Now it is time to put the needs of the State first
Published 27/02/2016 | 02:30
The election is over and the politicians and the electorate are literally out for the count.
Politics is a brutal and unforgiving business at the best of times; but the last five years have been unrelenting. Gratitude or appreciation are not part of the job description, but by close of day today, many who gave a considerable portion of their lives to the service of this State will find themselves redundant. All those who stood deserve to be commended, whatever the outcome. Given the fragmentation of the vote, it seems unlikely that we will know the complexion or make-up of the government for some time to come. There are all kinds of permutations and possibilities but the obligation to put a government together is absolute. The people have spoken.
How best to articulate and respond to their wishes is now the political imperative. It is clear that many traditional ties and loyalties have collapsed. A wave of Independents will add colour and vigour to proceedings. The needs of the country must prevail over the interests of individual parties in the coming days as various options are considered. Historical political baggage may yet need to be discarded.
Now is not the time for political one-upmanship. For the first time, people are speaking of the unthinkable, where Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael may be forced to put their differences behind them for the greater good. Whatever about rivalries and differences, there are no constitutional impediments. What's that about 'the art of the possible'? Time will tell.