be a"poor" country but they voted for ssm.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,013 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    Renua would be the out and out social conservatives, Aontu (Peadar tobins new party) is socially conservative as well

    Fine Gael are fiscally conservative and would be more socially conservative (aside from repeal and gay marriage)

    Fianna Fáil are basically as conservative as Fine Gael

    Irish politics is dominated by the right and aside from so weak support for gay marriage and repeal both FF & FG are conservative parties

    I don't believe FG are fiscally conservative. Putting business first or often wasting tax monies in support of business is less fiscally conservative than value for money while serving society and the tax payer. Sometimes serving the public and value for tax monies can be the same thing. The idea that social schemes are throwing money down a hole needs to be reevaluated by some.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,966 ✭✭✭laoch na mona


    I don't believe FG are fiscally conservative. Putting business first or wasting tax monies in support of business is probably less fiscally conservative than value for money while serving society and the tax payer.

    their economic policy is based of Thatcherism but with more corruption. they're clearly to the right economically, close enough to the brit tories


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,841 ✭✭✭Squatter


    Might they have some geographical reasoning?
    Do you think the majority vote for 'the greater good' over and above their own wants and needs? I don't think so, sadly.

    I tried it once! Decided to save the planet so gave Trevor Sargent my no. 1 - no sooner had I done so than the bugger signed up to serve in a Bertie Ahern/Mary Harney led government!

    My conclusion was that seeing as Trev had put his own self-interest ahead of saving the planet, then so could I!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,013 ✭✭✭✭James Brown


    their economic policy is based of Thatcherism but with more corruption. there clearly to the right economically, close enough to the brit tories

    Agreed. As with Thatcher, sacrificing sections of society for the enrichment of a few private concerns costs society and the tax payer. That's the only 'trickle down' economics at play.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,236 ✭✭✭mcmoustache


    their economic policy is based of Thatcherism but with more corruption. there clearly to the right economically, close enough to the brit tories

    Yeah but the OP isn't interested in conservatism. He's looking for a reactionary right wing party but he has fallen, as many others here have including some who should know better, for the scam that loony conspiracy theorists are what mainstream conservatism is about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,966 ✭✭✭laoch na mona


    Yeah but the OP isn't interested in conservatism. He's looking for a reactionary right wing party but he has fallen, as many others here have including some who should know better, for the scam that loony conspiracy theorists are what mainstream conservatism is about.

    yes by conservative he means far right, it would be better if the far right just openly called themselves far right


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,801 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    Irish politics is dominated by the right...

    Left-wing people think so, yes. Right-wing people think it's dominated by the left.

    I don't think you could find a more "dominated by the centre" country than Ireland no matter how hard you tried.


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