Fine Gael, a good history or a bad history?

RahenyFG

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From 77 years of Fine Gael existence, has it been a successful or disappointing history?

to me, it's a hugely disappointing history. The party has only spent a meagre 18 years in power, that's just a quarter of their history. Only managed 5 election victories(1948,1954,1973,1981, Dec 1982) and had a mixed bag of leaders.
 


RahenyFG

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and I thought this would interest a few people. Everyone must accept my points that Fine Gael's history is a truly disappointing one.
 

flavirostris

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What you have to remember is that FG were a semi-professional party for most of their history. That really only changed with Garret in the late '70s/early '80s when they first began to assemble an electoral machine that could compete with FF.
For most of FG's history they could not compete with the much more professional FF organisation.
It was like Wexford competing with Kilkenny in hurling
 

RahenyFG

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What you have to remember is that FG were a semi-professional party for most of their history. That really only changed with Garret in the late '70s/early '80s when they first began to assemble an electoral machine that could compete with FF.
For most of FG's history they could not compete with the much more professional FF organisation.
It was like Wexford competing with Kilkenny in hurling
Yes good point that too
 

breakingnews

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FG never had eny election victories. Their history is dominated by opposition and being in government with Labour.
 

charley

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Michael Noonan threatening a dying woman. That is the level of Fine Gael
 

turdsl

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Fine Gael has had a bad history of winning elections, Lets hope that.is about to change, One point that must be remembered is that this Fianna Fail dominated government has refused to hold elections which are due , Saying they were too busy to hold elections was a straight forward insult to our democracy, This must be kept in mind. In 1928 Sean Lemass said Fianna Fail was a slightly constitutional party.
Over 80 years Later A Fianna Fail dominated government had to be brought to court by a Sinn Fein candidate to hold an election. The government lost the case. The president of the high court said the, "inordinate,"delay was contrary to, "Terms and spirit of the constitution," The government is now appealing the
decision of the high court, using taxpayers money. Dangerous times, all this must be kept in mind in the future.
 

RahenyFG

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FG never had eny election victories. Their history is dominated by opposition and being in government with Labour.
They've never won outright majorities but elections where the result didn't end up with a Fianna Fail led government counts as a Fine Gael victory such as 1948,1954,1973,1981 and Dec 1982.
 

caulfield-the-yank

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The Party has been politically tone deaf since its founding, and it continues to be so. I think it is foolish to argue otherwise, and, in fact, the arguments to the contrary often just prove the point.

But that surely does not mean that Fine Gael is not often the better of the two major parties.

I think it is more fruitful to judge the history of Fine Gael as "good or "bad" in terms of its changing policies over time, and in terms of its relative merit or demerit in comparison to Fianna Fail.

With that said, here is my crack at that. (This will begin with CnaG, as FG was nearly a seamless continuation of that party.)

1922-1927 - On the right (or at least responsible and democratic) side of an unnecessary Civil War. But started to act as though the Treaty and the Oath were good things in themselves.

1927-1932 - Won the war, then lost the future. Somehow managed to cede the moral high ground to FF.

1932 - Needed that year out of power to regroup and reassess

1933 - Voters made a big mistake in not returning Cosgrave et al. Much of the future was set in stone, and not for the better, by the outcome of this election.

1934-1943 - Too Blueshirt, or else too Anglophile, or else just too nuts, like much of the world was during these years. By comparison, Dev looked like (and often was) a wise statesman.

1943-1948 - Transition. The desire to keep Dev in until the "Emergency" ended was understandable. There were some in FG or closely allied with FG who might have not minded if Ireland had joined the Allies.

1948-1959 - Tough times, and J. A. Costello deserves a lot of credit. FF, pre-Lemass, was geriatric, bankrupt in terms of ideas, and had to change or go. (It changed.)

1959-1976 - Though it is an over-simplification, I would have to say that FF was the better of the two major parties during all of these years. Neither party was ideal but, in general, Lemass and FF were the party of the "rising tide lifting all boats", while FG (and Labour) shifted to a focus on equality of result and a "just society". On other issues, FG was bad on civil liberties and was mostly reactionary on social issues.

1977-1989 - During these years, FG stood opposed to the expensive and clientalist populism of FF under the 1977 platform of Lynch and the early leadership of Haughey, and for liberal reform (opposed by Haughey and FF) on social issues. A shame that the 1987 election did not produce a FG-PD majority.

1989-1998 - A hard time to assess. Between the Spring Tide on the one hand, and the influence and gradual compromising of the PDs on tyhe other hand, both of the centrist parties had little choice but to be -- well, pretty similar and centrist. Both parties made bad policy decisions while in govt during these years. The PDs should have known better. See comment above re 1987. Oh, well.

1999-2004 - FG positioned itself as discernably to the Left of FF/PD govt. The results of 2002 election speak for themselves.

2005-2008 - FF is becoming a disaster (and, again, the PDs should have done something about it), but FG is offering no convincing explanation of what it would do diffferently, other than go into govt with Labour if it got the chance. Same old problem for FG.

2008-Present - Some reasons for hope in terms of FG realizing it must articulate what it stands for. Kenny is no help. Situation complicated by Labour standing on its own two feet -- the way Fine Gael should have tried to do.

Disclaimer: All of the above contains, to one degree or another, oversimplifications.
 

MacCoise2

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From 77 years of Fine Gael existence, has it been a successful or disappointing history?

to me, it's a hugely disappointing history. The party has only spent a meagre 18 years in power, that's just a quarter of their history. Only managed 5 election victories(1948,1954,1973,1981, Dec 1982) and had a mixed bag of leaders.

I think its telling that you judge the party based purely on how long they have been in power.

I watched the John A Costello doc the other night and it sorted of summed up Fine Gael, pretty bland and useless overall
 

RahenyFG

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You could say Fine Gael's history is a failure with the exception of the FitzGerald Era(1977-1987)
 

culmore

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fine Gael is at present largest party in the country, thanks to the hard work of Enda Kenny and this despite the best efforts of fianna failure
 

Monday Monday

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FG will get a shot at it in the next 12 months.
If they can't put together a good enough government to win the 2016 election then they might as well disband.
 

RahenyFG

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FG will get a shot at it in the next 12 months.
If they can't put together a good enough government to win the 2016 election then they might as well disband.
The next election has to be make or break for Fine Gael. Only objective-be the largest party in the Dail. Junior partner in government or still in opposition will mean the end of Fine Gael.
 

caulfield-the-yank

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The next election has to be make or break for Fine Gael. Only objective-be the largest party in the Dail. Junior partner in government or still in opposition will mean the end of Fine Gael.
Junior partner would spell doom.

If in opposition, though, that could only mean that Labour and FF had done a deal. Surely, bad as that might be for Ireland, it would not spell the end of FG.
 

RahenyFG

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Junior partner would spell doom.

If in opposition, though, that could only mean that Labour and FF had done a deal. Surely, bad as that might be for Ireland, it would not spell the end of FG.
well it would mean 20 years in opposition for FG if that happened but maybe FG in opposition in the next Dail term could mean that under a new leader, Leo im thinking, and the failure of the LAB-FF or FF-LAB government that FG could win an overall majority in the preceding election.
 

wombat

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well it would mean 20 years in opposition for FG if that happened but maybe FG in opposition in the next Dail term could mean that under a new leader, Leo im thinking, and the failure of the LAB-FF or FF-LAB government that FG could win an overall majority in the preceding election.
In the real world, we will be faced with the choice between a FG/Labour govt. or a Labour/FG govt., neither party will touch FF. Its a pity we don't start focusing on what the relative strengths of the 2 parties will mean to how the country recovers from the current mess. As I see it, if you depend on state spending or work in the public service, your interests will be best served by Labour dominating and if you work in the private sector and don't want to pay higher income tax, you will be better served by FG being dominant.
 

Vote_No_on_Everything

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I will always remember them for bringing in school bus charges and tax on childrens shoes, and some tax break for bigger farmers to build slatted cattle sheds.
 

wombat

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I will always remember them for bringing in school bus charges and tax on childrens shoes, and some tax break for bigger farmers to build slatted cattle sheds.
You need to get out more;)
 


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