There has been much euphoria among Sinn Fein and new parties of the left since the election. The centre parties have lost ground with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael not getting enough seats between them to form a Government.Centre parties have lost ground in many countries, to the left and the right in Germany, and many other ones in the EU. Minority Governments and Coalitions work fairly well in Holland and Denmark. There they have a sense of compromise among politicians and parties that we could do well to follow, they are viewed as fairly stable.
If Ireland was to become politically unstable after Brexit, we would lose jobs and investment.
This might make some practical politicians take notice and see the need for the two big parties to cooperate more, as they worry about some of the left and Sinn Fein tax and spend policies.
The public vote in Waterford saw huge support for Sinn Fein and the independent Matt Shanahan, whose political message is very much linked to the hospital and cardiac care.
Between them they got around half the first preferences.Health therefore has to be a really big issue for the new administration.The University is long in waiting also in the current period.
Jobs still should remain a key issue, as we have not yet felt the full effect of Brexit yet, farmers are already very worried on this point.As last week talks between Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail were not making progress it seems that Fianna Fail would rather join up with Fine Gael, who have more similar politics.
This might not suit hard core party members, but they might also worry how Sinn Fein in places like Dublin are getting more stronger at partly their expense.
There must be a realisation in Fianna Fail and Labour that Sinn Fein are becoming the dominant force in the capital, where high rents and housing issues were big features in the election, Mary Lou MC Donald leader of Sinn Fein even called Fine Gael the party of the landlords and Fianna Fail the party of the builders, trying to create a wedge between them and the people.
Such slogans appealed to the young, who find it harder to get a home, like their parents managed to achieve in a previous generation.The Greens can be the king makers and give that extra 12 seats to the FF and FG 72 seats to get over the magic 81 majority Dail number. The Greens have a good policy for boosting home ownership. This is by way of a new state operated savings bank that works well in Austrian and Germany, called the Sparkasse or savings bank and is a little like our old building societies, where good savers are given mortgages at cheap rates.
New thinking is needed as the current banking and home loans system is not working very well, more council and social housing are also imperative.A change in philosophy is needed again on this housing point, we have noted this in previous articles. The Greens can get these and other policies on climate change be part of the new programme for Government.
Stability will be needed, Sinn Fein might be happy to see this and see themselves next time as the alternative Government, as the younger voters are flocking to them and responding to their various promises in what was almost an auction politics election like 1977, when Fianna Fail got power by abolishing motor tax and rates on private homes.
It may take a long time to form the new administration, the last time it was two months, so we do not see a quick fix.Would the Greens prefer a Sinn Fein or a FF/ FG Taoiseach? Can they get enough of their policies accepted? farmers may be worried as will the motor and airline industry if the Greens are in power?There will be great debates in the coming weeks.
We must however create a stable climate in this period ahead and show that in Ireland it is business as usual.
Sinn Fein have the wind in their favour and could be in a lead role next time around with a bigger slice of seats, but maybe happy to be in opposition.Even the famous Economist magazine is talking about a united Ireland ahead in the coming years for the next decade. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could take a view of cutting money to Northern Ireland and let the United Ireland drift in that direction.It makes for interesting times.We in Waterford in the meantime must push for our agenda in these challenging periods ahe