David Quinn: Forget who leads it -- no one knows what FG stands for
IT DOESN'T really matter how many times Fine Gael changes its leader. What matters far more than who is leading the party is what it stands for. No one really seems to know.
What was very striking about the Fine Gael leadership battle was how the issue of policy barely reared its head. This was despite the fact that within the party there are members who can broadly be termed 'social democrat' or liberal-left and another group, smaller but growing, that is Christian democrat or centre-right.
In Irish politics, there can really be room for only one populist party and that is Fianna Fail. Fine Gael has never been a populist, catch-all party and it never will be, no matter how hard it tries.