I don't think I've read one pro Government blog for so long in the election run-up. It's far cooler to be anti-establishment. But I'm brave. Forget all the silly media hype of scoring on individual events, who-said-what and Bertie's modest personal transactions etc. Here's the real deal...
The current Government is a coalition. It works well and has been stable for so long because FF and PDs have similar ideologies and the PDs are of course an original FF offshoot. Plus the PDs are very small but make a useful contribution. There is much hype about McDowell. He has arguably an irritating personality - but by golly he is the best Minister for Justice I can recall in my lifetime. Exactly the right decisive man for the job.
We have largely forgotten about how bad coalitions can normally be. FG+Labour+Greens is quite a bizarre cocktail of ideologies and has a high chance of failure when difficult choices come about. It may not always be apparent at the top table but you can be sure that grass roots in the respective parties will cause hell when it gets hot on policy implementations.
I don't trust this inexperienced Rainbow coalition to do any better on health or spending. It's much more likely they will squabble and argue and waste more time and money. Much of the problem in health is in sorting efficiencies in hospital management, sorting out consultants, increasing services and improving and balancing public and private care. It's certainly not to do with shortage of funding. The Government have a plan in place, it's slow and difficult but it is making progress. Do we really want to tear it all up and start again with a new government of very mixed colours? Can't you imagine FG and Labour arguing over private/public? Not apparent now? Everything sounds rosy when your just talking from the sidelines. Just wait to see them in Government making real and tough decisions.
The bottom line is I like stable democratic Government (which we have taken for granted in the last ten years) - the Rainbow simply don't convince me that they have the ideologies or experience to achieve this.
I wrote this before lastnight's Ahern-Kenny debate. I thought I'd hold back posting just in case I learned something interesting from it. All I learned was that Kenny sounded loud but inexperienced and full of individual anecdotal cases, but Ahern had all the big answers. In theory it's easier for opposition to attack the sitting tenants. This didn't happen - Kenny had his figures muddled - got worse as the debate went on - and just fired out good sounding individual cases when he was being cornered. He couldn't even be clear on economic figures nor be consistent on his Justice spokesman's figures. Can't you imagine how more muddled Kenny would be with Labour and the Greens at his side? Kenny isn't a bad politician but he and his party are still lightweights. Until they get much bigger with better players and can stand a good chance in Government without far left wing parties support, they simply don't have my vote. We may perceive that there are problems in the country now - I sure as hell don't want them getting worse.