Sunday 23 July 2017

Leo must make politics interesting for the young

Leo Varadkar is trying to broaden the base and membership of his party. Photo: Reuters
Leo Varadkar is trying to broaden the base and membership of his party. Photo: Reuters
Editorial

Editorial

Enda Kenny's promise to "electrify the party" when he first stood for the leadership of Fine Gael was derided at the time. Yet he did lead it to its greatest number of seats ever in the 2011 general election when it became the biggest party in the country with 76 TDs.

It still is the biggest party with 50 TDs but is in a much weaker position than it was. Like many political parties of the middle in Europe, it is facing increasing competition from the left. In Ireland, so far, we do not have successful parties of the right but we may in future if the centre cannot hold.

Now Leo Varadkar is trying to broaden the base and membership of his party. In particular, he wants to make it more attractive for young people. To do that, he will need radical policies that appeal to young people, too many of whom fall for the simplistic rhetoric of the left. Fianna Fáil and Labour also need to bring in more young people to renew their parties.

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