Thursday 19 April 2018

A result, at last, that could trigger meaningful political change

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald
Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald
Joan Burton at City West on a tough day at the office for Labour. Gareth Chaney
James Downey

James Downey

In the European and local elections, the voters have done something that all the politicians, all the experts, all the pundits have failed to do for generations. They have changed our dreary political landscape. Radically? For sure. Permanently? Perhaps. Let's hope so.

And let's hope so regardless of whether or not the rise or fall of any party, or individual candidate, pleases us. Any revolution produces victors and victims. And the elections have given us a result far more revolutionary than the misnamed 'democratic revolution' of 2011.

Ever since independence, with only a few blips along the way, our political system has been dominated by the 'traditional' parties. In the latest elections, all three – for present purposes, I include Labour – have suffered in varying degrees, while two new(ish) forces have arisen.

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