Saturday 27 May 2017

Fine Gael stands at the crossroads as competing visions vie for votes

Leadership hopefuls Varadkar and Coveney look to please different sections of the electorate, writes Philip Ryan

At odds: Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney have radically different views on the future of Fine Gael. Photo: Collins Dublin.
At odds: Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney have radically different views on the future of Fine Gael. Photo: Collins Dublin.
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

'You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." So said US poet John Lydgate in words made famous by Abraham Lincoln. The words have never rang truer than in the current political environment - both domestically and internationally.

The populist 'me, me, me' demands from some sections of the electorate have resulted in the politics of the lowest common denominator. Guiding principles and values once held dear by political parties have been replaced with pandering to the most retweeted faux outrage de jour.

Focus groups and opinion polls dictate policy while political validation is measured by the number of pixelated thumbs up amassed on Facebook posts. Leadership and decision-making have been replaced with consensus by committee. Everyone is responsible for nothing. And don't forget it's your fault. You voted this way so you deserve what you got.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss