Saturday 3 December 2016

'Discerning Irish electorate' has been badly let down

Published 06/04/2016 | 02:30

Alan Dukes as FG leader supported Charles Haughey’s government
Alan Dukes as FG leader supported Charles Haughey’s government

The behaviour of the main political parties since the February 26 election - now almost six weeks ago - has been nothing short of contemptuous towards the will of the Irish electorate. I seem to recall, in the past, both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael having referred to this same electorate as "discerning" and this same "discerning electorate", on February 26 showed quite clearly their will by returning a depleted Fine Gael and a Fianna Fáil who, essentially, did a little better than expected.

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I think it's fair to say that the smaller parties and Independents performed, more or less, as anticipated and the end result was that the outgoing Fine Gael/Labour coalition had no realistic chance of returning to Government.

Had both the main parties any real respect for the electorate then they would have taken their final decision on board and quickly formed a Government. Instead, their every move since the result was announced has clearly indicated that their sole motivation has been personal and party advantage and this has been displayed in a fashion which has been even more blatant than the electorate, long used to political cynicism, has witnessed for some time.

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