Wednesday 28 September 2016

Fickle electorate has forgiven Fianna Fáil for mistakes of past

Published 01/03/2016 | 02:30

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin – but have voters forgotten about FF’s last stint in power? Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire...A
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin – but have voters forgotten about FF’s last stint in power? Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire...A

As we sat down at our kitchen table on a leap day morning, eating our cornflakes, we sifted through several commentary pieces concerning the bloodbath faced by the outgoing Fine Gael/Labour administration. The electorate revolted and swung more to the left, forgetting about the past in relation to the 14 years Fianna Fáil were last in power.

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I, for one, didn't vote for Fianna Fail and its leader Micheál Martin to get back into government. I haven't forgotten how it brought about the bank guarantee on that fateful September night back in 2008. We Irish are a fickle bunch, we seem to have forgotten about past mistakes.

Enda Kenny now faces questions about his leadership of Fine Gael, but I hope he is given a chance to keep the momentum going with the economic recovery. Yes, I know he is not a great orator or a great fighter, but at least he and Joan Burton have turned around the fortunes of most Irish citizens and hopefully given a chance that every household in Ireland will feel the recovery of the economy in their pockets.

We should not let the likes of the Anti Austerity Alliance/People Before Profit (Ruth Coppinger, Paul Murphy and Richard Boyd Barrett) dictate to the people what they do with their incomes.

So here's hoping that after the long days and nights at the count centres, certain individuals will realise that we need stability to keep us within reach of Europe and the multi-million-euro investors that we are trying to entice into this country so that the coffers can be filled with taxes, and the loan repayments can be paid off, hospital waiting lists and the number of people on trolleys halved and more money put into the pockets of our citizens.

For God's sake, let normality resume - the children of Ireland need the adults to come together to keep Ireland alive and stop the talk of a "grand coalition".

Philip Matthew Courtney

Address with Editor

 

Coalition didn't listen to voters

On Saturday morning I delayed tuning into any election results, assuming what I'd hear was a return of the outgoing Government. The Irish electorate, having vented during the three-week election campaign, would back down to toe the line and "Keep the recovery going".

However, when I did tune in, I did so with pride and slight bemusement toward the professors and economists who questioned where it was Fine Gael went wrong during its election campaign. After all, the party should apparently have gained in strength during the final week of campaigning.

Fine Gael went wrong long before the final week of the campaign. For five years, Fine Gael and Labour failed to hear the people of Ireland speak; they were too busy focusing on what Europe had to say. But, finally, the people of Ireland took to the ballot boxes and spoke, voting for whom they want to see represent the Irish people.

During a conversation with someone yesterday, I reminded them that the majority of working people in Ireland are struggling to provide for their families: people who leave their homes early in the morning and return late in the evening, having worked and paid taxes, are finishing each month one pay cheque away from being broke.

These same hard-working people can't afford private health insurance and are reliant on a health system that's broken. Those with children with disabilities don't have access to the services they require and those with children in education are struggling to either put them through third level or keep them there, due to rising fees. As for savings? There is little to no room for saving for any future rainy day and those in private jobs without pension provisions by employers have no means of saving toward a pension. Those same hard-working people have mortgages, some of which are in negative equity, and some mortgage holders are in arrears. Then there are those who are renting from private landlords and have watched rents rise over the last five years. And when they run into difficulty, it's charities who are coming to their aid, not their government.

As for graduates fresh out of college, they face going into graduate programmes, with little to no pay, or they have to make the tough decision to head for the nearest port or airport.

Services, that's what the people of Ireland really want, not a reduction in taxes only for it to be taken back out of Irish pockets by rising car insurance and home insurance premiums and indirect taxes.

This generation of Irish people want to work in Ireland and want to build their future and the next generation's future here but this can not be done unless the correct framework is in place to do so.

On Friday, the Irish people spoke, now it's time for those elected to put the party strategies aside and say "I'm here to represent the people and represent is what I shall do."

The Irish people have spoken - politicians, have the courtesy to reply in the form of a working government.

Marie Hanna Curran

Ballinasloe, Co Galway

 

Irish Water: the people's verdict

The election threw up a result that everyone is trying to understand. There is one clear message: 75pc of those elected have plans to abolish Irish Water. The people have spoken.

Conan Doyle

Kilkenny

 

FF surge and amnesia

A subtle but firm thump must have been administered to the head of each voter with a frying pan as they entered the voting booth last Friday. Nothing else can explain Fianna Fáil's resurgence in the polls, or the sheer scale of the amnesia that the electorate suffered that day.

Killian Foley-Walsh

Kilkenny city

 

Work with what you've got

The country has voted and certain politicos (those with control freak tendencies) are already talking of the "need" for another election.

Another election is not needed. If a TD is unable to contemplate working in the Dáil to which he/she has just been elected, then the solution for them is to resign and not stand for re-election (and not seek refuge in the Seanad).

Perhaps elected politicians will start to realise that politics does not always have to be confrontational and having proper parliamentary debates that reach a consensus, rather than shouting matches, can be a viable alternative.

The only problem will be in deciding who gets to go on the Paddy's Day global jollies.

Roger Blackburn

Naul, Co Dublin

Irish Independent

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