Bankster-Coddling Party Suffers “Electoral Meltown”

Everyone knew that Fianna Fáil was going to lose Friday’s election in Ireland. But the results (still coming in because the Irish hand count their paper ballots and have an instant runoff voting system) are pretty stunning. Here’s how Fianna Fáil did in Laois-Offaly (both Mr. EW’s home district and that of outgoing Taoiseach Brian Cowen) in 2007 (these graphics are from the Irish Times):

And here’s how they did Friday:

And Laois-Offaly is going to be one of Fianna Fáil’s stronger districts (Cowen’s brother, Barry, will likely take one of the five seats). In Dublin, FF went from holding 13 seats in parliament to just one, that of the former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. And the Green Party, which had been in coalition with FF, will lose all 6 of the seats it held.

Now, it’s not clear that Fine Gael–which will rule with Labor–will be all that much better than FF with regards to coddling banksters. Rising Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised to renegotiate the bailout, but unless and until he threatens to default, Ireland will still be taking money from retirees to pay off the banksters.

But what will be interesting is the presence of more further left members of Parliament. And Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin’s President, will have a seat in the Republic’s parliament for the first time. He’s been getting a lot of press for his populist criticism of the bailout:

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams says a good government requires a good opposition, vowing his party would oppose the “swingeing, anti-citizen, economically-illiterate measures” being proposed by the establishment parties.

So it’s not clear whether this “electoral meltdown” will have an effect on the banks. But it sure is interesting to see how political accountability works in a system with more than two parties.

  1. emptywheel says:

    Btw, I included that Gerry Adams quote because I’m infatuated with the word “swinge,” which I didn’t know before. I may well have to go replace “singe” with “swinge” in my Newt post.

  2. JohnLopresti says:

    The way I heard an NPR newscaster characterize the evident outcome during an interview with an Ireland leftist party leader, the next ruling coalition will be moderate right plus a dollop of left. In political science classes in college, the prof, laudatory of the US* long tradition of a 2-party system, always said a parliamentary system*s multiplicity of significant small parties assures all formed governments will be weak; whereas, the prof would proffer as a contrast, in the US there are demonstrably large differences in governance when one party cedes office to the opposition party after an election. I think the US got quite a shift in transitioning Richard Nixon to affable moderate Gerald Ford, then to Jimmy Carter; from George Bush Sr. to Bill Clinton; and a comparably pronounced change when George Bush Jr. became extinct, John McCain and Palin could not promulgate any furtherance of Republican ways of ruling, and instead president Obama got to show the nation what the Democratic party could do, about things like global warming, and economic sector re-regulation.

    After the initial internet-centric tech boom subsided, and Ireland had participated in the benefits of that upswing substantially, I have heard, Ireland subsequently experienced much of the same financial crash as took place in the US and Europe, and, evidently, throughout the northern rim of Africa, and into quite a few middle eastern countries.

    I wonder if ew might explain somewhat, what are the economic and social issues driving the turnover currently in Ireland politics?

    I would like to hope some of the Obama methodologies of solving US crises could provide an exemplary record of how to improve the nation*s social and fiscal milieux.