Irish Elections…

28Feb11

The Irish election for parliament (Dail) is over; the outcome was predictable. The most conservative party (Fine Gael) trounced the other parties (Labour (leftist) and the historical Fine Fail party (Nationalist), more centrist. Fine Gael won 70 seats in parliament, while Fine Fail managed  a mere 18. Labour (read socialist) won 36 seats.   The Green Party deservedly won no seats and 11 independents won seats. Sinn Fein, the IRA party, won 13 seats (hold your nose if they are in the room).   

The net of all this is that there will be a coalition government since  Fine Gael does not have  a majority, it must rely on horsetrading with the smaller parties and the independents who were elected…sort of hold your nose time, again. Fine Gael,however, will not horse trade with Sinn Fein-IRA.  Who would? Who wants a bullet in the back of the head, politically speaking, of course. 

FYI, here in Ireland, elections  are conducted on a more personal level. By that I mean that we voters actually can walk into a supermarket and there will be our TD (member of parliament) shaking hands over by the meat counter, or outside where the trollies are stored.  Here he actually hands out his own flyers.  No minions surrounding him. No bullhorns…no security. “Excuse me, sir…can you direct me to the pasta sauces?”

A parliamentary candidate rang our doorbell a few nights ago. looking for  a couple of votes. Maybe he thought we were having a cocktail party and he could work the room.  I informed him we were foreigners with no right to vote, alas. I was waiting for him to say he could take care of that….he didn’t.

The new prime minister (Taoiseach) will be Enda Kenny of  Fine Gael.  His constituency is Sligo.  He is basically rightist, not a rabid nationalist/socialist like Jerry Adams.  All in all, someone of whom Ireland can be proud.

Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny.

In case you have never heard of the Irish Saint,  Enda, here is the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enda_of_Aran#Early_life_and_conversion 

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