Tuesday 20 March 2018

Politics is souring in the democratic world - but can the centre hold?

Is there a link between the rise of the likes of Donald Trump and alienation from politics here in Ireland, asks Dan O'Brien

Donald Trump Photo: AP
Donald Trump Photo: AP
Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien

There is a lot of anger out there towards anything or anyone linked to the "establishment". A hundred anecdotes from comments made in casual conversations attest to that. Social media is alive with people who are utterly convinced that everything in Ireland is rotten to the core.

Much of the anger and cynicism is directed at politics and politicians. Last week's Sunday Independent poll showed that roughly twice as many respondents were dissatisfied as were satisfied with all the party leaders bar none.

Despite deserving at least some credit for the economic recovery over the past three years, all polls show that the government parties are getting none (their combined support levels are the same now as in 2012 when the turnaround began).

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