Monday 20 November 2017

Straitjacket of minority government is slowly asphyxiating our body politic

Voters must be offered more than a void if they are to be spared another do-nothing administration at Leinster House, writes Ed Brophy

Ministers Leo Varadkar (left) and Simon Coveney. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Ministers Leo Varadkar (left) and Simon Coveney. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ed Brophy

In a week when the Dail heard calls to bring in the army to tackle the rhododendron situation in Killarney National Park, the toxic roots of another alien species - minority government - further contaminated public faith in politics. A Cabinet agenda so light that it could have been dialled in by ministers, who must by now have padding-out their official diaries down to a fine art, felt entirely in tune with the political mood.

As is often the case, the Independent ministers brought nothing to the table; having forged their political identities in the argument that government doesn't work, they now appear hell-bent on proving this in office.

Such indolence will only spread as the extended Fine Gael leadership contest slouches towards a conclusion sometime after Easter. Meanwhile, the accumulation of woes - chronic, cyclical and, in the case of Brexit, unprecedented - that pile up for any government risks toppling this one.

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