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

Gin Soaked

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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).
My take was that we finally had a peace process and Bruton was not considered good in this area. I think that was a big driver. FG and LAB did ok elsewhere but this was the government that begat the Moriarty tribunal and the sleaze around the ESAT digifone licence was known by the dogs in the street.

And remember, there was no SF in any meaningful form down south. And there were no leftist cranks. Democratic Left were neutered at that stage in terms of being commie loons.

A very different time.
 


Gin Soaked

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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.
Thing is, that govt' s era of tax cuts were loved by taxpayers. It really made a difference in take home pay. Buying power in terms of houses? Not so much....
 

flavirostris

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Thing is, that govt' s era of tax cuts were loved by taxpayers. It really made a difference in take home pay. Buying power in terms of houses? Not so much....
I'm speaking more in terms of McCreevy's massive increases in social spending, pensions, welfare etc. FF trebled social spending between 1997 and 2007 I believe.

Tonic will be on in a minute to explain how that was because of FF's social consicience and how FG would have people in workhouses.
 

President Bartlet

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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
Yip John Brutal was out of his depth in that election
 

bmw1

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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! :)
it was bought as FG/Lab/Dl had the country running a budget surplus and weren't going to blow it .. ff were only too willing though and we see how pear-shaped all that went
 

devoutcapitalist

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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?
Welfare benefits should never be increased above inflation.
 

Gin Soaked

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I'm speaking more in terms of McCreevy's massive increases in social spending, pensions, welfare etc. FF trebled social spending between 1997 and 2007 I believe.

Tonic will be on in a minute to explain how that was because of FF's social consicience and how FG would have people in workhouses.
Ah yes... social inclusion was the phrase. Or turning the bottom 20% of the economic cohort into an "open petting zoo".
 

Gin Soaked

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Mad to think this is "history". But 20 years out is pretty much "history"...
 

galteeman

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[video=youtube;p9DIN0nFHvs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9DIN0nFHvs[/video]
 

Eoin Coir

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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.
one year before an election FF Dermot Ahern increased childrens allowance by 26%, backdated six months at at time when there were no calls for it at all. People were awash with money, FF always do that
 

Eoin Coir

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FF always portray myth that "Collations" (lent fast) were bad- that is before they started going into them. Paddy ( Bishop) Burke, Rays father used say that after every collation when FF came baaaaack, there was not even the price of a bag of cement left, God help us.

The same Paddy swindled a free site off a mental patient in Portrane where Paddy was a male nurse. The apple does not fall too far from the tree.
 

flavirostris

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one year before an election FF Dermot Ahern increased childrens allowance by 26%, backdated six months at at time when there were no calls for it at all. People were awash with money, FF always do that
They don't just buy elections. They make it a certainty by doing things like that. FG-Lab had no hope once FF got their arses back into power in 1997 because FF had control of the purse strings and could engage in pro-cyclical spending i.e ramping up the spending in the run-up to the election. This was the pattern in '02 and '07. Had the wheels not come off, they would have bought the next one as well.

It's important to remember this about FF because they will do it again if they get in again. For them it's all about staying in power and they will bankrupt the state to do that.
 

irish_bob

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labour had an awful election in 1997 which was the overwhelming reason for the government loosing power , FG had a good election

we were two years into the celtic tiger and things were looking very positive
 

irish_bob

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My take was that we finally had a peace process and Bruton was not considered good in this area. I think that was a big driver. FG and LAB did ok elsewhere but this was the government that begat the Moriarty tribunal and the sleaze around the ESAT digifone licence was known by the dogs in the street.

And remember, there was no SF in any meaningful form down south. And there were no leftist cranks. Democratic Left were neutered at that stage in terms of being commie loons.

A very different time.
the peace process had nothing to do with it

it was all down to the labour collapse
 

The Rahenyite

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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).
I've read in many books and wish I could find the sources but Northern Ireland as an issue has never been high on ROI voters' minds at election time in modern times and would hardly have swayed the 1997 election towards FF.

The 'payback time' headline on the front page of the Irish Independent just before election day had a negative impact on the rainbow coalition's chances of re-election.

 

cricket

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I've read in many books and wish I could find the sources but Northern Ireland as an issue has never been high on ROI voters' minds at election time in modern times and would hardly have swayed the 1997 election towards FF.

The 'payback time' headline on the front page of the Irish Independent just before election day had a negative impact on the rainbow coalition's chances of re-election.

I've heard much speculation down through the years about that front-bench editorial.

One said that the "payback" was in retaliation against what was seen as the failure by the government to shut down unlicensed tv channel companies which were in competition with Prince's Holdings, a Tony O'Reilly company.

The other was it was a response to a refusal by Ruairi Quinn, finance minister, to adjust inheritance tax at the request of O'Reilly who had
been affected because he had married a 2nd time.

I even heard a 3rd line but, 20 years on, have forgotten what it was.

One way or the other, the front page editorial was deemed to have caused much damage to the outgoing government.
 

flavirostris

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Jesus. The face on Ahern on that front page. It's a face that says 'Thanks Suckers..Now look forward to 15 years of non-stop ass rape of the state finances'.
 

O'Quisling

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labour had an awful election in 1997 which was the overwhelming reason for the government loosing power , FG had a good election

we were two years into the celtic tiger and things were looking very positive
Thank you. The collapse of the Labour Party vote is too often overlooked in any commentary about the '97 GE (from their high point in 1992).

The LP are terminally abysmal at selling themselves in Elections. In the minds of many in the electorate the LP candidates simply come across as pretensious and sanctimonious. As an organisation, at a grassroots level, in central office, and thru its promotional arm the LP don't coordinate and execute an aggr essive sales pitch for public consumption. FF party apparatchiks are laughing their heads off at Ely Place (LP hq).

Any popularity cultivated in the lifetime of that Rainbow Govt was milked exclusively by FG in the election camoaign. The LP assumed (wrongly) that everybody follows the Irish Times, RTE Prime Time and Q&As, and RTE radio.

Here's an example: Niamh Breathnach, outgoing Min for Ed in that GE, feeling gutted that she lost her seat, said she felt her re-election was a certainty given that her Dept was making headlines (in the IT at any rate). These included the start of the biggest overhaul of the Primary School system in the history of the Irish state, the abolition of 3rd Level fees, among other things.
 


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