Sampling opinion

Two polls have been published today, one in the Sunday Business Post, a telephone canvass of 1,000 voters in the south shows 45% of those responding would be happy to accept Sinn Féin in coalition government and a similar number are now more likely to vote for the party..

“What today’s figures show is that the party (SF) is eliminating the “transfer repellency’‘ outside the party’s core base of supporters. If this is carried into a general election – even on 10 per cent of the vote – it will return many more Sinn Féin TDs.”

The other, in the Sunday Independent, surveys reaction of 50 TDs on the call to give elected reps from the north a voice in the Dáil. The Sunday Independent finds, to it’s horror I’m sure, almost 50% in favour of some form of representation at this early stage.

“But almost half surveyed said they would be in favour of Northern MPs contributing to Oireachtas committees, and even possibly engaging in Seanad sessions.”

  • Crow

    Does anyone know what the SDLP’s position on Dail speaking rights? I haven’t seen any public comment from them since the story resurfaced.

  • irishman

    Surely a case of a poll back firing? The Indo clique have tried to build up a head of steam against this proposal- to no avail, as it appears.

    Once again the Indo-unionist agenda would appear to be fighting a losing battle. Don’t worry lads, there’ll be plenty of more battles to come…

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Does anyone know what the SDLP’s position on Dail speaking rights?”

    The sdlp supports speaking rights in the Dáil

  • Jimmy_Sands

    That’s a fairly heavy spin on the second article there. The article makes it clear that as far as the TDs are concerned, the proposal is marginally less popular than foot and mouth.

    More hopeful from the SF point of view is the first article. Of course the real test will be whether this bounce is maintained after the next bank job/”pub brawl”.

  • Anonymous

    Is this not the formal position?

    “The Committee states its belief that the establishment of a North/South Joint Parliamentary Forum, to bring together representatives of the Oireachtas and of the Northern Ireland Assembly, as well as the establishment of an independent consultative forum appointed by the Administrations, representative of civil society, both of which are proposed in the Good Friday Agreement, could make a major contribution to dialogue and mutual understanding between North and South. The Government fully share this view and would wish to see early progress achieved in these areas.

    I share the Committee’s view that it could be particularly valuable from time to time to have the expertise, experience and insight of politicians from Northern Ireland in appropriate debates in the Oireachtas. The Government therefore support the making of the necessary procedural arrangements to allow MPs elected for Northern Ireland constituencies to speak in periodic debates on Northern Ireland matters and on the operation of the Good Friday Agreement, as envisaged by the Committee, and will seek the assistance of other parties in the Dáil to bring this about as soon as practicable.

    The Committee rightly points to the valuable precedent established by the contributions of past and present Senators from the North in the Seanad. I fully agree that it would be valuable to extend and to formalise this existing practice. The Committee brings forward a range of options, some of which would require amendment of the Constitution. These deserve careful consideration and we will be seeking to move forward on the basis of the maximum political consensus to achieve an outcome that will provide, as soon as practicable, for a permanent presence from Northern Ireland in the Seanad.

    The Committee also suggests, in the context of an enlarged role in the scrutiny of EU business envisaged for the Seanad, that consideration could be given to allowing MEPs elected in the state and Northern Ireland to speak in periodic debates on EU matters. The Government support the taking of the necessary procedural steps that would facilitate such an initiative”.

    -Bertie Ahern statement after the report of All-Party Committee on the Constitution – Northern Ireland Aspects.

  • Jimmy_Sands

    It was. He appears to have cooled a little since then.

  • Fanny

    Love that term ‘Indo-unionist agenda’. Gotta love the way a mere newspaper winds up those Shinners.

  • Jo

    George:
    I think this flies in the face of your perception (on another thread) that that there was deeprooted and widespread antipathy to SF in power in the south?

    I’d be interested to hear your views?

  • George

    Jo,
    it’s an opinion poll, a snapshot in time, and I don’t know how the question was put but half of the 45% agree strongly with the prospect; the other half agree slightly, while 55% don’t agree.

    I still think there is a widespread antipathy towards SF in power and can’t see the party being an acceptable coalition partner for any party as long as the IRA is a proscribed organisation here or until SF has disavowed itself of them totally -for example by fully supporting, in word and deed, all efforts to crush the “relcatricant remnants” of the organisation in the Irish Republic. If it turns out to be more than “remnants” then supporting crushing the whole lot.

    There’s a difference between a potential voter saying yes to a telephone poll and a party like FF putting their reputation with the electorate on the line by saying they would go into coalition with SF.

    I will gladly wager that before the next Dail election, FF, FG, the Greens and Labour will all come out and say they won’t go into coalition with SF. Throw in most if not all the independents too. In other words, the entire Irish body politic.

    Basically, The IRA don’t recognise Dail Eireann, the parliament of the Irish people, and the elected representatives of that parliament won’t let SF into power until it disavows itself of that organisation or the IRA disavows itself of the notion that it is Oglaigh na hEireann.

    Simple as that.

  • Martin

    Sinn fein should have nothing whatsoever to do with Fianna Fraud in government and should state so in public.

  • JD

    Last weeks IRA statement has not only shifted the ground beneath unionism but it is also posing serious problems for the entire southern establishment. Sinn Feins political opponents and elements in the media need the IRA bogey man as much as the DUP does, otherwise the arguments about resisting the change required in Irish society become exposed.

    On the back of the IRA initiative Sinn Fein is in the driving seat and is now a serious player in Irish political life like never before. The political landscape in the twenty-six counties is beginning to change, and this scares the bejesus out of a political and media establishment that has got very comfortable in the unequal nature of modern Irish society. Change is coming, they may not like it, but it is coming.

  • Jo

    George:

    Thats fair enough, as you say, hard to know what people were *agreeing* with when they were questioned.

    Still, some time to go yet before the next election – spring 2006?

  • Jo

    George:

    Thats fair enough, as you say, hard to know what people were *agreeing* with when they were questioned.

    Still, some time to go yet before the next election – spring 2007?

  • George

    JD,
    the political landscape in the Irish Republic has been changing non-stop for the last 20 years if not 40.

    Hell, I was called a heathen for helping put up pro-divorce posters not so long ago and the Condom train was back in the 70s.

    However, one thing has remained constant throughout. No party that refused to accept the Irish Defence Forces as the only true Oglaigh na hEireann or even equivicated on the matter ever made it into government.

    I don’t doubt for an instant that many in the south would welcome SF into the fold so to speak, even if it meant radical change, but not at the cost of risking Irish democracy.

    SF have mobilised people down south who have found or thought themselves disenfranchised out of despair, dissillusionment, poverty, inequality, defeatism, fear, resentment, and apathy.

    They now want in in no small part to Sinn Fein engaging them on the ground, which is great for this country and island, but they will only get in if the guns are left at the door, so to speak.

    Jo,
    election in 2006 or 2007. Heard something about a constitutional on redrawing boundaries so it might have to be 2006 although government can go to 2007.

  • 9countyprovience

    I’ve heard some of SF’s kokey ideas for corporate tax and the like. After this honeymoon period is over and the feel-good factor of peace in our time, people will start to listen to their policies. With the dawn of the age of the Celtic Tiger, every Irishman keeps a keen eye on his pocket (not just Cavan Men, of which I’m one) and how the business side of things are run. SF are too marxist for their own good. They will try and rock a boat that has steered us successfully to having the 2nd biggest GDP in europe.

    The political landscape is changing as always. Parties won’t be split along the old political divide created around the time of the civil war, but rather along the social divide of the ‘have’ and ‘have nots’. We will see a greater representation of the left in Irish politics as we become more successful, and I believe SF will fill this role as the party for the poor. But most of the population are centre right, and will remain so for as long as we have claws.