Watching the movements of the political parties from afar, voters could be forgiven for wondering if they were being led on a merry dance; or are they already witnessing preparations for a funeral march for the 33rd Dáil.
The way party leaders are behaving is as if they had put themselves forward to go into quarantine instead of into office. All need to be reminded they are public, not party, servants primarily.
Fianna Fáil has decided not to enter talks with Sinn Féin. And Fine Gael holds a similar stance; discussions with the other parties are expected.
A Grand Coalition manoeuvre comes back into view. But squaring this off with a universal vote for something different will be a neat trick.
Mary Lou McDonald accepts it will be "quite a challenge" for Fianna Fáil to sign up, while pointing out there is an obligation to act urgently.
As we get down to the serious business of government formation, there is also an imperative to act responsibly. The mood music has gone from being joyous, to sombre, to downright sinister.
Voters have embraced change wholeheartedly, but so far its leading harbingers, Sinn Féin, have sent out mixed signals as to what this entails. Swept to victory on a tide of transformation, the party already shows signs it expects the duty to respond lies with everyone else.
Thousands of people have lent Sinn Féin their votes on the basis they will serve all, not just a hard core on the fringe.
Recent events raise a question as to whether the party is prepared to change itself, or must that be the prerogative of everyone else?
Doubts about their democratic bona fides were raised not by outsiders, but by its own members.
The singing of 'Come Out You Black and Tans' in the heart of Dublin 4 at the RDS, by a delighted Dessie Ellis, may have jarred with some in the leafy suburb; but it was spur of the moment. The party made sure similar over-exuberance was not repeated.
But there then followed David Cullinane's "Up the Ra" chant in a victory speech in Waterford.
We were told he was exhausted after the long campaign. In the post-Good Friday Agreement Republic, we are led to believe the IRA has gone away: Consent, not coercion, is the cornerstone of democratic politics. It is that simple.
Now comes the an attack on RTÉ's Joe Duffy by senior Sinn Féin official Enda Fanning.
"Joe Duffy is using his programme to denigrate Sinn Féin representatives. It is utterly shameful," he said. "It really needs to be addressed by a new government and a proper monitoring authority with powers introduced to prevent such political bias as we have seen before."
The Orwellian tone, conjuring up images of a "Ministry for Information", will have a chilling effect.
Sinn Féin has a mandate and must be respected. But it did not get an exemption from respecting the right to free speech or any erosion of civil liberties. These are not the changes people voted for.