February 26, 2016, marks a milestone in Irish politics. The country finally begins to steer away from the traditional Fianna Fáil – Fine Gael political combo that has ruled Ireland for decades.
Gone are the days of taking expected turns at the helm for two parties with pretty much identical political goals, goals which did not generally uphold the greater good. Instead, they catered for the wealthier class, the property developers, the sector of society that could put forth hefty political donations in return for favors. For the rest, well, let them eat cake, as the saying goes.
Election 2016 has seen a brand new political force break apart the two-party system of yonder years. The Independents have risen from a relative obscurity, becoming more than a bunch of lads standing on a corner of the high street handing out leaflets from a shabby plastic table. The smaller parties (People Before Profit, Anti-Austerity Alliance, Renua, and others) have now become major players in the Irish political battlefield, and their influence will likely swing seats in many constituencies.