Vote-buying always comes with high price
Do politicians ever grow up or do they just age? The question is prompted by the tensions reported today between the coalition parties on how best to spend the taxpayer's money in order to get themselves re-elected.
The lessons of auction politics and the disastrous consequences visited on the taxpayer by Bertie Ahern's largesse in 2007 to secure a third term in office are still painful. Nonetheless, a scuffle has broken out in the ranks over the much-vaunted, multi-billion-euro capital plan to be unveiled next month.
We know that pro-cyclical giveaway Budgets can store up political capital which can later be cashed in at the polls, but we had hoped that such spending could be more about economic bang for one's buck and less about boosts at the ballot box. Budgets that are framed by short-term political gains tend to yield long-term economic damage.