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November 2019 by-elections

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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,302 ✭✭✭✭Brendan Bendar


    Good loser wrote: »
    They do too - but only in theory.

    Who were all out against water charges, LPT and now Carbon Taxes?

    The Irish Socialists (oxymorons).

    The old hackneyed story ,Loser, they want everything, but some one else to pay.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so


    hmmm wrote: »
    A poor showing by FG in general. It's difficult to see what the point of them going into the general election is, and I think that's reflected in the apathy towards their candidates. Spending appears largely out of control, there's been a huge expansion in social welfare programs including social housing spending, and taxes haven't been reduced all that much from crisis levels. Leo going on about the people who get up in the morning is all very well as a soundbite, but what has he actually delivered for workers?

    FG should have been capturing the vote of the tens of thousands of newly employed who are not thrilled about paying taxes and receiving low services, but instead nearly all the parties seem to be competing to see who can increase handouts the fastest. That's not a part of the political spectrum that FG can ever win, they could be showering cash on social housing estates from planes and they'd still be described as "right wing" by commentators.
    Hard to make anything out of such appalling turnout figures and bye-elections are notoriously unpredictable. Whether it is apathy at the pointlessness of it or a recognition that the real one is not far away who can tell. From a FG perspective they lost a single seat but hopefully did put to bed any notion that Verona is a suitable candidate. FF too can jettison their undesirable. No voter should have to make electoral choices about such individuals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so


    The old hackneyed story ,Loser, they want everything, but some one else to pay.
    It's the magic central spending beans that will do it all.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 8,472 CMod ✭✭✭✭Sierra Oscar


    I think Fine Gael’s problem is that they’ve been in power for nearly nine years now and there’s a feeling that the Government has lost its sense of energy. There really doesn’t seem to be any major new policies on the horizon and every Minister is just administrating. We all know that there are huge problems in areas such as housing, health and transport but there doesn’t seem to be any new efforts to tackle these problems. All Fine Gael have been able to do is relaunch the same old plans such as Rebuilding Ireland or talk about the HSE annual service plans. They aren’t exactly inspiring much hope or confidence amongst voters.

    This Government has achieved a lot with the likes of the Action Plan for Jobs but that’s all yesterday’s news. The economy is in a different place now and eaten bread is soon forgotten. The same goes for the various referenda that have been held in recent years.

    Varadkar was meant to come in and shake things up as Taoiseach and bring forward some new ideas. However he’s been Taoiseach for nearly 18 months now and we’ve seen nothing but inertia. There was the optics of change for a while but even that has evaporated now and can be traced back to the demise of the Strategic Communications Unit. His failure to really overhaul the cabinet is coming back to haunt him as is his decision to run the same old tired candidates such as James Reilly.

    I think it’s clear Brexit in particular has sapped this Government of all its energy. It really looks like to me that Varadkar had thought a General Election would occur soon after he became Taoiseach, hence all the focus on communications at the beginning of his tenure. He thought the election would occur and then he could have his energetic new Government. Then Brexit got in his way.

    Either way, worrying times for Fine Gael. The voters seem to see the party as stale which is not a good sign. Varadkar has little time to turn things around.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,194 ✭✭✭man98


    is_that_so wrote: »
    From a FG perspective they lost a single seat but hopefully did put to bed any notion that Verona is a suitable candidate. FF too can jettison their undesirable. No voter should have to make electoral choices about such individuals.

    From an FG perspective, Verona Murphy was their best performing candidate in this series of bye elections. Clifford Lee also did quite well. With Charlie Flanagan lining up behind Murphy, it's difficult to see her being dropped now that they've weathered the storm.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,933 ✭✭✭smurgen


    The old hackneyed story ,Loser, they want everything, but some one else to pay.

    I would have no problem paying more tax if we got value for money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,316 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    Talk about getting it spectacularly wrong or not having your finger on the pulse. The eventual winner is almost mentioned as an afterthought.

    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/dublin-midwest-byelection-race-down-to-fgs-higgins-and-extd-gogarty-38737238.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so


    man98 wrote: »
    From an FG perspective, Verona Murphy was their best performing candidate in this series of bye elections. Clifford Lee also did quite well. With Charlie Flanagan lining up behind Murphy, it's difficult to see her being dropped now that they've weathered the storm.
    Doing well in an election where less than 40% of people came out, 25% in the case of Clifford Lee, could be down to the accident of being on the ballot sheet in the first place and merits very little praise.
    I think both parties will look at other options for the GE. They certainly should to improve the quality of the body politic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,456 ✭✭✭beggars_bush


    Talk about getting it spectacularly wrong or not having your finger on the pulse. The eventual winner is almost mentioned as an afterthought.

    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/dublin-midwest-byelection-race-down-to-fgs-higgins-and-extd-gogarty-38737238.html
    But sure it was the same at last European elections

    More or less rules out Ming Flanagan grtting near a seat, and the greens getting a seat out west/midlands/border
    The opposite happened


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so


    But sure it was the same at last European elections

    More or less ruled out Ming Flanagan getting near a seat, and the greens getting a seat out west/midlands/border
    The opposite happened
    In fairness to them, a more normal turnout here might have made their predictions closer to the mark. The Ming thing was off an opinion poll and his team more or less called the actual result from the 1st count.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,456 ✭✭✭beggars_bush


    is_that_so wrote: »
    In fairness to them, a more normal turnout here might have made their predictions closer to the mark. The Ming thing was off an opinion poll and his team more or less called the actual result from the 1st count.

    Yes but the commentary in all media expected him to lose the seat


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so


    Yes but the commentary in all media expected him to lose the seat
    It wasn't quite that dramatic. It suggested he was at risk based on a poll and that she was in with a shout. We saw in polls for both the Euros and locals that Green support was wildly overestimated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,316 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    is_that_so wrote: »
    In fairness to them, a more normal turnout here might have made their predictions closer to the mark. The Ming thing was off an opinion poll and his team more or less called the actual result from the 1st count.

    In 'fairness' though, everybody knew the turnout was going to be low.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so


    In 'fairness' though, everybody knew the turnout was going to be low.
    Not that low. At 40% sure you can hazard a guess but 25%, apart from being a disgrace, could mean any outcome.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,613 ✭✭✭Augme


    is_that_so wrote: »
    It wasn't quite that dramatic. It suggested he was at risk based on a poll and that she was in with a shout. We saw in polls for both the Euros and locals that Green support was wildly overestimated.


    The green support was only over estimated after the exit polls. In all the polls before the election she was given no chance at all. It was funny how it turned out, she actually ended up doing better than expected compared to pre election polls and opinion but worse than the exit poll.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so


    Augme wrote: »
    The green support was only over estimated after the exit polls. In all the polls before the election she was given no chance at all. It was funny how it turned out, she actually ended up doing better than expected compared to pre election polls and opinion but worse than the exit poll.
    No, in the Euro case there was only one poll in advance that suggested she had hope and that he was in for a fight. The exit poll skewed that even more and blew up her support. Polls for the locals had the Green up nearer 8%. Doing better than expected when you're clearly not in the running for a seat is celebrating mediocrity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,319 ✭✭✭✭markodaly


    I think Fine Gael’s problem is that they’ve been in power for nearly nine years now and there’s a feeling that the Government has lost its sense of energy. There really doesn’t seem to be any major new policies on the horizon and every Minister is just administrating. We all know that there are huge problems in areas such as housing, health and transport but there doesn’t seem to be any new efforts to tackle these problems. All Fine Gael have been able to do is relaunch the same old plans such as Rebuilding Ireland or talk about the HSE annual service plans. They aren’t exactly inspiring much hope or confidence amongst voters.

    This Government has achieved a lot with the likes of the Action Plan for Jobs but that’s all yesterday’s news. The economy is in a different place now and eaten bread is soon forgotten. The same goes for the various referenda that have been held in recent years.

    Varadkar was meant to come in and shake things up as Taoiseach and bring forward some new ideas. However he’s been Taoiseach for nearly 18 months now and we’ve seen nothing but inertia. There was the optics of change for a while but even that has evaporated now and can be traced back to the demise of the Strategic Communications Unit. His failure to really overhaul the cabinet is coming back to haunt him as is his decision to run the same old tired candidates such as James Reilly.

    I think it’s clear Brexit in particular has sapped this Government of all its energy. It really looks like to me that Varadkar had thought a General Election would occur soon after he became Taoiseach, hence all the focus on communications at the beginning of his tenure. He thought the election would occur and then he could have his energetic new Government. Then Brexit got in his way.

    Either way, worrying times for Fine Gael. The voters seem to see the party as stale which is not a good sign. Varadkar has little time to turn things around.

    Some valid points there it must be said. FG 9 years in power next year, with a GE on the horizen. Things are always cycicial, no one parties rules for decades at a time.

    Also we must remind ourselves that FG are in a minority coalition of sorts with FF. There is not a whole lot they can do themselves really apart from keeping the show on the road, as any bit of policy has to be rubber-stamped by FF.

    Maybe we the electorate need to rethink our expectations. First of all, after the next GE, there will be a coalition government. It just remains to be seen as who will go into bed with who. It may well be another minority government.
    Therefore, manifestos are almost useless.

    If a party comes to you and says, 'we will solve x problem by doing y' then they are selling you a simple slogan like a snake oiled salesman.
    The big issues like housing and especially health cannot be solved by one party or one minister. It needs cross-party support.

    FG do have time to turn this around. Bye elections are not kind to government parties but a real GE will focus minds and the same questions above will be put before the people.
    Not happy about housing or health, fine but what is YOUR party going to do about it? Sell us a simple slogan or get real with the actual issues?

    Like is FF really going to go hammer and tongs about the HSE, an organisation the current leader set up in the first place?
    I would hope we can have a mature conversation about the complex nature of the issues, but I fear.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,205 ✭✭✭✭hmmm


    markodaly wrote: »
    Like is FF really going to go hammer and tongs about the HSE, an organisation the current leader set up in the first place?
    And is FG going to? No, of course not, or they'd have done it already.

    FG used to be moderately right of centre, people in the upper tax bracket (which is quite low in Ireland) voting for them, fiscally restrained, moderately socially progressive. FF without the blatant cronyism and backwardness basically.

    They are now largely indistinguishable from FF, and they seem to continuously be reacting to the motley crew of left-wing parties and interest groups who are controlling the agenda. They have completely lost their reputation for fiscal restraint, and worse, they don't seem to care.

    Who is standing up and speaking on behalf of the taxpayer in this country? Why are they not representing the moderate right of the political spectrum which appears to be a complete vacuum at the moment?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,319 ✭✭✭✭markodaly


    hmmm wrote: »
    And is FG going to? No, of course not, or they'd have done it already.

    James Reily tried it, but it chewed him up and spat him out. Another minister on the HSE scrapheap. Since then no minister has wisely proclaimed that they had all the answers. Its purely an administrative job, which in fairness what it should be anyway. Slaintecare is apparently the answer, but we will see how that goes but I imagne that we will have TD's who both support it and reject it at the very same time.
    FG used to be moderately right of centre, people in the upper tax bracket (which is quite low in Ireland) voting for them, fiscally restrained, moderately socially progressive. FF without the blatant cronyism and backwardness basically.

    Not sure about low. What is it, 48% on earnings over 34k? But yes, the image is that FG were a bit more idealogical while FF were more populist.

    They are now largely indistinguishable from FF, and they seem to continuously be reacting to the motley crew of left-wing parties and interest groups who are controlling the agenda. They have completely lost their reputation for fiscal restraint, and worse, they don't seem to care.

    I would not really dissagree with you there. But I think Irish people and the electorate are quite 'soft', in that they want change but when it comes to someone like Leo taking the knife to say, the people on the Dole, benefits or some government department, then there are immediately cries of Thatcherism or FG being like the Torys. It is like the ultimate scarlet letter for an Irish politican to be compared to Thatcher.
    It is a reflection on our post colonial nature that we have never shaken off. As if there is never merit to reform and shake up a department or spending. Therefore we muddle along.
    Who is standing up and speaking on behalf of the taxpayer in this country? Why are they not representing the moderate right of the political spectrum which appears to be a complete vacuum at the moment?

    I agree, hardly anyone. But as I mentioned we are a strange bunch. We are on one hand the most self-centered, selfish electorate in europe, lacking civic pride while also simultaneously wearing the badge of being the most caring, charitable and community based electorate. We think of ourselves as the latter, while we are really the former.
    Jekyl and Hyde and it manifests in our public services, our political system and our society.

    We ourselves dont even know what we want, how the hell can our politicans therefore give us what we want. That is why FF are the masters of the dark arts of Irish politics.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,925 ✭✭✭✭BonnieSituation


    When you live in a country where VAT on children's shoes in the 1982 budget is still thrown out as a reason for voting for someone else, you know your not dealing with sensible voting rationale.

    And it's a long time since I've agreed with you Mark, but that's spot on.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,319 ✭✭✭✭markodaly


    John Bruton was finance minister if I recall, but yes, we have an aversion to any perceived 'meanness' but we are OK with various vested interest groups holding the nation hostage which results in 12 hour waits in A&E.

    We can be encapsulated in this sentance, the only Socialists in the world against a property tax are based in Ireland. That is all you need to know about us.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,925 ✭✭✭✭BonnieSituation


    markodaly wrote: »
    John Bruton was finance minister if I recall, but yes, we have an aversion to any perceived 'meanness' but we are OK with various vested interest groups holding the nation hostage which results in 12 hour waits in A&E.

    We can be encapsulated in this sentance, the only Socialists in the world against a property tax are based in Ireland. That is all you need to know about us.

    Yeah it was JB. Either way, imagine still hearing about it in the 00s!

    1977 was more heinous. But oul Jack...

    All you need to know about this country is our approach to public transport and the lack of progress.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,319 ✭✭✭✭markodaly


    Yeah it was JB. Either way, imagine still hearing about it in the 00s!

    1977 was more heinous. But oul Jack...

    All you need to know about this country is our approach to public transport and the lack of progress.

    Yea but you know yourself. People have a human right to keep their front gardens and put a stop to any bus/bike lane. The Bull McCabe lives with us still.

    David McWilliams did a podcast (which is very hit and miss) about this issue about Irish people, in relation to housing. In other countries they have NIMBYs, we have BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything), NIMBYs on crack.

    It so true.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/finian-mcgrath-opposes-385-home-development-in-north-dublin-1.3750505

    There is no point decrying a politican about the above, as its expected a politican will represent its local community. The problem is really us.


    We had Shane Ross, the Transport Minster in public meetings giving 'advice' to people in how to lodge submissions to the NTA to try and stop BusConnects in their area. Says it all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,925 ✭✭✭✭BonnieSituation


    markodaly wrote: »
    Yea but you know yourself. People have a human right to keep their front gardens and put a stop to any bus/bike lane. The Bull McCabe lives with us still.

    David McWilliams did a podcast (which is very hit and miss) about this issue about Irish people, in relation to housing. In other countries they have NIMBYs, we have BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything), NIMBYs on crack.

    It so true.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/finian-mcgrath-opposes-385-home-development-in-north-dublin-1.3750505

    There is no point decrying a politican about the above, as its expected a politican will represent its local community. The problem is really us.


    We had Shane Ross, the Transport Minster in public meetings giving 'advice' to people in how to lodge submissions to the NTA to try and stop BusConnects in their area. Says it all.

    Him and Ross are the pits.

    I had a much longer response that bubbled over and would have likely lead to a ban.


  • Registered Users Posts: 259 ✭✭Liberta Per Gli Ultra


    markodaly wrote: »
    But as I mentioned we are a strange bunch. We are on one hand the most self-centered, selfish electorate in europe, lacking civic pride while also simultaneously wearing the badge of being the most caring, charitable and community based electorate. We think of ourselves as the latter, while we are really the former. Jekyl and Hyde and it manifests in our public services, our political system and our society.

    We ourselves dont even know what we want, how the hell can our politicans therefore give us what we want. That is why FF are the masters of the dark arts of Irish politics.

    It's not that difficult to understand if you can get past the idea of "we". There is no "we". Nationalism tries hard to create a "we", a nice flag and a rousing anthem, but it's a load of bollocks if a certain amount of "we" has a lot of the wealth and influence while the rest has very little. In this scenario, of course you are going to see opposing views, objections and a fractured electorate.
    markodaly wrote: »
    It is like the ultimate scarlet letter for an Irish politican to be compared to Thatcher.
    It is a reflection on our post colonial nature that we have never shaken off. As if there is never merit to reform and shake up a department or spending.

    Who would want to be compared to an evil witch that targeted the most vulnerable and what does empty marketing/corporate speak like "shake up" have to do with government policy?
    markodaly wrote: »
    We ourselves dont even know what we want

    Sinn Féin? They're too busy trying to figure out how to blend ethnic nationalism with democratic socialism. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde.


  • Registered Users Posts: 374 ✭✭NovemberWren


    @Liberta per gli: "who would want to be compared to an evil witch".

    ok. (foot in it here) : - Ch.J.Haughey ?
    I could be completely wrong.... but did he begin the selling of Council and Corp. housing ? i.e. before Mgt. Thatcher?, (who was elected c.1979?).

    Also, saw something recently on tv, that he and mgt.thatcher got along v.amicably.

    might thatcher have copied haughey?

    just sayin', (could be totally wrong here).


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,302 ✭✭✭✭Brendan Bendar


    hmmm wrote: »
    And is FG going to? No, of course not, or they'd have done it already.

    FG used to be moderately right of centre, people in the upper tax bracket (which is quite low in Ireland) voting for them, fiscally restrained, moderately socially progressive. FF without the blatant cronyism and backwardness basically.

    They are now largely indistinguishable from FF, and they seem to continuously be reacting to the motley crew of left-wing parties and interest groups who are controlling the agenda. They have completely lost their reputation for fiscal restraint, and worse, they don't seem to care.

    Who is standing up and speaking on behalf of the taxpayer in this country? Why are they not representing the moderate right of the political spectrum which appears to be a complete vacuum at the moment?


    Answer is .....nobody.

    Let’s just take one unit...the HSE.

    Now perfectly efficient when one gets into the system but that’s not the problem..

    This entity is unmanageable given its current make up..... just go back thorough the ministerial failures one after the other who have not been able to control the health service.

    Just a few names

    Michael Martin
    Mary Harney
    Brian Cowen
    Leo Varadkar
    James Reilly
    Mary Coughlan
    Simon Harris

    Not in chron. order but all with the exception of Mary Harney lasted a very short time in the job and attracted more odium than most other ministeries.


    So..... the only conclusion to garnered, in my opinion, is that all the ministers appointed were pure rubbish, useless, inefficient.....or that the place in its current set up, given the unionization,vested interest , financial constraints is completely unworkable.

    I know which conclusion I come to......... what’s yours.


  • Registered Users Posts: 39,763 ✭✭✭✭Itssoeasy


    Answer is .....nobody.

    Let’s just take one unit...the HSE.

    Now perfectly efficient when one gets into the system but that’s not the problem..

    This entity is unmanageable given its current make up..... just go back thorough the ministerial failures one after the other who have not been able to control the health service.

    Just a few names

    Michael Martin
    Mary Harney
    Brian Cowen
    Leo Varadkar
    James Reilly
    Mary Coughlan
    Simon Harris

    Not in chron. order but all with the exception of Mary Harney lasted a very short time in the job and attracted more odium than most other ministeries.


    So..... the only conclusion to garnered, in my opinion, is that all the ministers appointed were pure rubbish, useless, inefficient.....or that the place in its current set up, given the unionization,vested interest , financial constraints is completely unworkable.

    I know which conclusion I come to......... what’s yours.

    Nice of you to not blame the staff of the HSE in your third line unlike most who don't bother to make that important observation.

    The conclusion is that regardless of which party it is, it's the latter not the former.


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