Don't rule out a second election - it could bring stability to the new order
Published 10/03/2016 | 02:30
'There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." So said one of the canniest political operators who has ever lived. Indeed, one could say that Niccolo Machiavelli wrote the book - literally - on how to acquire and exercise political power.
As the 32nd Dáil meets today, there is a new order - or disorder - in Irish politics. The duopoly of the two Civil War parties is over. A kaleidoscope of small parties and dozens of Independents will take their seats in Leinster House's main chamber later today.
While it is abundantly clear that things have changed a great deal, it is very far from clear what the change means, or who will take the lead in shaping the new order. But one thing that should not be ruled out is an early return to the polls.