THE Danish parliamentary elections of 1973 are referred to as ‘The Landslide Election’, because five new parties got elected and more than half the members of the parliament were replaced.
In the Canadian federal elections of 1993, the ruling Progressive Conservative party lost more than half of its vote from 1988 and lost 149 seats, going from 151 to a mere two seats. The Netherlands parliamentary elections of 2002 are regarded as the most dramatic in Dutch history, with the three outgoing coalition partners suffering a humiliating defeat.
After the disgraceful way in which this Fianna Fail/Green Government has acted this week and over the last three years, can we hope that the Irish electorate will follow the example of Denmark, Canada and the Netherlands and consign both Fianna Fail and the Greens to history?
WHITEHALL, DUBLIN 9
‘Silly politics’ that sadly came first
THE hysteria on all sides of Dail Eireann on Thursday, January 20, is difficult to excuse. I do not accept that appointments of six ministers within two months of a general election would make any substantial difference to voting intentions.
Routine matters of government must continue irrespective of political arguments and every department must have a cabinet minister at the top. I can understand that a candidate for election may obtain some small benefit by being able to use the title of minister before his/her name.
However, I feel that statements from all parties were irrelevant and that the problems of the country took second place to silly political jousting.
BRIAN PATRICK McARDLE
NEWBRIDGE, CO KILDARE
Top incompetents in all of Europe
NEVER mind the ‘bunga bunga' scandal engulfing Silvio Berlusconi in Italy. We can do one better here with ‘Cow(en) bunga'. Our Government can easily put the Italians in the shade for sheer incompetence and brass neck. Arrivederci.
BANDON, CO CORK
We can’t afford to lose good workers
WE need to start gathering stats on those who are emigrating. Politicians believe it to be a good thing that people are leaving, and thus taking pressure off the welfare system. But one thing you can certainly say about the people leaving – they want to work. And we need people who want to work. Many of them have been working and contributing to society for years. They deserve to live here if they choose. Many are students whom we have paid to educate for 18-plus years, and now other countries will benefit from that education.
Some are leaving because there are better opportunities abroad – they are ambitious too. We need people of ambition here. Emigration is a short-term solution – something Ireland is good at. But if the people who are leaving are hard-working, ambitious and/or educated, then we can't afford to lose them.
Our society will be poorer as a result.