Will FF be out of power for a generation?

borntorum

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In 1976 the UK Labour government was forced to call in the IMF to stabilise the country's economy. They were gone again in a few years, but such was the damage done to Labour's reputation for fiscal management that they were out of power from 1979 until 1997, despite the unpopularity of the Tories for much of that time, and they didn't overtake the Conservative party again until Major's government lost its fiscal credibility after the ERM fiasco of 1992.

For Labour 1976, read Fianna Fail 2010? Are they going to be out of government until at least they find a Tony Blair-type character who can re-invent the party and remove the least edifying aspects of its recent history?
 


RockinRolla

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I wouldnt count on it.

Remember, we are dealing with the gombeen Irish here. Besides, the next party(ies) to get into Government will be at the mercy of the IMF anyway so they cant even go about fixing the damage FF done by their own initiative and plans. It will take years before any party(ies) policies or ideals can be put in place because the next GE will be nothing more than an election for puppets to be managed by foreigners.
 

bándearg

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Probably not. Without a radical overhaul of the political system red-faced jumped-up county councillors will be a lot of people's preferred candidate. No-one attracts more gombeens than FF. With 5 years of IMF control and austerity the fickle public will have forgotten who caused it in the first place.
 

Fides

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It does depend on the quality of the parties that go into govern.
Margaret Thatcher was a very different animal in 1979 to anything the electorate had seen before, rolled up her sleeves and got stuck into all and sundry without fear or favour. For a while they liked it.
New Labour were also very different when they came to power and were greeted with great hope. Didn't quite work in the end.
Now Cameron and Clegg are the fresh faced new look, a real coalition in Britain and again very different and they have a lot of support despite the austerity they are imposing.
We have......old labour (virtually no new faces at all) and a divided FG. FF will get voted out next election and will go into lots of soul searching. If they have sense they reinvent themselves, drop at least 50% of the current top of the party and inject new blood. They could massacre the coalition if they do it right.
 

Libero

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Up until recently, I'd have disagreed with that prediction. For a long time, I thought FF would slither into opposition and watch as the next government exhausted the fiscal capacity of the state and fall into a sovereign debt crisis - all while FF acted outraged, insisting that they'd been able to retain market confidence and keep the show on the road.

I wasn't sure that was the grand Machiavellian gameplan, but that's how I thought it would probably turn out.

Then the bond markets turned on Ireland. FF really didn't see that coming, as shown by the sudden increase in austerity promises in an effort to placate the markets.

As a result of all that, and crowned by the IMF arrival this week, the consequences of the bust will always be traced back to FF's time in office.

Even the slowest of tabloid paper readers will know in their bones that no matter who's in office when brutal austerity hits home, it's all a follow-on from the FF boom and the FF bank bailout.

FF also aren't helping themselves with the level of graceless bluster and denial that has become their natural mode of communication. While it's vital for the party they don't turn on each other, that aura of shameless groupthink bullsh1t will surround how they'll leave office, and how they'll be remembered holding office.

So yes, I now think they're looking at a long, long time out of office, once the next government shows a minimum level of competence and communicates the message that it's all the fault of the last lot. The 4-year adjustment plan set to be announced by the current government will help on that front, not to mention it signing up to the ECB/EU/IMF's eventual conditionalities.

One alternative is that conservative Ireland blames Labour in government for continuing depression, but can't bring itself to back FF, preferring instead to despair at the offerings of both FF and FG. In that scenario, there's a ready market for a Forza Italia type offering, especially if young FF hacks see no future in what's left of that party.
 
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Cael

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In 1976 the UK Labour government was forced to call in the IMF to stabilise the country's economy. They were gone again in a few years, but such was the damage done to Labour's reputation for fiscal management that they were out of power from 1979 until 1997, despite the unpopularity of the Tories for much of that time, and they didn't overtake the Conservative party again until Major's government lost its fiscal credibility after the ERM fiasco of 1992.

For Labour 1976, read Fianna Fail 2010? Are they going to be out of government until at least they find a Tony Blair-type character who can re-invent the party and remove the least edifying aspects of its recent history?
The landowners, farmers, builders and small time gombeens will always vote for Fianna Fáil, as FF looks after them - to the detriment of everyone else.
 

antiestablishmentarian

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They won't get back in again. Can you see people voting for these tossers after whats happened over the past 3 years? The Irish peope aren't stupid, and these fellas will never again be able to pose as a credible or creditable alternative government. On current figures, they'd be lucky to break 30 seats in the next GE and if that happened, the party would disintegrate. It's already losing its activist base and the cumainn throughout the country are graying and haemorrhaging members.
 

Fides

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The landowners, farmers, builders and small time gombeens will always vote for Fianna Fáil, as FF looks after them - to the detriment of everyone else.
But the reality is Cael FF attracted a strong element of working class voters and those with stronger nationalist tendencies and they need those votes to get back in. I do agree there is a core of the group you mention that see FF as the best fit with their own interests and will always vote FF but are there enough of them?
 

slx

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I wouldn't count on it either, but I think the level of anger and the clarity of what has happened is likely to destroy Fianna Fail for the foreseeable future.

I honestly think that if Fianna Fail do not pay a truly enormous political price for this mess, that Ireland will simply never resolve its problems.

The moral hazard *must* be there.
 

controller

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I don't know. A lot of the people who would be voting against the corrupt ************************ers are leaving the country........but by god....the anger is rising...
 

borntorum

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Up until recently, I'd have disagreed with that prediction. For a long time, I thought FF would slither into opposition and watch as the next government exhausted the fiscal capacity of the state and fall into a sovereign debt crisis - all while FF acted outraged, insisting that they'd been able to retain market confidence and keep the show on the road.

I wasn't sure that was the grand Machiavellian gameplan, but that's how I thought it would probably turn out.

Then the bond markets turned on Ireland. FF really didn't see that coming, as shown by the sudden increase in austerity promises in an effort to placate the markets.

As a result of all that, and crowned by the IMF arrival this week, the consequences of the bust will always be traced back to FF's time in office.

Even the slowest of tabloid paper readers will know in their bones that no matter who's in office when brutal austerity hits home, it's all a follow-on from the FF boom and the FF bank bailout.

FF also aren't helping themselves with the level of graceless bluster and denial that has become their natural mode of communication. While it's vital for the party they don't turn on each other, that aura of shameless groupthink bullsh1t will surround how they'll leave office, and how they'll be remembered holding office.

So yes, I now think they're looking at a long, long time out of office, once the next government shows a minimum level of competence and communicates the message that it's all the fault of the last lot. The 4-year adjustment plan set to be announced by the current government will help on that front, not to mention it signing up to the ECB/EU/IMF's eventual conditionalities.

One alternative is that conservative Ireland blames Labour in government for continuing depression, but can't bring itself to back FF, preferring instead to despair at the offerings of both FF and FG. In that scenario, there's a ready market for a Forza Italia type offering, especially if young FF hacks see no future in what's left of that party.
I likewise would have thought until recently that FF was unlikely to be out of power for too long. And of course the voting system here is very different to the UK, and with coalition governments and such like I still think it very possible that FF could be back after two elections (one is probably far too short a time).

But I do think something momentous is happening. The future of FF itself could be in question. The party has long been a mix of leftists, rightists, liberals, conservatives, rural and urban, working and middle class. What kept them all together was pragmatism, the party's reputation (deserved or not) for basic fiscal and economic competence and (of course) power. Two of those three have been destroyed for the forseeable future, and the party's pragmatism, for a long time one of its most attractive features, has been utterly debased by Bertie style "one for everybody in the audience" populism.

After the next election the party will lick its wounds and take stock. But I could foresee a year or two later a break-up between the more idealistic and ideological members, and the rest of the old guard whose tactic in opposition will probably to be to do nothing and wait for FG/Lab to make mistakes.
 

droghedasouth

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In 2002 it was by no means certain the FG would survive and the cause of that existential crisis was just a piece of lunacy by Noonan and Mitchell.

After taking 13 years to destroy the country, removing a whole older generation's wealth and condemning younger people to a life of penury through negative equity not to mention emigration for those able to escape, why should the FF brand have any future?

They are no longer relevant to the future of Ireland.
FF, the most successful political party in Europe faces ending like the PD's.
 

Rospuppy

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They will be out for a while for sure maybe 3 terms of government... they will need to re-group and that will take time...they need fresh new faces coming into the party and do not see that happening for a long time... in realtion to Cael... what planet is it on, Planet D4... farmers, builders, etc have suffered as a result of this recession.. we all have so pointing the finger at them is a wate of time.. FF were great when the country was going well, they were elected 3 times as the biggest party so who are the fools... the TD's or the people who voted them in... Has anyone asked these so called expert of the FG and Lab polices (if implemented) would have the country in a better position...
 

seangos

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This will probably read as a bit hysterical and OTT but my own opinion is if the country is to have a future, then FF as a political entity needs to be wiped out. The malevolent influence of that party has corrupted practically every aspect of Irish society, the gombeenism, the failure to stand up to the Unions, the utter lack of morality, the dynasticism, the short-termism, the contempt for democracy, the utter lack of imagination or real courage, the corruption, the ignorance, the cronyism. FF is, quite literally, a cancer and unless it is killed off then it will continue to cast it's terrible influence over this poor country and the fools who swallow the bluster and the lies. My fervent hope is that the ministers who have brought us to this position will be prosecuted, either criminally or through the civil courts, convicted and that the party will ultimately be proscribed as a threat to the security of the state, because that is what it is, let's call a spade a spade. Otherwise, I sincerely believe that FF will eventually regain power and might well finish the country off the next time around.
 

Cael

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But the reality is Cael FF attracted a strong element of working class voters and those with stronger nationalist tendencies and they need those votes to get back in. I do agree there is a core of the group you mention that see FF as the best fit with their own interests and will always vote FF but are there enough of them?
FF will soon be out of power and FG\Labour will take the poison chalice of inflicting de facto IMF rule. After four years of this they will be so hated that all FF's crimes will be forgiven and forgotten.
 

cashinhand

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Fianna Fáil 0

It is possible that Fianna Fáil will get zero seats in the upcoming general election.

I said zero, yes.

Let's say the limpets, clinging on for dear life, give their FF local candidate(s) 15% of the vote in a five seater, 20% in a four seater, 30% in a three seater.

But then the local candidate(s) attract no transfers. That's a zero seat return nationally.

The members can then drink and smoke all they like anywhere they like (along as it is not in Ireland) in the wind-up of their party.

FF 0.
 

Astral Peaks

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Fianna Fail have had years to place their friends and cronies in to positions in the PS, CS and the myriad of quangos and bodies we have set up in this country.

Those people will ensure that FF are not long in the wilderness, it is in their interest to do so!!!
 

johndodger

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No. By 2016/7 the notoriously fickle Irish electorate will have tired of FG/Lab after they have fixed the economy and will have forgotten about what FF did. FF will, true to form, promise whatever it takes to get elected and will be back in power in 2017, possibly with a landslide, ready to ruin what's left of the country.
 

bocaman

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FF should be out of power for a generation if not more. But they wont be. The FG/Labour government will be left to pick up the pieces, implement all the harsh dictats from the IMF and then get flung out of office in 2016.

In short I'm in broad agreement with the last poster.
 


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