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.
oday’s a momentous day for Ireland. The people have spoken loud and clear via their power of vote, sending a diaphanous message to Enda Kenny and Joan Burton: Your time is up.
Fine Gael has been thrown into disarray this morning, after its ‘Keep the recovery going’ slogan backfired spectacularly. Enda Kenny didn’t help matters by referring to the people of his constituency as ‘whingers’, not to mention the blatant cronyism that he sported in recent months and years.
The Taoiseach is said to be “deeply disappointed”, after preliminary results seem to rubber-stamp the Coalition’s demise. Yet, it was his own hand that wrought the deed.
Fine Gael has lost support pretty much everywhere in the country, with Fianna Fail and independents making huge gains on the back of Fine Gael’s disastrous performance.
And the Coalition’s junior partner, Labour, has suffered virtual annihilation at the polls. Joan Burton will reportedly lose her seat, along with the rest of her party’s TDs, who will now find themselves without a job come Monday morning.