The 1997 ROI election leading us into FF-led rule until 2011. Was that first election bought?

DJP

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I didn't follow the 1997 General Election in the ROI a lot because I was not hugely interested in politics in this State then (I was more interested in politics in NI then albeit still not very knowledgeable on that either) and was only 16 and still in school. I remember the time politically a bit though and remember Fianna Fáil making what I recall being the boldest statement of intent during the election with them promising to bring in "zero tolerance" of crime if returned to Government.

Am I right in that that statement of intent by Fianna Fáil was the most dramatic development of the election? I am not inclined to think that that policy necessarily swung a huge amount of people into voting for them (FF were the biggest party anyway) but my impression of the election was that this policy created spark or gave them a big spring in their step in election debates.

Am I right in that? Fianna Fáil didn't bring in the policy. I was only 16 so my knowledge again of the election would be rudimentary so I would be interested in hearing some more analysis of it. Nollaig shona! :)
 


Dame_Enda

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I remember this election (I was 17). The PDs swung from 12% at the start to 4.7% at the end. I remember the astounding accuracy of the Sunday Independent poll.

I recall the PDs blew the election with Mary Harney's much criticised plan to encourage single mothers to stay at home, which provoked the ire of the feminist movement. In Stephen Collins' book "Breaking the Mould" (which I used to own), I think it presented this as a plan by Harney to grab the headlines.

On FF - I think because of their growing alliance with the PDs, nurtured under ex-FF TD and PD leader Harney - FF increasingly adopted PD-lite positions, such as the goal of a 40% top rate of tax. Bertie said "I've never met a Socialist" - though I don't remember was that during the campaign or not. I also recall one aspect of the campaign was the perception from FF that the Rainbow govt blew the IRA ceasefire by supporting the Unionists decision not to talk to SF until it was too late.

FF also called for "zero tolerance" on crime - before ditching it as a slogan after the election.

The FF 1997 manifesto is here.
 

DJP

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I remember this election (I was 17). The PDs swung from 12% at the start to 4.7% at the end. I remember the astounding accuracy of the Sunday Independent poll.

I recall the PDs blew the election with Mary Harney's much criticised plan to encourage single mothers to stay at home, which provoked the ire of the feminist movement. In Stephen Collins' book "Breaking the Mould" (which I used to own), I think it presented this as a plan by Harney to grab the headlines.

On FF - I think because of their growing alliance with the PDs, nurtured under ex-FF TD and PD leader Harney - FF increasingly adopted PD-lite positions, such as the goal of a 40% top rate of tax. Bertie said "I've never met a Socialist" - though I don't remember was that during the campaign or not. I also recall one aspect of the campaign was the perception from FF that the Rainbow govt blew the IRA ceasefire by supporting the Unionists decision not to talk to SF until it was too late.

FF also called for "zero tolerance" on crime - before ditching it as a slogan after the election.

The FF 1997 manifesto is here.
I remember the Northern issue in the election and do think that FF's position on the North that year encouraged a lot of their voters, and some other more floating voters, to vote for them, but I think that for more people the "zero tolerance" of crime issue inspired more hope or trust in them. Remember this was at a time when the Peace Process was in the early days and there was not a lot of hope on Northern Ireland in general in the South! (Again I was only 16 and did not follow the election meticulously).
 

Dame_Enda

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It must be stressed that the FF share of the vote was pretty much unchanged compared to 1992. But they were maybe more transfer-friendly as Bertie was popular at the time. Furthermore FG's share of the vote increased from around 24% to 27-8%. Labour however collapsed from 19% to 9.8%, some of their vote going to Independents.
 
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devoutcapitalist

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It must be stressed that the FF share of the vote was pretty much unchanged compared to 1992. But they were maybe more transfer-friendly as Bertie was popular at the time. Furthermore FF's share of the vote increased from around 24% to 27-8%. Labour however collapsed from 19% to 9.8%, some of their vote going to Independents.
FF ran less candidates in 97 compared to 1992.
 

McTell

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No
I didn't follow the 1997 General Election in the ROI a lot because I was not hugely interested in politics in this State then (I was more interested in politics in NI then albeit still not very knowledgeable on that either) and was only 16 and still in school. I remember the time politically a bit though and remember Fianna Fáil making what I recall being the boldest statement of intent during the election with them promising to bring in "zero tolerance" of crime if returned to Government.

/// Nollaig shona! :)


I voted FF that time only because I liked Charlie McCreevy. I liked that he had been independent of haughey and co, and was an actual accountant in finance. The boom was badly managed because CmcC stepped down in 2004. Lots of us called him the "real taoiseach" petunia
 

Catalpast

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FG at the time were led by that John Bruton

- probably the most insipid Leader the State has ever had

- it was his to win as the Economy was on the up

- he fumbled on the North & fawned over PC when he came here

But he stood up to the Brits over Drumcree in '96

Bertie was young, dynamic and charged with bright ideas

If FG had a leader with a bit of spark in them

- they should have clinched it
 

Catalpast

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I voted FF that time only because I liked Charlie McCreevy. I liked that he had been independent of haughey and co, and was an actual accountant in finance. The boom was badly managed because CmcC stepped down in 2004. Lots of us called him the "real taoiseach" petunia
Only MOF ever to put some decent amount of dosh in my wage packet!:cool:

So fair dues to him for that anyway
 

GDPR

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I didn't follow the 1997 General Election in the ROI a lot because I was not hugely interested in politics in this State then (I was more interested in politics in NI then albeit still not very knowledgeable on that either) and was only 16 and still in school. I remember the time politically a bit though and remember Fianna Fáil making what I recall being the boldest statement of intent during the election with them promising to bring in "zero tolerance" of crime if returned to Government.

Am I right in that that statement of intent by Fianna Fáil was the most dramatic development of the election? I am not inclined to think that that policy necessarily swung a huge amount of people into voting for them (FF were the biggest party anyway) but my impression of the election was that this policy created spark or gave them a big spring in their step in election debates.

Am I right in that? Fianna Fáil didn't bring in the policy. I was only 16 so my knowledge again of the election would be rudimentary so I would be interested in hearing some more analysis of it. Nollaig shona! :)
As always it was the actual campaign that made the difference and as any political party worth the name they attacked their opposition where they were weak, on the guards, crime, prisons, social welfare and on the direction of the economic benefits of a growing economy generally.

That and the fact that FG/Lab had made a complete bollix of the peace process.
 

Eoin Coir

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Zero tolerance,and sort of blaming FG for break down of IRA ceasefire. Ther eis some evidence that SF/IRA collaborated with FF & Mansergh not to restore ceasefire until July 1997, and FF were baaaaaack
 

culmore

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FF got most of the Garda vote that year ,there was trouble over pay and representation for the Gardaí, the Federation was going strong that time back by Nora Owen as it was Dublin lead, The Bull O Donaghue promised the Gardaí a Commission on pay if he got into power, The Bull became Minister for Justice but guess what NO Commission for the Gardaí on their pay .
 

General Urko

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1977 was well and truly bought and it was probably a guaranteed FF Victory even without the bribery!
 

Analyzer

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Both FG and FF were already bought and paid for before the election started.

And the PDs were bought from the early 1990s.

The Looper party at the time were busy "stick"ing cronies and relatives into state jobs.

The whole thing was a farce.
 

cricket

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I was deeply involved in the 1997 campaign for Labour and I can honestly say that the north simply didn't feature as an issue at all in Cork. I canvassed at least 5 nights a week solidly, people raised issues like tax, crime, etc.
If you talk about a bought campaign, go back to FF in 1977. 20 years later we were still paying for it.
 

flavirostris

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FF just about got over the line in 1997. They had to cobble together a hotchpotch coalition of Healy-Raes and Donegal Deflector people to get a majority.

Without a doubt the most important election in decades because it was a choice between Rainbow competency and FF's politics of economic sabotage. The saboteurs just shaded it sadly for the country.
 

GDPR

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FF just about got over the line in 1997. They had to cobble together a hotchpotch coalition of Healy-Raes and Donegal Deflector people to get a majority.

Without a doubt the most important election in decades because it was a choice between Rainbow competency and FF's politics of economic sabotage. The saboteurs just shaded it sadly for the country.
:D

That "Rainbow competency" that thought if you balanced the books by cancelling a prison building programme, cut the number of guards in a growing population, restrict social welfare payments to below inflation in a growing economy, you'd be guaranteed to win the next election?
 

flavirostris

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:D

That "Rainbow competency" that thought if you balanced the books by cancelling a prison building programme, cut the number of guards in a growing population, restrict social welfare payments to below inflation in a growing economy, you'd be guaranteed to win the next election?
Imagine that. They didn't try to bribe the electorate or buy the election like Bertie & FF would have done. What a bunch of losers.

You're basically proving the point that FF specialise in buying elections in order to stay in power.
 

GDPR

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Imagine that. They didn't try to bribe the electorate or buy the election like Bertie & FF would have done. What a bunch of losers.

You're basically proving the point that FF specialise in buying elections in order to stay in power.
You seem to be missing the point Flavi, they thought "balancing" the books was the big deal and no one would notice what they did to achieve it.

They were wrong.
 

cricket

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I voted FF that time only because I liked Charlie McCreevy. I liked that he had been independent of haughey and co, and was an actual accountant in finance. The boom was badly managed because CmcC stepped down in 2004. Lots of us called him the "real taoiseach" petunia
McCreevy " as long as I have it, I'll spend it", something the country paid dearly for later..He also defied DOF advice and, at the last minute, brought in some tax relief for nursing home owners in one of his budgets. He just happened to have had one such owner among his own lot in Kildare.
 

flavirostris

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McCreevy " as long as I have it, I'll spend it", something the country paid dearly for later..He also defied DOF advice and, at the last minute, brought in some tax relief for nursing home owners in one of his budgets. He just happened to have had one such owner among his own lot in Kildare.
Even though McCreevy was spending like a drunken sailor and buying elections for FF, he was considered a miserly skinflint by FF Ministerial colleagues who longed to get rid of him so they could really open up the purse strings. This was finally achieved when Bertie replaced him with his stooge Brian Cowen, who did whatever he told him to do.

Consider that though. McCreevy was too tight-fisted for FF despite the massive increase in spending he ushered in as MOF.
 


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