Parties are failing to inspire the electorate
Elections are about selection and the winning of power. Generally speaking, the party in Government has an edge, given that it has already attained the prize. That is why the phrase 'oppositions don't win elections, governments lose them' rings true. Given events over the first week of the campaign for the 32nd Dáil, the truism seems as apt as ever.
Even its most ardent critics would allow that traditionally Fine Gael had two main attributes. It is known as the party of fiscal rectitude and law and order. But you would not have thought so, given its slipshod and unsure performance on both the 'fiscal space' controversy and the far more grave matter of the recent Dublin gangland murders.
The Finance Minister found himself attacked for the former, while the Justice Minister has been attacked from all sides for her response to the latter.