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Green Party Leadership Contest

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  • 28-06-2020 10:48pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 496 ✭✭


    Any thoughts on the Green's leadership contest?

    My background is that i am a supporter of the greens. I have canvassed for them occasionally, but haven't been an official member in years. I generally give them my #1 vote. I don't have any affiliation with either of the two candidates.

    My thoughts:

    Eamon Ryan stuck with the Greens after the 2011 election when they lost all of their seats. He took on the leadership and built them back up through a huge amount of work. He is a very smart guy with great integrity and vision.

    At times he can seem a little bit too honest or maybe even politically naive.

    I haven't taken much notice of Catherine Martin until recently, but there are a few things that make her seem like an old-style cute hoor politician.

    1. Dynasty.
    Fair enough that her husband is now a TD, as he was actually elected. But putting her brother in as one of the Taoiseach's nominees to the Seanad stinks of nepotism. I see that the official reason is that Vincent P Martin and Roisin Garvey were the two highest polling GE candidates who didn't get elected. But when you stand back, the result is that they have a parliamentary party of 16. If you take away the leader and deputy leader that leaves 14, of which one is the deputy leader's husband and another is her brother. It stinks of Healy-Rae or Trump. It feels like way too much power is concentrated in one person, as she automatically commands the support of almost 20% of the parliamentary party. If she gets the leadership, will it stop at 3? Does she have other extended family who would like jobs? At what point does it cease to be a party with lot of individual contributions and become the Martin Family + others?

    2. Careerism
    It seems incredible that at a time when they hold the balance of power and are negotiating a programme for government, she would be willing to destabilise the party and weaken its position by announcing a leadership challenge. Before the election they had 3 TDs, now they have 12. Where else would the leader be challenged after such a performance. In comparison, FF and FG lost seats and there was no challenge to the leadership. Soc Dems went from 2-6.

    3. Cynical play
    This letter from four councillors begging her to run for the leadership is such BS (https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2020/0520/1139457-green-party-politics/). It is very hard to believe that it wasn't coordinated by her and her family. As if the councillors would send such a letter without first passing it by her? If she has personal ambitions, fair enough, but she should at least own them and not need to pretend that she is only doing it because she has been pushed by a groundswell of support in the party.

    She voted against entering negotiations for government. Then led the negotiations. Then she voted for the Programme for Government but her husband voted against it. It seems like they are trying to manage the membership so that they can claim to be on both sides of the divide and get support from both. I find it hard to view this as anything other than cynical electioneering (within the party).


    Overall I think that Eamon could do with being a bit more cut-throat. I think that Catherine certainly has that instinct. But she is a bit too cynical for my liking and i don't like the idea of one family dominating a small party.

    Any thoughts?


«13

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,801 ✭✭✭Roanmore


    I gave the Greens a vote in the last 2 elections (General and Local / Europe). Not first but not too far down the list.

    I was very surprised with this development, I know it's in their constitution but that doesn't mean people had to act on it.

    I don't always agree with Eamon Ryan but he always seems genuine in what he says. I don't know too much about Catherine Martin, with her being Minister now we may get to know her better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,511 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Wild guess here:

    Martin indicated that she would challenge Ryan with an eye to the possibility that (a) the party might reject the Programme for Government and (b) if it did, Ryan might stand down. She wanted to be in pole position to succeed him in that event, and thought that being the already-declared challenger would position her for this.

    In the event, the party has strongly endorsed the PfG, and Ryan's position is safe. It is most unlikely that he can be unseated in the coming challenge. I expect that either (a) Martin will withdraw, or (b) the challenge will proceed in an extremely chivalrous fashion, with no blood drawn on either side, and Martin knowing that she cannot win.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,874 ✭✭✭Edgware


    Herself, the hubby and her brother are all fixed up nicely for the next 5 years. Now lets see who she appoints as her backroom team.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,656 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    I think it will be a tight contest but she could unseat him yet. Theres a view in the Green party that Ryan is not up to it and is a political liability. His gaffes on us having our salads ready to go and the N word recently in the Dail show this. The Greens got a big boost in membership of mainly young students off the back of the Climate Action protests and this cohort see Ryan as a bit of a village idiot.

    I also just noticed on the 6 news yesterday Martin and Leo chatting outside a door in Leinster House and Ryan approaches them. Varadkar knowing well he was standing right beside him didnt even turn to acknowledge his existence and Martin seemed to say something like yeah Eamon, ill talk to you in a minute. Poor Ryan was left shuffling off and he gave Leo an absolute death stare as he walked off, it was embarrassing for him on national tv. It was just a little snippet but it already shows what the other two leaders think of him.

    Catherine Martin is a shrewd political operator, this is the person who unseated Alan Shatter who thought he was as safe as houses in that constituency. He seemed to think being a Minister and on tv pretty regularly would be enough to get him re-elected but Martin had quietly spent the previous three years before the 2016 election knocking on doors in the constituency and putting in the hard yards.

    Eamon Ryans best claim to the leadership seems to be that he increased the Greens up to 12 seats. However it wasnt his leadership that did that, the increase in their seats is owed more to Greta and the Climate Action protests and FFG foot dragging on green issues than it is owed to anything Eamon Ryan did.


  • Registered Users Posts: 496 ✭✭CarPark2


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    I think it will be a tight contest but she could unseat him yet. Theres a view in the Green party that Ryan is not up to it and is a political liability. His gaffes on us having our salads ready to go and the N word recently in the Dail show this. The Greens got a big boost in membership of mainly young students off the back of the Climate Action protests and this cohort see Ryan as a bit of a village idiot.

    I also just noticed on the 6 news yesterday Martin and Leo chatting outside a door in Leinster House and Ryan approaches them. Varadkar knowing well he was standing right beside him didnt even turn to acknowledge his existence and Martin seemed to say something like yeah Eamon, ill talk to you in a minute. Poor Ryan was left shuffling off and he gave Leo an absolute death stare as he walked off, it was embarrassing for him on national tv. It was just a little snippet but it already shows what the other two leaders think of him.

    Catherine Martin is a shrewd political operator, this is the person who unseated Alan Shatter who thought he was as safe as houses in that constituency. He seemed to think being a Minister and on tv pretty regularly would be enough to get him re-elected but Martin had quietly spent the previous three years before the 2016 election knocking on doors in the constituency and putting in the hard yards.

    Eamon Ryans best claim to the leadership seems to be that he increased the Greens up to 12 seats. However it wasnt his leadership that did that, the increase in their seats is owed more to Greta and the Climate Action protests and FFG foot dragging on green issues than it is owed to anything Eamon Ryan did.

    I think that is a pretty harsh assessment of Eamon Ryan. "best claim to the leadership seems to be that he increased the Greens up to 12 seats" - I would consider that to be a pretty good claim to leadership, considering they went in with 3 seats. It is a bit simplistic to say that it is all owed to the climate action protests. There was a huge job of organisation to get credible candidates on the ground in those constituencies, to have credible policies etc. If they hadn't gained seats, it would rightly be said that he should take responsibility, so when they did gain so much (quadrupled their number of seats), he should get some credit.

    I don't doubt that Martin promotes herself as a de facto leader.

    I found the image below a bit sickening. To anybody who didn't know, you would think that she is the leader and Eamon is one of her advisors.
    The blatant nepotism is also very off-putting. There are only 16 in the parliamentary party, of which 3 are in the same family. That is quite an intense level of power.

    image.jpg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,656 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    I dont think Im being harsh at all. He did all those things in 2016 and returned with two TDs back then and now in 2020 has returned with 12. What happened in the interim was the climate action protests motivating and galvanising a new push behind the Greens and green policy. Green parties in other countries have also benefitted from this, its not unique to Ireland. The climate action protests spurred lots of young student activists to become Green party members and it was those same activists who did the hard yards knocking on doors trying to get Green party candidates elected. Without the ciimate action protests motivating them and the electorate to do something the Greens wouldnt have had the same success in the 2020 election.

    But flip it on its head- what do you feel Eamon Ryan did over the last few years to lead his party from 2 seats to 12? Nothing I can see, he is not a good Dail performer, he was next to useless in the general election debates and could barely get a word in edgeways while standing there with his hand up like a child in a classroom. In fact the main thing I remember him for over the last 2 years was him attempting to rip up well laid plans for the Metrolink and instead divert it south west through his own constituency all in an effort to play the parish pump polician and gain votes. He knew it was never going to happen and he knew it would add 3 billion euro to the bill but he still got his crayons out and went rabble rousing anyway. A Green party leader should be full square behind heavy rail projects but Ryan went out of his way to block and delay it. Thats not leadership, thats betraying party policy for his own selfish benefit.

    Agree with you on Catherine Martin and her family cabaal. Its hard to keep track, I think the husband is a TD and now she has gone and appointed her brother as a senator as well. Is there some connection there to Patrick Costello as well? I know he is married to Hazel Chu who is parliamentary party secretary and just named as Dublin Lord Mayor and Chu is close to Martin. Certainly looks like Martin has a lot of influence within the party.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,809 ✭✭✭blackwhite


    She's as calculating as they come.

    When the PfG talks concluded there was a lot of local polling carried out very quickly in Dublin Rathdown on how people felt about the prospect of the Greens entering Govt.

    There was a reason she didn't make her decision to support the deal public for a few days.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,656 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    I also just noticed on the 6 news yesterday Martin and Leo chatting outside a door in Leinster House and Ryan approaches them. Varadkar knowing well he was standing right beside him didnt even turn to acknowledge his existence and Martin seemed to say something like yeah Eamon, ill talk to you in a minute. Poor Ryan was left shuffling off and he gave Leo an absolute death stare as he walked off, it was embarrassing for him on national tv. It was just a little snippet but it already shows what the other two leaders think of him.

    This is it, 140k views on Twitter so it didnt go unnoticed

    https://twitter.com/EarlofWeird/status/1277653682046337027


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,886 ✭✭✭✭expectationlost


    having a leadership contest after going into gov makes no-sense, other parties have a contest if they didn't get into gov...


  • Registered Users Posts: 496 ✭✭CarPark2


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    This is it, 140k views on Twitter so it didnt go unnoticed

    https://twitter.com/EarlofWeird/status/1277653682046337027

    When you wrote Martin, I thought it was Catherine Martin! I had a totally different expectation of that video.
    Ah well, we’ve all been snubbed at some stage.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,447 ✭✭✭Ivefoundgod


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    I think it will be a tight contest but she could unseat him yet. Theres a view in the Green party that Ryan is not up to it and is a political liability. His gaffes on us having our salads ready to go and the N word recently in the Dail show this. The Greens got a big boost in membership of mainly young students off the back of the Climate Action protests and this cohort see Ryan as a bit of a village idiot.

    I also just noticed on the 6 news yesterday Martin and Leo chatting outside a door in Leinster House and Ryan approaches them. Varadkar knowing well he was standing right beside him didnt even turn to acknowledge his existence and Martin seemed to say something like yeah Eamon, ill talk to you in a minute. Poor Ryan was left shuffling off and he gave Leo an absolute death stare as he walked off, it was embarrassing for him on national tv. It was just a little snippet but it already shows what the other two leaders think of him.

    Sorry but while this was a commonly held opinion about the surge of members from the under 25s the results of the vote from the PfG disprove it fairly comprehensively, there are approximately 360 YGs (as advised by YG chair on twitter on the day of the vote) who had voting rights on the PfG and that figure is unlikely to change much between that vote and the leadership so not a significant enough to have a huge influence on the leadership contest.

    I'm expecting a comfortable enough result for Eamon to be honest, the vote on the PfG proved theres a significant support for him within the membership.

    Also just to add that speculating on a video is a bit silly, nobody knows what actually happened there and while I found that tweet funny I wouldn't go reading anything into it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,511 ✭✭✭beggars_bush


    The green party need a rural based leader for a while.
    It's far too Dublin centred.

    Climate action in Ireland will depend on bringing farmers along and nobody in rural Ireland trusts an urban based party (and I voted green in last two elections).
    They also need policies to help rural communities improve in terms of transport, housing, schools and services.
    E.g. solar panels and retrofitting for schools.

    They need more rural councillors and TDs and the only way to do that is a rural leader imho


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,224 ✭✭✭robman60


    The green party need a rural based leader for a while.
    It's far too Dublin centred.

    Climate action in Ireland will depend on bringing farmers along and nobody in rural Ireland trusts an urban based party (and I voted green in last two elections).
    They also need policies to help rural communities improve in terms of transport, housing, schools and services.
    E.g. solar panels and retrofitting for schools.

    They need more rural councillors and TDs and the only way to do that is a rural leader imho

    I agree, they have no appeal and don't seem out of touch with anything other than urban living. The plans to turn farms into forestry en masse is a good example, and it's not limited to the Greens. They don't seem to appreciate that for a lot of farmers it's more than just a livelihood, it's a way of life.

    Secondly the way they present bike transport is far too urban centred. It's easier to bike from the Dublin suburbs to the city centre than from Belmullet to Castlebar!


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 39,750 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle


    robman60 wrote: »
    I agree, they have no appeal and don't seem out of touch with anything other than urban living. The plans to turn farms into forestry en masse is a good example, and it's not limited to the Greens. They don't seem to appreciate that for a lot of farmers it's more than just a livelihood, it's a way of life.
    They are not trying to stop farming! They are wanting to encourage sustainable agriculture as much as possible.
    robman60 wrote: »
    Secondly the way they present bike transport is far too urban centred. It's easier to bike from the Dublin suburbs to the city centre than from Belmullet to Castlebar!
    What's your point? They are not trying to discourage people driving from Belmullet to Castlebar and get them to cycle that journey instead :rolleyes:


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


    robman60 wrote: »
    I agree, they have no appeal and don't seem out of touch with anything other than urban living. The plans to turn farms into forestry en masse is a good example, and it's not limited to the Greens. They don't seem to appreciate that for a lot of farmers it's more than just a livelihood, it's a way of life.

    Secondly the way they present bike transport is far too urban centred. It's easier to bike from the Dublin suburbs to the city centre than from Belmullet to Castlebar!

    this is it. They see farming as little more than owning land and extracting money , "sure we'll replace the cows with ash trees and give you a grant" is not a policy that goes down well.

    and completely agree on the cycling. The greens have absolutely no incentives here for rural Ireland, just 'like it or lump it's


  • Registered Users Posts: 496 ✭✭CarPark2


    robman60 wrote: »
    I agree, they have no appeal and don't seem out of touch with anything other than urban living. The plans to turn farms into forestry en masse is a good example, and it's not limited to the Greens. They don't seem to appreciate that for a lot of farmers it's more than just a livelihood, it's a way of life.

    Secondly the way they present bike transport is far too urban centred. It's easier to bike from the Dublin suburbs to the city centre than from Belmullet to Castlebar!

    Most party leaders tend to be from large urban centres. In most cases that has been Dublin or its surrounds. Micheal Martin is Cork City. Enda Kenny and Albert Reynolds are the only major party leaders that i can recall being from rural constituencies.
    The Greens are never going to replace FF or FG. They are always going to remain reasonably niche in Ireland, likely fluctuating in seat numbers from election to election. In that case, they need to focus on where they are most likely to win seats. That is in Dublin (where there are a lot of seats in a small geographical area) and major urban centres.


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


    CarPark2 wrote: »
    Enda Kenny and Albert Reynolds are the only major party leaders that i can recall being from rural constituencies.

    There's a few more than that. Brian Cowen (Offaly) and John Bruton (Meath) both came from rural constituencies. By my count, four of our last seven Taoiseagh were from rural constituencies.


  • Registered Users Posts: 496 ✭✭CarPark2


    There's a few more than that. Brian Cowen (Offaly) and John Bruton (Meath) both came from rural constituencies. By my count, four of our last seven Taoiseagh were from rural constituencies.

    Fair enough. You have me on those.
    Albeit that Bruton is from Meath, which could now almost be considered as part of greater Dublin.

    Brian Cowen - one term Taoiseach
    John Bruton - one term Taoiseach
    Albert Reynolds - one term Taoiseach

    Also, in terms of cumulative days as Taoisigh, they are bottom of the pile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Records_of_Irish_heads_of_government_since_1922

    Bertie Ahean (Dublin) - 3 term Taoiseach
    Leo Varadkar (Dublin) - if all goes to plan, he looks to be at least a 2 term Taoiseach
    Haughey (Dublin) - 3 terms
    Fitzgerald (Dublin) - 2 terms

    Rural Taoisigh tend to get savaged by a Dublin-based media. Reynolds was known as the country and western Taoiseach. Cowen was called BIFFO.

    Enda Kenny is the notable exception to all of that. He did benefit from a FF implosion resulting from a massive crisis that everybody blamed on FF.


  • Registered Users Posts: 496 ✭✭CarPark2


    Anyway, i'm not saying that a rural-based leader couldn't be successful (Dick Spring was one of Labour's most successful leaders), but just that the idea that the Greens "need" a rural-based leader is a bit ridiculous. For the Greens, their main voter base is always likely to be urban. With the largest urban population in Dublin, it certainly doesn't seem that they would be disadvantaged by having a Dublin-based leader.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,656 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    Well in Catherine Martin they get the best of both worlds, Dublin based but she was born and bred in Monaghan, as is her husband Vincent.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 496 ✭✭CarPark2


    Muahahaha wrote: »
    Well in Catherine Martin they get the best of both worlds, Dublin based but she was born and bred in Monaghan, as is her husband Vincent.

    .....and her brother, who she has nominated to the Senate. I guess the same will apply to any other random members of her extended family that she manages to get into position! Maybe soon, the entire parliamentary party will have been born and bred in Monaghan.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,656 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    Any ideas who she employs as her parliamentary assistant, is that a family member too?!

    It is quite the family cabaal theyve got going there, it makes for a ready made power base within the party.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,447 ✭✭✭Ivefoundgod


    Vincent Martin is her brother, she is married to Francis Duffy who's a TD in Dublin South West.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,511 ✭✭✭beggars_bush


    As a farmer I'm willing to adapt and change our farming practices
    The green party also need to realign their ideas with what is practicable and feasible for Ireland's small farmers.

    E.g. methane gas capture and energy production. Solar harvesting off shed roof systems.

    And I agree with more forestry, but only native species on inactive or marginal land. And provide a proper income stream for actual rural farmers and not landholding corporation.

    We also need to get our hedgerow systems included in our forestry % for climate action


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,656 ✭✭✭✭Muahahaha


    I think the problem with forestry is that under current rules if a farmer plants trees they can never return that land to grazing or tillage, therefore they devalue their own land. That needs to change.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,435 ✭✭✭Imreoir2


    As a farmer I'm willing to adapt and change our farming practices
    The green party also need to realign their ideas with what is practicable and feasible for Ireland's small farmers.

    E.g. methane gas capture and energy production. Solar harvesting off shed roof systems.

    And I agree with more forestry, but only native species on inactive or marginal land. And provide a proper income stream for actual rural farmers and not landholding corporation.

    We also need to get our hedgerow systems included in our forestry % for climate action


    You should join the party. Green party policy is written by its members. As a farmer, your views/expertise would be given serious consideration.


  • Registered Users Posts: 61 ✭✭CMCXCV


    With everything going on now with the Government being a **** show, The Green Party just can seem to get a break. Eamon Ryan has been the center of the controversy a good bit now. Only two or three weeks ago he used the N word in the Dail. And yesterday he was caught sleeping during it.

    Do you think you are going to lose Voters and will this have a negative impact in your eyes now? Is the Green Party the new Labour Party that will just fade away?


  • Posts: 5,311 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    To my knowledge, the Green Party doesn't have a membership of one. I've given candidates preferences in the past, and it's likely I'll do so in the future provided they're competent. And I wouldn't regard Eamon's actions as scandalous...outrage culture is well in overdrive. To answer both your questions directly: no.


  • Posts: 13,712 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    this is it. They see farming as little more than owning land and extracting money , "sure we'll replace the cows with ash trees and give you a grant" is not a policy that goes down well.

    and completely agree on the cycling. The greens have absolutely no incentives here for rural Ireland, just 'like it or lump it's

    The bigger problem is when people look at farmers as one congruous sector.

    The Green Party's Minister of State for Agriculture farms 200 acres.

    My brother is a farmer who votes green, we're not organic, it would be classed as intensive farming.

    Lots of farmers under 40 have gone up through the ag colleges or would have done Ag Science in UCD, and are more than aware of the biodiversity and sustainability challenges that few other parties have been willing to engage with. I think you might have an idea in your head of an older, more traditional type of farmer who is fixed against reform. That's a real, but diminishing constituency. It's been clear for years that those guys are on the way out.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,435 ✭✭✭Imreoir2


    CMCXCV wrote: »
    With everything going on now with the Government being a **** show, The Green Party just can seem to get a break. Eamon Ryan has been the center of the controversy a good bit now. Only two or three weeks ago he used the N word in the Dail. And yesterday he was caught sleeping during it.

    Do you think you are going to lose Voters and will this have a negative impact in your eyes now? Is the Green Party the new Labour Party that will just fade away?

    Eamon has a tendancy to become a story at inopportune times, though this latest case is a complete non-story if you ask me. Just the Shinner outrage machine pumping out their usual dose of FB images trying to sling mud at everyone else. The man is trying to run a government department and win a leadership contest, he is up the walls right now, give him a break. It will be something else next week and everyone will agree that they don't really give a toss about that time Eamon Ryan fell asleep in the Dáil.

    If a single voter (except you :D) mentions this on the doorstep during the next election, I will give you a biscuit.


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