Editorial: Clinging to the Coalition nurse
Today's Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll reveals that the Irish electorate certainly has not lost its capacity to surprise.
A casual list of recent domestic political furores would incorporate the Smithwick tribunal; the CRC board debacle; Irish Water; EirGrid; penalty points; the Siptu slush fund; Dublin Docklands and the Glass Bottle site; grave concerns about Rehab; a squandered democratic revolution; an insipid bailout; top-ups; bonuses; HSE budget figures that appear to be devised by Mr Micawber; and growing concerns about Nama. The sheer quasi-Haugheyite weight of scandal is so damning that even the most optimistic have begun to wonder is there any end to the Sisyphean capacity of our elites to embarrass themselves and us. Then, in the first opinion poll of the bright New Year, we find that a Fianna Fail party that is the source of most of these woes and a Coalition that has dawdled all too often and procrastinated far too willingly when invited to tread upon the thorny road of reform, have all risen in the polls.
Few newspaper columnists or priests have ever gone hungry because of a willingness to scold the Irish citizens for their flaws. Even if we were minded to do so, little would be gained from taking such an approach to this most interesting of polls. The most intriguing finding in today's Millward Brown poll is that a flight to stability has occurred within a grimly realistic electorate which is also showing nascent signs of optimism.