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The beginning of bloc politics?

ShinnerBot No.32564844524

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A political alliance, also referred to as a political coalition, political bloc, is an agreement for cooperation between different political parties on common political agenda, often for purposes of contesting an election to mutually benefit by collectively clearing election thresholds, or otherwise benefiting from characteristics of the voting system or for government formation after elections.
In my other post with regard to the new government, I've focused on the meaning of the use of confidence and supply in the establishment of the current government and what such arrangements might mean. In this post I now am questioning what the resulting effects will be in terms of political blocs emerging in the new dail.

I know FF are desperately trying to have their cake and eat it as they return Enda to power, but even outside an actual coalition, FF/FG and select allsorts now represent a political "bloc" in that they now support each other in opposition to everyone outside their bloc.

There's a very blithe and lazy assumption that the current poll numbers will return to business as usual in that we will return to a majority government in the near future, but this hasn't been the case in New Zealand since the introduction of PR, and Canada went through an entire decade before the liberals only barely got a majority last year.

In anticipation of this, Irish political parties now have an onus to form blocs before an election as opposed to after so that the electorate can best vote not only for the party, but for the combination of government they would like to see after election and so that government formation won't take ten weeks as it has with the current farce.

Interestingly, this now presents a challenge to the broader left, unite around opposition to the new FF/FG/Allsorts bloc or fail to maximise their position in opposition leading up to the next election. It's kind of hilarious to see the Green's choosing to abstain in support of the new governing bloc.

Who do you think will be the new winners and losers in the new political landscape?
 


drummed

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I already said I think we are seeing a new era whereby the two main parties will diminish to their current levels or slightly lower and future governments will comprise of one or other of them in alliance with a range of independents whose power and influence will grow somewhat in the next few elections. You are correct to feel this will mean voters will probably pay more attention in future to the nature of a possible government when voting.

You are correct that this is an issue the broad left, if we can establish who they are, they disagree themselves on the matter, must now face. Politics is always the art of compromise, good, bad or indifferent compromise. This broader left once they agree who they are must form a coherent bloc to combat the new normal.

This involves Labour/AAA/PBP/SF and others forming some sort of alliance which can lead to a government. It may be the mess which led up to today will make this more important next time, not less so.
 

drummed

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If the left is serious, and I remain unconvinced they are, then its now up to them to spend the duration of this regime building this new front to fight the next election. The key they still seem to have a blindspot on is that voters actually want a result for their effort and that involves being in government. As its impossible to see any group get an overall majority any time soon the challenge is obvious and so is what needs to be done.

Until this happens a great deal of voters, me included, will not take the Irish left seriously. They are not serious so far.
 

Henry94.

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If the left is serious, and I remain unconvinced they are, then its now up to them to spend the duration of this regime building this new front to fight the next election. The key they still seem to have a blindspot on is that voters actually want a result for their effort and that involves being in government. As its impossible to see any group get an overall majority any time soon the challenge is obvious and so is what needs to be done.

Until this happens a great deal of voters, me included, will not take the Irish left seriously. They are not serious so far.
I agree to a point but FF's fear of the left and Sinn Fein has already paid dividends for the left's voters in the form of the suspension of water charges. The calls for the left to be serious often amount to a call to act like the Labour Party did in abandoning its voters and in turn being abandoned by them.

What SF for example should do is say it is willing to form an alliance with other left-wing groups when such a bloc is in a position to lead a government with a radical agenda. That may be something worth waiting for and the fear of it will help blunt the asturity instincts of FF/FG.

Of course a revived Labour Party would have a role to play but it may be a long road back for them.
 

ShinnerBot No.32564844524

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I already said I think we are seeing a new era whereby the two main parties will diminish to their current levels or slightly lower and future governments will comprise of one or other of them in alliance with a range of independents whose power and influence will grow somewhat in the next few elections. You are correct to feel this will mean voters will probably pay more attention in future to the nature of a possible government when voting.

You are correct that this is an issue the broad left, if we can establish who they are, they disagree themselves on the matter, must now face. Politics is always the art of compromise, good, bad or indifferent compromise. This broader left once they agree who they are must form a coherent bloc to combat the new normal.

This involves Labour/AAA/PBP/SF and others forming some sort of alliance which can lead to a government. It may be the mess which led up to today will make this more important next time, not less so.
If the left is serious, and I remain unconvinced they are, then its now up to them to spend the duration of this regime building this new front to fight the next election. The key they still seem to have a blindspot on is that voters actually want a result for their effort and that involves being in government. As its impossible to see any group get an overall majority any time soon the challenge is obvious and so is what needs to be done.

Until this happens a great deal of voters, me included, will not take the Irish left seriously. They are not serious so far.

One of the things we now face is that the parties have good self confidence in their respective political identities so that they can deal with each other, before now Irish politics has been built on the insecurity of not being the other party, it's probably fair to blame the long shadow of the civil war for this, and we saw it in action with FF's refusal to enter coalition with FG. Bloc politics will demand that individual parties retain cohesive identities while not being threatened by mutual cooperation with others.

What this probably means for the left is that Labour decide and fix a single political identity, SD's have to find a way to grow their brand without the protectionism of shying away from everyone else, AAA/PBP need to learn how to be both provocative and pragmatic at the same time, and SF needs to heal old wounds and build trust with the others as the left before now has not trusted SF. I'd add the Greens to the mix, but after them abstaining today.....I just tend to think of them as a hopeless cause, eternally opportunistic and not actually aligned with real green parties in Europe.

So that's the challenge ahead, but there's no escaping external factors and how the as yet unknown dynamics of the 32nd Dail will work out. But should FF/FG get lost in old habits as they have before now, there's no denying the opportunity available not only to the traditional left, but also to the cause of progressive modern politics in Ireland which has been sorely missed before now.
 

drummed

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One of the things we now face is that the parties have good self confidence in their respective political identities so that they can deal with each other, before now Irish politics has been built on the insecurity of not being the other party, it's probably fair to blame the long shadow of the civil war for this, and we saw it in action with FF's refusal to enter coalition with FG. Bloc politics will demand that individual parties retain cohesive identities while not being threatened by mutual cooperation with others.

What this probably means for the left is that Labour decide and fix a single political identity, SD's have to find a way to grow their brand without the protectionism of shying away from everyone else, AAA/PBP need to learn how to be both provocative and pragmatic at the same time, and SF needs to heal old wounds and build trust with the others as the left before now has not trusted SF. I'd add the Greens to the mix, but after them abstaining today.....I just tend to think of them as a hopeless cause, eternally opportunistic and not actually aligned with real green parties in Europe.

So that's the challenge ahead, but there's no escaping external factors and how the as yet unknown dynamics of the 32nd Dail will work out. But should FF/FG get lost in old habits as they have before now, there's no denying the opportunity available not only to the traditional left, but also to the cause of progressive modern politics in Ireland which has been sorely missed before now.
Fine, but all that ignores the rather troubling reality that no real left exists as such. It remains a collection of diverse factions many of whom cannot stand each other. Rather than worry about what FF/FG do I would suggest fixing that division is the first priority. Hoping the others drop the ball and it bounces your way is not a policy which seems to be your hope there.

The left needs to get its own house in order and presently its in a sorry state. Also, the concept of a 'radical' government is a non-runner. A radical regime will simply not get elected in Ireland. Voters are rarely radical. There is always the possibility of change but virtually never the appetite for radicalism.
 

Breanainn

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One of the things we now face is that the parties have good self confidence in their respective political identities so that they can deal with each other, before now Irish politics has been built on the insecurity of not being the other party, it's probably fair to blame the long shadow of the civil war for this, and we saw it in action with FF's refusal to enter coalition with FG. Bloc politics will demand that individual parties retain cohesive identities while not being threatened by mutual cooperation with others.

What this probably means for the left is that Labour decide and fix a single political identity, SD's have to find a way to grow their brand without the protectionism of shying away from everyone else, AAA/PBP need to learn how to be both provocative and pragmatic at the same time, and SF needs to heal old wounds and build trust with the others as the left before now has not trusted SF. I'd add the Greens to the mix, but after them abstaining today.....I just tend to think of them as a hopeless cause, eternally opportunistic and not actually aligned with real green parties in Europe.

So that's the challenge ahead, but there's no escaping external factors and how the as yet unknown dynamics of the 32nd Dail will work out. But should FF/FG get lost in old habits as they have before now, there's no denying the opportunity available not only to the traditional left, but also to the cause of progressive modern politics in Ireland which has been sorely missed before now.
The SDs do appear to be moving towards joining a broad left alliance, after working with SF, AAA-PBP and Inds4Change on the water charges motion - the challenge for all the left parties seems to be how they would work together without losing their distinctive identities.
 

drummed

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The SDs do appear to be moving towards joining a broad left alliance, after working with SF, AAA-PBP and Inds4Change on the water charges motion - the challenge for all the left parties seems to be how they would work together without losing their distinctive identities.
In particular for SF this poses a major issue for the whole 'national question'. None of the others agree with their most fundamental policy.
 

ShinnerBot No.32564844524

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In particular for SF this poses a major issue for the whole 'national question'. None of the others agree with their most fundamental policy.
Not necessarily, it's simply who we are, accept it and get on with working with us as the overall question isn't immediate until we have an opportunity to push for border poll which has been our position openly for sometime before now. The other parts of the national question in the meantime aren't all that contentious, speaking rights for MLA's, further integration and improvement of all-island bodies, and any other opportunities where operating on an all-island basis proves beneficial for citizens. It's hardly a deal breaker imo.
 

ShinnerBot No.32564844524

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Fine, but all that ignores the rather troubling reality that no real left exists as such. It remains a collection of diverse factions many of whom cannot stand each other. Rather than worry about what FF/FG do I would suggest fixing that division is the first priority. Hoping the others drop the ball and it bounces your way is not a policy which seems to be your hope there.
The left exists just not so unified before now, the real question now is if the new landscape will force traditional factionalism to fade.



The left needs to get its own house in order and presently its in a sorry state. Also, the concept of a 'radical' government is a non-runner. A radical regime will simply not get elected in Ireland. Voters are rarely radical. There is always the possibility of change but virtually never the appetite for radicalism.
Indeed, but that brings us back to parties finding a way to maintain the integrity of their own identity while managing to get on with the job of providing a credible alternative.
 

PBP voter

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In my other post with regard to the new government, I've focused on the meaning of the use of confidence and supply in the establishment of the current government and what such arrangements might mean. In this post I now am questioning what the resulting effects will be in terms of political blocs emerging in the new dail.

I know FF are desperately trying to have their cake and eat it as they return Enda to power, but even outside an actual coalition, FF/FG and select allsorts now represent a political "bloc" in that they now support each other in opposition to everyone outside their bloc.

There's a very blithe and lazy assumption that the current poll numbers will return to business as usual in that we will return to a majority government in the near future, but this hasn't been the case in New Zealand since the introduction of PR, and Canada went through an entire decade before the liberals only barely got a majority last year.

In anticipation of this, Irish political parties now have an onus to form blocs before an election as opposed to after so that the electorate can best vote not only for the party, but for the combination of government they would like to see after election and so that government formation won't take ten weeks as it has with the current farce.

Interestingly, this now presents a challenge to the broader left, unite around opposition to the new FF/FG/Allsorts bloc or fail to maximise their position in opposition leading up to the next election. It's kind of hilarious to see the Green's choosing to abstain in support of the new governing bloc.

Who do you think will be the new winners and losers in the new political landscape?
It's the end of the Junior partner.

Bad news for FG,FF and possibly SF. As things stand none of these jokers will have a Junior partner to prop them up if they are the largest party at the next election or the one after that.

Will indos suffer like Lab? Maybe.
 

drummed

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It's the end of the Junior partner.

Bad news for FG,FF and possibly SF. As things stand none of these jokers will have a Junior partner to prop them up if they are the largest party at the next election or the one after that.

Will indos suffer like Lab? Maybe.
Indos are not a coherent bloc so not matter what happens some of them will look good and others will always emerge to replace any who fail. The basic notion that indos get you stuff is established after today so the individuals are less important than the idea itself.

Also, the NI elections. The vote is finally fragmenting into actual issues and leaving behind tribal trends. The PBP/Greens/UKIP are all gaining ground at the expense of the traditional parties. The trend is fragmentation everywhere for the next while anyway.

The end of the junior partner leaves every party with a dilemma now. None can expect to have their policies implemented without significant compromise. I sense the left refuses to grasp this.
 

ShinnerBot No.32564844524

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The SDs do appear to be moving towards joining a broad left alliance, after working with SF, AAA-PBP and Inds4Change on the water charges motion - the challenge for all the left parties seems to be how they would work together without losing their distinctive identities.
Bang and on the button, retaining party identity has been the challenge of other countries where plural parlements exist in the world, it's why FF were trying to be canny with the C+A agreement and why it might backfire in their faces yet.
 

ShinnerBot No.32564844524

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The end of the junior partner leaves every party with a dilemma now. None can expect to have their policies implemented without significant compromise. I sense the left refuses to grasp this.
I'm not so sure, before now the junior partner was the epitome of significant compromise with the added damage done to party identity in the process(RIP PD's, Greens, Labour). Voting blocs offer significantly more flexibility and protection of party identity to those who can make the most of it.
 

drummed

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Bang and on the button, retaining party identity has been the challenge of other countries where plural parlements exist in the world, it's why FF were trying to be canny with the C+A agreement and why it might backfire in their faces yet.
But in reality there is less and less to be different about as democracies develop and coalitions become the norm. Party identity is often more imagined than real. In the end the voters want polices and parties who can or will implement them. Tribalist identities as such become less significant over time. Parties will still retain separate policies.

Look at NI, the old tribal patterns are breaking down there clearly. The traditional parties retain identities but the electoral turnout is poor and new groups are taking away their votes. Identity and cultures are ever changing and we must go with them, not remain in place.

We are not tree's. We can move!
 

GDPR

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Perhaps voting blocs will be the way forward but no one really knows. All parties and Independents are going to have to get used to the new political reality. The traditional form of government and opposition was well known, tried and tested, everyone understood their script. Now its a steep learning curve.
 

ShinnerBot No.32564844524

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But in reality there is less and less to be different about as democracies develop and coalitions become the norm. Party identity is often more imagined than real. In the end the voters want polices and parties who can or will implement them. Tribalist identities as such become less significant over time. Parties will still retain separate policies.

Look at NI, the old tribal patterns are breaking down there clearly. The traditional parties retain identities but the electoral turnout is poor and new groups are taking away their votes. Identity and cultures are ever changing and we must go with them, not remain in place.

We are not tree's. We can move!
It is however cyclical, Labour UK demonstrated that you can only go so far down the path of pragmatic politics until you have to return to your identity to reinvigorate yourself. Corbyn probably won't win Lab an election, but he will redefine them so that at some point in the future there will be a reason to see Labour as being an alternative to the Tories. At the end of it all, ideology and identity remain crucial in setting out a vision which will define the policies and issues you wish to offer voters. You can swing from one to the other and back again, but as yet there is no such thing as a perfectly technocratic policy driven party that has survived or thrived, in fact the EU's current woes are directly attributable to centrist mentalities refusing to take a position on anything. The trends you point out have their limits, and ultimately everything is cyclical.
 

Round tower

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Perhaps voting blocs will be the way forward but no one really knows. All parties and Independents are going to have to get used to the new political reality. The traditional form of government and opposition was well known, tried and tested, everyone understood their script. Now its a steep learning curve.
Totally agree, before this in the Dail if the Gov. lost a vote, it would cause a election, this could happen a lot in the new Dail. This has happened in the House of Commons without it causing a election. What happens in such cases, if it was amendment to a bill i would expect that amendment would be in the act. But what happens if a act is defeated, which is not financial or a vote of confidence.
 

GDPR

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Totally agree, before this in the Dail if the Gov. lost a vote, it would cause a election, this could happen a lot in the new Dail. This has happened in the House of Commons without it causing a election. What happens in such cases, if it was amendment to a bill i would expect that amendment would be in the act. But what happens if a act is defeated, which is not financial or a vote of confidence.
I'm assuming referred back to relevant committee to re-word. It's reasonable to anticipate that these cross party committees, say health, will have more power and be much busier than before. It is also likely that legislation will take longer to get through as a consensus will be required.
 

eoinmcneil

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I'm assuming referred back to relevant committee to re-word. It's reasonable to anticipate that these cross party committees, say health, will have more power and be much busier than before. It is also likely that legislation will take longer to get through as a consensus will be required.
It should result in less badly thought out legislation, but of course all tough decisions will be avoided.
 


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