Inspired by this pretty interesting book I thought I'd start a "what if" dicusssion.
The more interesting what ifs that occur to me:
What if Al Gore had become President in 2001?
- Would the US have invaded Iraq? Unlikley since there would be no neo-cons in the administration, would that mean the price of oil was far lower? What effect would that have had on the global economy?
- Would he have handeled September 11th diffrently? Can you picture Gore with his arm around a firefighter at ground
zero standing on a pile of rubble rallying the country?
- Would he have harnessed the phenomenal good will the US had after the attacks and used it diffrently?
- We should think of the strong possibility that the fascinating 2008 election might have been a snoozefest between Vice President Liebrman and some flat white republican, may have still been McCain, or Romney, in any case after 16 years of Democratic rule, we might be looking at President Romney or President McCain now. Joe Liberman would almost certanly have ran given his recent ambitions, and it's rare a sitting VP is challenged for the nomination, so short of him not running, Hillary and Barack would not have had a chance this year, Barack could wait four years and might have happened anyway, but poor Hillary never would have got her shot.
What if the 1921 treaty had not been signed and the WOI continued?
- Would we be still be part of the UK?
- Would the WOI have fizzled out eventualy as all other Irish rebellions did before that?
- Would continuing the fight have accomplished a full 32 county republic? or just delayed the inevitable 26 county
What if the 1916 rising had never happened?
Would the third home rule bill have come in after the war, where would that leave ulster?
What if proportional representation had been abolished?
Both referendums on this were turned down but what if people had been convinced by the "stablity" arugment?
- Would we be living in a glorified one party state with FF having a permenant majority or would it have forced FG to become more organized? The Rainbow government would never have happened and we may never have had free third level. The Green party, the PDs, and Sinn Fein would be single-seat RESPECT style parties or non-existant in Dail Eireann. Would the PDs policies have happened anyway with the neoliberal trend throughout the west? Just perhaps to a lesser extreme?
- Would FTPT have meant more stable leadership during the 1980s? or would it have encouraged more wreckless 1977 style policies?
- With Independents being powerless would South Kerry have a lot more pot holes and the Dublin North Inner City be far more run down?
What if the Kerry-McCain ticket had materalized in 2004?
This was John Kerrys dream ticket in 2004, a unity ticket, two vietnam vets, a republican VP nominee who was at the time considered a moderate and whom Bush had used dirty tactics to defeat in 2000. His proposal was to make the VP slot more akin to the Tainiste slot here, with a specific powerful portfilio, in this case a super-ministry with control over national security.
The idea was endorced by future VP Joe Biden "...if John Kerry said that's who he wanted, and McCain I'd encourage McCain to say yes. .... you know, we need some unity here, man. The red states and the blue states we've got to have something to coalesce around here."
"John Kerry is a close friend of mine. We have been friends for years," McCain said on Good Morning America "Obviously I would entertain it."
A CBS poll showed a Kerry-McCain ticket destroying the Bush-Cheney ticket 53%-39%, other polls showed the ticket touching 60%.
McCain eventually decided against it and let it be known he would not accept the job if offered, the rest is history, as we know Edwards was a useless VP nominee.
If this ticket had gone forward the Bush era would have gone down as a short lived but dangerious hiccup in American history, a man without a mandate who was outsted before he could do any more damage.
What if we had never joined the European Union, but the EEA/EFTA?
- Would we still be a basket case economy? Where else would we have found they money for so many of our capital spending projects?
- Would we (ever) have developed our fishing waters and natural resources Norway style?
What if there had been an Irish Presidential election in 2004
If the parties had not prevented an election, would the various contenders have had a chance against Mary Mac? She had a 90% approval rating at the time.
Could Micheal D. Higgans, Eamon Ryan or Dana have pulled out a surprise win 1990 style? Could a dark horse independent have emerged?