Author Archive | Dan Sullivan

No FG/Lab majority in the next Seanad

Amongst all the fallout from the recent local elections in the republic one that has gone somewhat unheralded (just as the same effect was largely missed in 2009 for the FF/Greens) is the impact that the results have on future collation building after the next general election. While the task of assembly the numbers to more…

How to run a PR top up system with multi-seat constituencies

How to run a PR top up system with multi-seat constituencies

The point of multi seat constituencies is to provide the electorate with a choice not alone of party but of personnel. It is in effect a nascent instant primary system. However political parties don’t see it like that and tend towards running the minimal slate of candidates because they are currently fearful of using it as such more…

What is the contest in Fine Gael about.

What is the contest in Fine Gael about.

The contest in FG is not urban or rural as Elaine Byrne suggested but between the politics of “what” and “how” as compared with the politics of “who, and where and when”. There is not inconsiderable number in Irish politics across the party divide for whom the intoning of the party name is the answer more…

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What are the prospects for a smooth change in FG?

I suspect that it is obvious at this point that the possibility of a change at the top of FG has increased in the last 48 hours and I suspect, despite the way things are being played in the media, the likelihood of this change over being a smooth and relatively bloodless one has increased too. more…

John McGuiness may have fired starting gun on FF Leadership heave

Speaking on KCLR (Kilkenny-Carlow Local Radio) this morning John McGuiness TD (FF) spoke of the weak leadership of Brian Cowen, that he needed to move beyond tribalism and called on him to “consider his position”. All sorts of rumours floating about as to how many other FF TDs would join a heave as opposed to more…

Killian Forde and the Moguls of Irish politics

Killian Forde and the Moguls of Irish politics

The departure/defection/eloping of Cllr Killian Forde from Sinn Fein to the Labour party appears to be causing considerably more discussion that the earlier leavings of Christy Burke or Louise Minihan. While this is perhaps because he has left and joined another party, it is also possibly because it was more about policy and the party’s more…

The Program for Government: a possible mandate for a gerrymander?

An interesting constitutional problem, thrown up by the outcome of the local elections, which has not as yet been covered in the mainstream media is that no government comprised of FF and any likely set of partners can now to command a majority in the Seanad after the next general election. Even if they were more…

New Poll numbers make grim reading for Irish Government

New Poll numbers make grim reading for Irish Government

The new MRBI poll numbers to be reported in tomorrow’s Irish times make for truly awful reading for the government and An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen. After the summer period when traditionally FF numbers have tended to go up with the Oireachtas not sitting and the absence of real new, this makes the drop which goes more…

FG – Manama

It is interesting that some folks are caught up with the notion that it’s either NAMA or nothing or that the opposition don’t have any ideas of their own. People might not agree with what the opposition are offering but that doesn’t mean they aren’t offering anything. Labour are talking nationalisation, if temporarily, SF and more…

Where do we go from here?

It will take some time for people to digest the full consequences of yesterday’s budget. And once they’ve got their heads around that they have to remember that there are at least 2/3 budgets more like this to come. The big headlines are the tax hikes and the bad bank proposals. But there are other more…

Lenihan’s winks will be as important as his nods

Lenihan has a couple of jobs to do today the main two are the economic one and the other political. The economic job can be divided into two one the very immediate deficit and the other the longer term task of closing the overall deficit. The political job is also twofold to convince people that more…

Playing a long game

The FF Ard Fheis with the strong television presence of various young candidates got me thinking about FF’s future; they do have one you know just as FG had one in 2002. It is just all too tempting for most of us (myself included) in writing commentary to simply write them off. It occurred to more…

Doorstep challenge ’09

A good while back I wrote here about trying to invert the common political process as we know it in Ireland whereby the candidate comes to your home and seeks to impress upon you what it is they are really, really interested in. My idea was along the lines of the public challenging the candidate more…

Why Obama couldn’t happen here

Many commentators and the public generally have been wondering in recent weeks given the disastrous absence of anything resembling leadership from the government why is that we do not have our own Obama on the horizon. I find it surprising that people like Vincent Browne forget so easily that we have a cabinet system of more…

Are we seeing further evidence of corrosion in the FF base?

With the outburst from Cllr and 2007 General election Noreen Ryan of FF in Limerick against the mighty local political totem that is Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea, are we seeing the strain of the negative national mood beginning to tell? Many of those commenting are missing the local context in the timing of all more…

Bertie’s downfall

Iar-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern had a not so great fall yesterday sustaining a fractured leg in the process. While there were no doubt considerable well-wishers the humour of the gallows was swiftly deployed over on p.ie. Some of the best bits are below.mccafferty cat opened by wondering ’Could Cowen sort out a medical card for him more…

The Lenihan Levy and other post budget reactions…

The reaction so far to Brian Lenihan’s first budget is that (a) this isn’t going to fix the problem of the unbalanced nature of the tax revenue base (b) the predicted parameters are (unemployment 7.3%, negative growth this year of 1.5% and next year 1%, and the deficit of 6.5%) very much on the optimistic more…