independent

Thursday 30 March 2017

Outsiders got the result they wanted but now ignore it

'Why do elected representatives like Wallace and his fellow Independent TD Clare Daly decide that they get to be the referee while simultaneously refusing to play by the rule?'
'Why do elected representatives like Wallace and his fellow Independent TD Clare Daly decide that they get to be the referee while simultaneously refusing to play by the rule?'
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

There are two ways of viewing the inevitable: either it's something that is certain to happen or it's something you are unable to prevent. A few weeks ago we were told by Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin that there was no way they could ever work together.

Their rivals warned us that it would be a nightmare scenario if the 'establishment' parties broke bread and the only way to stop it was to vote outside the big two.

But elections can sometimes make the impossible a reality and now all of a sudden the political 'non-establishment' believes it's in the national interest for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to pair off.

Their merger is so inevitable that many, including Sinn Féin, are not even going to try prevent it.

Last night the Social Democrats said they would take no further part in talks about a government.

And Independent TD Mick Wallace said he'd rather "walk from politics" than even talk to Mr Kenny and Mr Martin.

Fair enough - it is extremely unlikely the Wexford TD, tax cheat and former developer would strike a deal to back a Kenny government but these are exceptional times that open up every possibility.

At the same time, Mr Wallace said he would "talk to any scumbag" and dreams of being the Minister for Housing. He wants the influence without any real responsibility.

The basic idea of democracy is that people vote to elect a government - but in Ireland some on the ballot paper only had intentions of being in opposition.

Why do elected representatives like Wallace and his fellow Independent TD Clare Daly decide that they get to be the referee while simultaneously refusing to play by the rule? It is true that they did sterling work exposing the penalty points scandals, and Wallace has done the State some service with his investigations into Nama.

If that's what can be achieved from the sidelines, surely he should try to muscle his way onto the pitch.

It might seem inevitable that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will have to come to form some sort of 'temporary little arrangement'.

However, this election showered the Independents and smaller parties with the opportunity to have real influence.

Perhaps the most inevitable thing here is that they were never going to take it up.

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