Sunday 4 December 2016

James Downey: Our Grand Coalition will be tested -- but so far, so good

Published 07/03/2011 | 05:00

EVERYTHING has gone exactly according to plan -- so far. Labour has known how to handle these things since the time of Dick Spring; in fact, since the time of Brendan Corish.

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The first step is up to the voters. They have to give you enough Dail seats to make coalition with Fine Gael possible. Minor parties may come into the reckoning, too, but the presence of Democratic Left in the 1994-97 Rainbow Government illustrated the parties' common ground, not their differences. It turned out to be a prelude to the Labour-DL merger.

Next come the negotiations. These are important in one way, because the outcome has to reflect, fairly though not precisely, the relative strength of the participants. But in another way, they are not important at all.

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