kaitak
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Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 5:01 am

Hi folks,

Just as a bit of fun, I thought it might be interesting to run a little poll to predict the results of the general election on the 24th. It's going to be one of the most interesting elections in years and it's a very tight race so far.

(For those unfamiliar with Irish politics, our parliament - the Dail (pronounced Daw-il) - has 166 seats, so 83 are needed for a majority; it's a long time since we've had single party government and the current govt is a coalition between FF - Fianna Fail - and the Progressive Democrats, which between them have about 84 or 85 seats.)

For my part, I'm predicting the following:

FF 70, FG 48, Lab 26, SF 7, Green 6, PD 2, Ind 7.

With these results, the proposed FG/Labour/Green coalition can't work, so I see an FF/Labour coalition, but with Labour insisting on someone other than Bertie (Bertie Ahern TD, our current "Taoiseach", or PM) as leader.

Over to you folks and please, like the Irish aviation threads, this is only a bit of fun, so please, no hostility unfriendly comments. Just your numbers prediction and how you see the next govt shaping up. Come the 26/27th, we can see who was closest to the mark.
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 7:52 am

Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
FF 70

It'll be interesting to see just how many seats they lose. That prediction is a drop of 8 seats which, However some analysts have muted the possibility of up to 20 seat losses:
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/ff-in-a-nosedive-670055.html
Let's wait and see............

Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
FG 48

I think the only way for FG is up really from the present 32. Not because of a radical increase in support, just because they can't really do any worse than the last election and should regain some of their former seats:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_general_election,_2002#Fine_Gael

Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
Lab 26

 checkmark 

Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
SF 7

Yes, I think they might have a marginal increase, but not anything significant.

Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
Green 6

Here's where my thoughts differ. I think the Greens have come on leaps and bounds over the past while, and will be pivotal in the forming of the next Govt. Trevor Seargent has impressed me, and their policies (bar any aviation opposition!) are more or less compatible with my thoughts e.g. I like their focus on an integrated transport system, something which FF/PDs seem destined NEVER to achieve. I like their clean politics stance, which seems to be in opposition to FG in recent weeks. Plus, with the emergence of environmental issues as one of (if not the most) important challenges we face today, who better to implement change then the specialists themselves? I'm going to propose an increase for the Greens at the expense of the PDs.

Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
PD 2

From a business perspective (which is more than likely where my future career will lie), I've always been somewhat in tandem with the PDs policies. I like Mary Harney for her endeavours (however successful she's been, she's tried). I cannot abide the "bulldog" as a politician and a man with such an important post and responsibility. I think he's erratic in his outbursts and a little too offense orientated in his demeanour for my liking. The PDs have been severely damaged these past few years and maybe it's time for them to take a time out to re-evaluate their objectives.

The debate tonight was fantastic. Pat Rabbite wiped the floor in my opinion, and I think Gerry Adams and Michael (what a surprise) didn't do themselves any favours.

Tomorrow night, however, is when the real fun begins!!!  bouncy   box 

My prediction, therefore, is as follows:
FF: 65
FG: 48
Lab: 29
Green: 10
SF: 7
PD: 3
Ind: 4
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 9:15 am

It really is getting interesting now, and unless something radically happens FF are going to lose heavily. They were very, very lucky through good vote management to get the 81 seats they did the last time round, and they won't get anywhere near that again. Even last week I would have thought they'd get around 75 seats, but it'd be very surprised to see them getting that now. Never say never, however, and there's a good week left to go. Expect all the stops to be pulled-out, and no doubt FF have a big warchest to unelash in a last-minute blitz.

They are fighting a really bad campaign, and it's showing now with them getting rattled, and that's not going to win any votes. Even Bertie seems to have lost the fight. It looks like the Tony Blair/Bill Clinton endorsement has backfired, which must really demoralise them further.

It really is impossible to predict seats, but FG are going to do well. Enda Kenny is on a roll and is beginning to sound like he finally believes he's going to be the nest taoiseach.

Labour are going to do well, but Sinn Fein will probably make some inroads into their vote. SF have a bottomless pit of money and if they are going to gain votes it will probably be at the expense of Labour. The polls are predicting up to 10 seats for them, which would be a disaster for the country. They are the last people you'd want to see holding the balance of power.

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 1):
Pat Rabbite wiped the floor in my opinion, and I think Gerry Adams and Michael (what a surprise) didn't do themselves any favours.

Sorry, I couldn't disagree more! Rabbite held his own but McDowell stole the show! It's rare that you see Adams stuck for words, but McDowell's comments on Adams's home and the Northern Back and on the Colombia Three had him rattled. Adams seems out of his depth when talking about politics in the Republic. McDowell had Sargent as well as Adams on the defensive. After this showing, I'm prepared to forgive McDowell his arrogance. He's a very formidable debater, and tonights debate can only do him good. He keeps reminding us that they were only on 2% the last time around yet ended-up with eight seats. Also, he can afford to alienate people as he's only targeting a small minority of voters.

I'm not going to give any figures, this is the most exciting election we've had for years and is just so hard to call. As for myself, I've voted for them all, apart from SF, in the past, but while Bertie's still chief FF will be getting my vote, and the number 2 goes to the PDs. I'll study the candidates and may vote tactially after that. I know the present government made a hash of a lot of things, but I trust them on income tax and the 2% flat rate of PRSI is a real vote winner as far as I'm concerned. I don't know why they are not screaming it from the rooftops.
 
kaitak
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 5:07 pm

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 1):
Tomorrow night, however, is when the real fun begins!!!

Frankly, I was disappointed in last night's debate (not least because I thought Bertie and Enda were going to be debating, but as you say, that's tonight. I thought Pat Rabbitte was the best of the four in terms of debating. I thought Gerry was poor, constantly telling people "we believe people have rights". Thanks Gerry! I also thought his responses on free enterprise were poor.

It is certainly going to be the most interesting election in ages. I am really looking forward to Friday week, for the count. I live in Jersey, so I'll probably have RTE radio through Sky and I'll be logging onto Aertel and Breakingnews.ie ... it really will be fascinating!
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 5:36 pm

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 3):
it really will be fascinating

The latest poll results show a collapse of the FF vote in Dublin. They could be facing the bloodbath that FG suffered in '02.
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 6:19 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 2):
Sorry, I couldn't disagree more!



Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 2):
but McDowell stole the show! It's rare that you see Adams stuck for words, but McDowell's comments on Adams's home and the Northern Back and on the Colombia

Ok, that's a valid point which I forgot about when making my predictions last night. I still maintain that McDowell didn't exactly say anything radical last night which would reaffirm people's faith in him or the PDs or indeed win over any doubtful voters. He did, however, as you said, put that 'thing' in his place. Adams came across so arrogant, hypocritical and, at times, patronising towards the other three when he lectured them on the 'rights' of the people. I wasn't too amused that the debate got sidetracked to these affairs once again (although it might have served to remind the electorate just where he came from). Adams looked, at times, clueless about some issues and kept reverting back to issues he was comfortable with (which had no relevance to the questions asked) like the North, rights of the people, etc.

I nearly split myself laughing when Pat called McDowell a menopausal Paris Hilton'! I can't say that I've ever been a Labour fan but he was impressive.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 6:48 pm

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 5):
Adams looked, at times, clueless about some issues and kept reverting back to issues he was comfortable with (which had no relevance to the questions asked) like the North, rights of the people

He showed himself up to be a one-issue debater, and totally out of his depth talking about the economy in the Republic. Sinn Féin tend to repeat the same mantras over and over. It's like someone pushing a button in their brain: button A for one answer, button B for anohter, and so on. You never feel you are going anywhere with them.

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 5):
nearly split myself laughing when Pat called McDowell a menopausal Paris Hilton'

That seems to be the quote which stands out most. Rabbite is very good at the one-liners, and he claims he made it up on the hoof: I don't believe it for a minute, just like McDowell's comment about the left, the hard left and the leftovers.

Can't see the same fun tonight though, Ahern and Kenny will be doing their best not to put their foot in it. No doubt they are both shitting bricks for the day!
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 7:08 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 6):
don't believe it for a minute, just like McDowell's comment about the left, the hard left and the leftovers.

 checkmark 
It's the same with the "I think Michael is a little too excited by the pole he climbed today" or whatever way he put it! Oh, he was well prepped by his aides in terms of one-liners, but as an analyst on News2 said last night, he's probably the best out of them all for thinking on the spot and retaliating with witty retorts.

In terms of the "left-overs" jab, I think it showed that he didn't come up with it himself seeming that he kept saying it over and over; it sounded well rehearsed!

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 6):
Can't see the same fun tonight though, Ahern and Kenny will be doing their best not to put their foot in it. No doubt they are both shitting bricks for the day!

Can you imagine it?! One slip up is all it will take. Whatever about last night in terms of strong speakers/debaters, tonight will be a completely different kettle of fish. Enda doesn't exactly ooze charisma or strong rhetoric, while Bertie.....well Bertie ju-ju-ju-just speaks for himself. Although he was quite impressive the other day when he addressed the House of Lords/Commons.
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 7:17 pm

Oh sweet God, Pat Rabbitte just got attacked on Radio1 over his Paris Hilton jibe! Someone e-mailed in (Pat seems to think it was the Fianna Fáil press office) who lambasted him over his choice of words. The e-mailer said that it was poor taste to use menopausal because it referred to older, sick women (!) and they suggested that referring to a B-class celebrity indicated that Pat read certain newspapers i.e tabloids!!!

Pat's response: "It's not my problem if people don't have a sense of humour!"
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 17, 2007 7:28 pm

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 8):
Oh sweet God, Pat Rabbitte just got attacked on Radio1 over his Paris Hilton jibe! S

LOL! You're listening to Pat Kenny too. Rabbite is coming across well, and is growing in stature as the campaign proceeds. The menopausal Paris Hilton jibe is going to be used by FFers against him. Menopausal women all over the country are ringing in complaining. He's just turned the argument on it's head by saying it was about McDowell, not menopausal women.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Fri May 18, 2007 6:02 pm

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 7):
Enda doesn't exactly ooze charisma or strong rhetoric, while Bertie.....well Bertie ju-ju-ju-just speaks for himself. Although he was quite impressive the other day when he addressed the House of Lords/Commons.

I caught most of the debate on radio and only saw ten minutes on TV. Kenny sounded much better on radio and I thought he was winning the debate here, but Ahern seemed more impressive on TV. This happened in the States when Nixon debated Kennedy: people who only heard it on radio thought Nixon won, but viewers went for Kennedy.

Kenny had the taoiseach on the racks over health, and Ahern should really have been better advised here. Trumpeting the successes of the HSE would be seen by most viewers as a joke. He should have just put his hands up and pointed out how difficult reforming the whole structure is, even if it meant alienating the management and workers, who, it has to be said, have to take a large portion of the blame here.

Ahern had Kenny on the racks over taxation, and Kenny seemed to be unprepared for Ahern's jibe about FG's tax reforms benefiting the higher paid.

Kenny was obviously tutored well, but relied too much on anecdotes: one or two would have been fine, but I could smell Carr Communications all over him.

I don't think last night's debate will swing many voters either way.
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Fri May 18, 2007 7:59 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 10):
I caught most of the debate on radio and only saw ten minutes on TV. Kenny sounded much better on radio and I thought he was winning the debate here, but Ahern seemed more impressive on TV. This happened in the States when Nixon debated Kennedy: people who only heard it on radio thought Nixon won, but viewers went for Kennedy.

I wonder how many people listened to it vs. watched it, and whether this will have an affect on people's perception's of the two from now until polling day. I watched it on T.V, and as you said, Bertie came across well....well, both of them came across well to be honest. Enda was a lot more forceful than what he usually is during the Leader's questions in the Dáil (where I find he comes across incredibly weak and lacking any sense of presence). Some commentators that I've heard so far have called a draw on it, but that doesn't exactly mean everyone saw it that way.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 10):
Kenny had the taoiseach on the racks over health, and Ahern should really have been better advised here

 checkmark 
He really had no where to run on this one. The pivotal point of this part of the debate was when Bertie tried in vain to list out the 'achievements' of the Govt. in its health policies, and Enda responded with a major failing of the health system for every point that Bertie listed out. I think this was the biggest blow he struck all night.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 10):
Trumpeting the successes of the HSE would be seen by most viewers as a joke

That's exactly it. He could not say one word in favour of the HSE, or there would have been war, and when he tried to put a positive spin on it, he just lacked any real credibility. Miriam kind of gave him a helping hand when she put it to Kenny that the A&E figures have improved this year!

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 10):
Ahern had Kenny on the racks over taxation

Yes, and Kenny wouldn't respond directly to the accusation regarding the top level of tax payers.


He also put him on the racks over the Gardaí. Kenny wouldn't answer (or couldn't answer) whether he will be providing 2000 extra to the 14000 to be provided at the end of this year, or just 1000 extra with the other 1000 bringing the numbers up to 14000. Kenny didn't look too sure himself.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 10):
Kenny was obviously tutored well, but relied too much on anecdotes

"you tell that to the woman in Longford" "I was talking to a man in Dublin" etc etc he just never stopped, As one commentator said, it was deliberate to show he's a man of the people.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Fri May 18, 2007 8:48 pm

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 11):
"you tell that to the woman in Longford" "I was talking to a man in Dublin" etc etc he just never stopped, As one commentator said, it was deliberate to show he's a man of the people.

He did a lot of talking to people round the country! Another phrase he kept coming out with was "this is not joined-up thinking". If he used it once he used it a dozen times, and that smacks of tutoring. Seeminly he's being tutored by Anton Savage, who is Terry Prone's son. He did a good job, but Kenny overdid it.

[Edited 2007-05-18 13:52:53]
 
kaitak
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Sat May 19, 2007 3:11 am

I was listening to it this morning on Newstalk; from what I heard, Bertie seemed to come out best. It's so rare to see Bertie animated and passionate, that it's always impressive to see. He did a fine job and while Enda didn't make an eejit of himself, to my mind Bertie was the better of the two.

I was listening to another radio show yesterday and it suggested that the viewers watching last night's debate could reach levels only previously reached by, among others, the Late Late Toy show! That's what they missed; dolls and remote control cars!
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Sat May 19, 2007 3:34 am

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 13):
Bertie seemed to come out best. It's so rare to see Bertie animated and passionate, that it's always impressive to see

Indeed, and when he gets rattled he's at his best. I remember the time he got stuck into Caoimhin O Caoilain in the Dáil over the Northern Bank robbery. He was at his finest. Also there was the time he was accused of taking something like £40,000 in bribes several years ago. The way he denied it you just KNEW it wasn't true.

That's what makes all this murky business over his house very strange. If he did get dig-out, I don't believe it was a lot, and don't consider it a hanging offence.

[Edited 2007-05-18 20:53:50]
 
aer lingus
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Sat May 19, 2007 9:07 am

Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
our parliament - the Dail (pronounced Daw-il)

Doyle maybe easier to say than Daw-il O_o

 bigthumbsup 
Split Scimitar or Sharklets?
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Sat May 19, 2007 8:20 pm

Filtering out the party propagandists, the general reaction to the Ahern/Kenny debate seems to be that Bertie shaded it, but Enda put in a good performance. This is increasingly looking like a case of a government losing the election, rather than the opposition winning.

Friday is going to be a VERY long day!
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Sun May 20, 2007 6:25 am

Saturday 10pm: the latest poll to pe published in the Sindo puts FF back up to 35%, FG at 25% and Lab at 12%. Didn't catch the PD figure, but it really is getting neck and neck now.

Bertie's bouncing back!
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Sun May 20, 2007 9:38 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 17):
Didn't catch the PD figure,

The Sindo keeps them at 3%, while the Business posts drops them by 1% to 2%.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 17):
but it really is getting neck and neck now.

Bertie's bouncing back!

It is to be sure. I just caught a glimpse on the news of Enda shoutin' like a mad man from a stage in Mayo. In fairness, I haven't seen Bertie as animated like Enda was today during the whole campaign. With the LAB/FG and the FF/PD coalitions so close, the Greens are in quite strong a position to decide the next Govt. I can't see SF being invited into any coalition.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Sun May 20, 2007 10:02 pm

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 18):
With the LAB/FG and the FF/PD coalitions so close, the Greens are in quite strong a position to decide the next Govt. I can't see SF being invited into any coalition.

The two political correspondents on today's one o'clock news are predicting a FF/Labour coalition, possibly under new party leaders. While FF have no problem with Labour, Pat Rabbitte has painted himself so much into a corner on not going into government with FF, after the election he could find himself in the crazy position of arguging to stay in opposition! So if the party decide to do a deal and he goes, they probably won't do a deal with FF under Bertie's leadership.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen? Jesus! Taoiseach Mary Hanafin???? Oh God . . .
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Sun May 20, 2007 10:58 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 19):
The two political correspondents on today's one o'clock news are predicting a FF/Labour coalition, possibly under new party leaders. While FF have no problem with Labour, Pat Rabbitte has painted himself so much into a corner on not going into government with FF, after the election he could find himself in the crazy position of arguging to stay in opposition! So if the party decide to do a deal and he goes, they probably won't do a deal with FF under Bertie's leadership.

Rabitte certainly made i perfectly clear to Brian Dobson the other day that Bertie was dreaming if he thought they'd go into Govt. with them, so it would have to be under different leader(s).

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 19):
the election he could find himself in the crazy position of arguging to stay in opposition!

While Seargent won't give an answer to who they will/won't consider forming a coalition with, Rabbitte, as you said, will have no choice but to step down or to go back on his word should this scenario unfold.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 19):
they probably won't do a deal with FF under Bertie's leadership.

Would Bertie really step down if this happens? I suppose if it meant FF retaining power....

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 19):
Taoiseach Brian Cowen? Jesus! Taoiseach Mary Hanafin???? Oh God . . .

I'd surmise Biffo would be next in line for power.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Mon May 21, 2007 12:17 am

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 20):
Would Bertie really step down if this happens? I suppose if it meant FF retaining power....

Apparently some senior FF politicians privately admit that they could lose up to 15 seats, and if that happens it's curtains for Bertie.

"Knock knock",
"Who's there?",
"Bertie",
"Bertie who?",
"That's politics!"

After their hammering in the local elections in 2004 they are expecting the lowest first-preference vote ever, but with transfers they may not lose as many seats as they privately fear. There will be a lot of sweat lost in the FF party on Friday morning.

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 20):
I'd surmise Biffo would be next in line for power

Don'tcha love it, Biffo for taoiseach!
 
kaitak
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Mon May 21, 2007 12:40 am

I'm just waiting for international news agencies - particularly the likes of "The Daily Show" in the US - to mention his nickname and what it actually stands for! That'll be fun.

"Big Ignorant F***** From Offaly"
"What's Offaly?"

It should be a very interesting day; frankly, I can't wait and I'll be logging onto Aertel and Breakingnews.ie every few minutes on Friday.

Two papers looked at possible cabinets under an FG/Lab/Green coalition and one predicted Trevor Sargent (Greens) as Transport Minister; can you imagine? Eeek! The Sunday Times had Olivia Mitchell, which would be a far better choice; she's quite good on aviation issues.

I listened to Bertie on the 1.00 news on RTE and thought he accounted for himself very well.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Mon May 21, 2007 1:10 am

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 22):
I listened to Bertie on the 1.00 news on RTE and thought he accounted for himself very well.

He was back to the cuddly, loveable. stuttering B-B-B-Bertie who wins the votes. Despite being "the cleverest, most devious of them all", he really f****ed up over the timing of the election, but then are we surprised? He's a procrastinator to the last. You would have thought he knew he was painting himself into a corner by holding on to the last minute, therefore playing into the hands of any public servants looking for a pay rise (I'm surprised it was just the nurses). I really expected him to call a snap election months ago when the coast was clear.

Losing this election would brobably be the best thing for FF. They can't stay in power for ever, and a 3-4 year period in opposition would be the shock they need to win the next one. After all, FG/Labour coalitions never run the full five years, so, if they do go into opposion this time, they could even come back with an overall majority the next time round.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 22):
"Big Ignorant F***** From Offaly"

"What's Offaly?"

Will Biffo now become Bifto? Lol!
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Mon May 21, 2007 5:13 am

Please say ye saw the clips of the various leaders on the campaign trail on the 9 o' clock news?!!
Kenny bumped into McDowell and there was the most awkward of silences between them. They traded an insincere "good to see you" followed by awkward laughter!! *cringe*  covereyes 

Then Enda was talking to the reporter and said in the most disgustingly fake accent in relation to FF's chances ................."IN YOUR DREAMS, BABY!!!" . Gift Grub and Knob Nation are going to rip the piss out of him for saying that on Monday!


.....Argh.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Mon May 21, 2007 7:01 am

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 24):
Kenny bumped into McDowell and there was the most awkward of silences between them

I missed that, but it's not like McDowell to be stuck for words!

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 24):
Then Enda was talking to the reporter and said in the most disgustingly fake accent

It's funny: I know he's doing much better than most people expected in the polls, but have you ever heard of anyone (outside of Mayo, maybe) who actually LIKES listening to Enda Kenny?

And, if Biffo does become the next leader of FF, not only will we have a taoiseach who smoked a joint, but who INHALED as well  Wow!

[Edited 2007-05-21 00:05:37]
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Mon May 21, 2007 3:48 pm

BERTIE BOUNCES BACK!

Monday, 7am: A new poll (possibly the last one of the campaign) shows FF up 5% to 41%! Apparently this is unprecedented for FF in any election. FG are down 1% with Labour, strangely, down 3%. SF are down 1% also.

This is obvioulsy the result of the debate, and apparently something like 52% of the public thought Ahern won, vs 35% for Kenny. This will be deeply disappointing for FG. It's funny how all the pundits reckoned the debate was pretty much a draw, with probably Bertie just shading it. I'm not surprised, though, like I said in an a post above, does anybody actually like listening to Enda Kenny? He's inclined to drone on and on. With Bertie sometimes you get obfuscation, equivocation etc etc, but you feel he is talking openly (except when he's talking about his finances!), and honestly, even if it does take him time to get there. He's at his best when he's rattled, and Enda just CANNOT do "rattled".

I'm surprised the PDs are not doing better after McDowell's performance on Wednesday. He proved himself a formidable debater and delivered a couple of knockout blows to Gerry Adams.

INTERESTING WEEK AHEAD!!!!!!
 
BestWestern
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Tue May 22, 2007 6:17 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 26):
INTERESTING WEEK AHEAD!!!!!!

Yes, indeed. I was 'voting for change', as I was very disillusioned with Bertie and FF. I've done my very best to keep up with the current affairs. but wasnt until the debates last week that I finally made up my mind - based on three things...

1 - Trevor from the greens - really really weak - not government minister material.
2 - Enda from the blues - very very dissapointed in his performance - no facts, no figures, just sound bites. I really think that the debate has shown people (including me) why in his 25years plus of government nobody ever gave him a proper ministerial position, and the one he did get - tourism - nobody can tell me anything he did.
3 - Bertie - very strong - great grasp of the issues, and with some direction.

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 18):
I just caught a glimpse on the news of Enda shoutin' like a mad man from a stage in Mayo

The last week has told me that Enda is a parish pump politician - great on the local stage.

Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
I see an FF/Labour coalition

I agree 100% - a week is a long time in politics. Never say never - Remember FG / Democratic left???
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Tue May 22, 2007 12:28 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 27):
1 - Trevor from the greens - really really weak - not government minister material

Memo to debaters: if you're going to write notes on your hand, at least keep them out of sight of the cameras!

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 27):
3 - Bertie - very strong - great grasp of the issues, and with some direction.

For all his obfuscation and equivocation when he's on the ropes, he has the extraordinary knack of making you think he's saying something coherent. At his best when he's rattled.

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 27):
Quoting Rineanna (Reply 18):
I just caught a glimpse on the news of Enda shoutin' like a mad man from a stage in Mayo

The last week has told me that Enda is a parish pump politician - great on the local stage.

This soundbite seems to have caught the public imagination, and could lose him the election.

Only three days to do and I've yet to decide how I'm going to vote. My no 1 and 2 will go to the PDs and FF, though I don't know in which order (even if it does mean having to vote for Dick Roche   ), after that it'll be possibly Greens and then FG. There's a possiblity that Wicklow may even return TWO Labour candidates (Liz McManus is safe, and Nicky Kelly lost by 19 votes last time round), and I don't want that.

I have to laugh every time I hear Joe Higgins: he really is a hoot. And what is it with the "People Before Profit" crowd? Between the lot of them they talk about profit in the same tones as they mention nuclear waste.

[Edited 2007-05-22 05:34:49]
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Tue May 22, 2007 10:17 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 28):
Memo to debaters: if you're going to write notes on your hand, at least keep them out of sight of the cameras!

BURNT! How amateur was that! Could he not have them in front of him on a page like the others had?!


Questions and answers was quite unteresting last night!
Liz O' Donnell did the PDs no favours by suggesting that the Govt have made tremendous changes to the Health system over the past 10 years. She swore blind that they've made changes to the Health system. The cheek! There's putting a spin on a bad situation, and there's insulting our intelligence, and she was certainly doing the latter. There was a few spats between herself and Mary Lou too. I can't stand that one. She talked as if she's in some way morally superior to the rest of them. Argh.

Biffo was spittin' venom at Pat Rabbitte, and visa versa.
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Tue May 22, 2007 10:33 pm

Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
FF 70, FG 48, Lab 26, SF 7, Green 6, PD 2, Ind 7.

who is who ?
FF = Fianna Fail = Liberals ?
FG = Fine Gael = Liberal Social Democrats ?
Lab = Labour = Socialists
Green = Green = Green
PD = ?
Ind = ?
-
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Wed May 23, 2007 1:01 am

Labour = Centre left/ Social Democratic
http://www.labour.ie/party/

Progressive Democrats = Liberals....particularly in economic matters.

Quote:
The Progressive Democrats a liberal party, were founded in 1985 when Desmond O'Malley and others in Fianna Fáil left, partially because of the opposition of Fianna Fáil to liberalise contraception and Fianna Fáil's opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985. The Progressive Democrats have a liberal approach to economic and social policy and a moderate approach to Northern Ireland. It adopts liberal positions on both economic issues and social or moral matters. It is a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR), which is a constituent part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). The Progressive Democrats' economic policies are based on liberal economics. They support a free enterprise, low tax and pro-competition policy base.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politic...parties_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland
http://www.progressivedemocrats.ie/about_us/

Fine Gael = Centre

Quote:
Fine Gael describes itself as a party of the progressive centre though, in many ways, the party complies more with the model of the mainland European Christian democratic parties. They are strongly pro-EU integration and opposed to radical and violent Irish republicanism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_Gael#Core_policies

Fianna Fáil:

Quote:
Neither of the two largest parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, strongly identifies itself as either a left or right-wing group

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fianna_F%C3%A1il
 
ME AVN FAN
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Wed May 23, 2007 1:14 am

-
FF = Fianna Fail = Centrists
FG = Fine Gael = Centrist Christian Democrats
Lab = Labour = Centre-Left Social Democrats
Green = Green = Green
PD = Progressive Democrats = Liberals in the real sense of the word
--
so, what is the difference between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael ?
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Wed May 23, 2007 1:19 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 30):
who is who ?
FF = Fianna Fail = Liberals ?
FG = Fine Gael = Liberal Social Democrats ?
Lab = Labour = Socialists
Green = Green = Green
PD = ?
Ind = ?

GOOD QUESTION!!

I think we are probably the only country in the world where the two largest opposing parties are consevative! Both FF and FG are conservative, and you couldn't slide a ballot paper sideways between the policies of the two of them. Yet they are so opposed to each other (going back to independence) that it is unlikely they would ever coalasce to form a government, despite both failing to gain an overall majority for almost twenty years. Nowadays the difference between them is more subtle, and probably more based on morals than anything else. FF would always be seen to be the party to do anything for power, whether it's accepting cash in brown envelopes (though that is becoming increasingly difficult nowadays) or whatever it takes to form a government. FG are part of the Chrisian Democrats, and even Angela Merkel threw her weight in behind their leader for this election. They would claim to be morally superior to FF, but have been found telling a few porkies in the past.

Labour are Socialists, or so they say. Talk to the Socialist Party and they will tell you otherwise.

Green are Green. Hey, we have a party which does what it says on the tin!

PD = Considered extremely right wing by most people, at least economically, although liberal with their social policies.

SF = Former terrorists, now spend their time polishing their halos; in league with people who spend their time robbing banks.

Ind = independent, not allied to any party. Very often single-issue candidates, for example Paddy McCarthy from Ballygobackwards, campaigning against the closure of his local post office.

Confused? So is half the country 

[Edited 2007-05-22 18:30:02]
 
kaitak
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Wed May 23, 2007 8:37 pm

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 32):
so, what is the difference between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael ?

Braybuddy has put it very well, so in answer to your question, I'm damned if I know - and I was a member of FF for many years. I always thought of FF as being a little more imaginative and ruthless, whereas FG always seemed to me to be an elected civil service; jolly nice chaps, but not much on the imagination front. However, my view has changed in recent years and I have been impressed with FG people with whom I've been dealing in recent years.

The origin of the differences goes back to our War of Independence in the early '20s. The antecedents of FG (which was founded in the 1930s, I think) supported the treaty offering us our independence, whereas the antecedents of FF (mostly Sinn Fein) rejected it, as the UK still retained Northern Ireland. FF was founded in 1926. It has been one of the most successful parties in western Europe, holding power for most of the country's history since independence; it has been in power (with coalitions mostly) for all but 2 of the last 20 years and prior to that, from 1932 to 1948, 1951-54, 1957-73 and 1977-81 and a six month stint in 1982 (when we had three elections in the space of about 18 months).

As they say, there's politics and there's Irish politics. It's all good fun anyway.
 
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Wed May 23, 2007 10:43 pm

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 34):
Braybuddy has put it very well, so in answer to your question,

thanks to both of you for the explanation. I in the past have read about Irish politics and just wondered about FF and FG, and now see that I actually got it fairly well.
 
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 1:07 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 35):
I in the past have read about Irish politics and just wondered about FF and FG, and now see that I actually got it fairly well

The ironic thing about it all is that, if they ever did decide to coalesce, FF and FG could probably run the country forever! Between them they have the support of two thirds of the electorate in the opinion polls, and with the PDs thrown in, they would be near to 70%.

So radical left-wing politics has never really taken hold in this country. Labour has moved to the centre, like it's counterpart in Britain, and so has Sinn Féin, which has traditionally been more radical than labour.

And, irony of ironies, Tony Blair endorsed his buddy Bertie Ahern in a FF party political broadcast, completely snubbing the Irish Labour Party!

The weekend may prove me to be wrong, but I have a feeling that FF will do better than they expect. Despite the momentum for change, I reckon a lot of people will baulk at the idea of Enda Kenny as taoiseach and cast their votes for FF. Bertie Ahern isn't known as the Teflon Taoiseach for nothing -- his popularity ROSE last year when it was revealed he got the equivalent of around €50,000 in the early '90s from a group of wealthy businessmen (he claimed it was a "loan" and paid it back promptly, with interest). And despite his obfuscation and equivocation, when he's on the ropes he has the extaordinary knack of talking nonsense, and leaving you thinking that you've acutally heard something coherent.
 
Shamrock330
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 3:17 am

Ok here's my predictions.......

FF-67, FG- 54, Lab-22, SF-7, Greens-8, PD-3, Ind-5

Judging from the above I think that the coalition for change will scrape ( and I mean that in its most literal terms) into Goverment with our dear old Enda as Taoiseach and my neighbour Pat as Tanaiste.

Basically I think its day day for the PD's with LIz O'Donnell to loose her seat and perhaps Parlon to be pushed out with Flannery making waves in the Laois Offaly constituency. If I have to choose though, I think Parlon will keep his seat.

As much as I want to see a change ( I dont think its a good thing to see Fianna Fail in Gov for 15 years straight!) I can't help but cringe at the thought of Enda as out dearest leader. Theres something just a tad slow about the chap and I mean that in the nicest possible terms............ as for the ability to handle the economy... well lets just say I dont fully trust FG/Lab to do just that, it could be curtains for Ireland.

The whole economy thing is really holding me back from voting FG/LAB, I dont want to vote FF but if our future jobs prospects are better served by Cowen and Bertie, then I may end up giving them my backing (shiver). The last night before the election and I still dont know who I'm going to back. I suspect theres plenty more of people like me.
 
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 4:39 am

Okay, I'll have a go, seeing that everyone else is doing it:

FF 71, FG 46, Lab 24, SF 9, Green 9, PD 2, Ind 5.

Despite their equivocation, the Greens would be only to happy to join up with FG and Labour to form the next government. The thing is, this would probably be the best result for FF: they cannot stay in power for ever, and a 3-4 period in opposition (usually the maximum life of FG-led coalitions) would probably be the reality check they need. They would probably come back with a landslide the next time round, given that the economy is starting to slow down after the boom of the last ten years.

It's been fun the last three-and-a-half weeks, more so than anyone ever expected. I still think the quote of the campaign was not Pat Rabbitte's "menopausal Paris Hilton" jibe (it was good, but obviously scripted), but Michael McDowell's "which bank, the Northern Bank?" riposte to Gerry Adams when he claimed a bank owned his house.

Lots of cold turkey today with the moratorium on election coverage. The weather forecast is good for Friday and I'm off for most of the day. It's going to be fun, folks!

[Edited 2007-05-23 21:41:44]
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 5:19 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 38):
FF 71,

They'll be singin' through the night at FF HQ if that's all they lose! Big grin

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 38):
this would probably be the best result for FF: they cannot stay in power for ever, and a 3-4 period in opposition (usually the maximum life of FG-led coalitions) would probably be the reality check they need.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 
Exactly. Give them time to re-evaluate themseelves. They'd come back in 4 years time (I agree with you re: the length of time FG/LAB would probably stay in Govt) with renewed vigour and a thirst to regain power. This would do the world of good for the country IMO, as the complacency and inefficiency we've seen in recent years would be eliminated.

Quoting Shamrock330 (Reply 37):
The whole economy thing is really holding me back from voting FG/LAB, I dont want to vote FF but if our future jobs prospects are better served by Cowen and Bertie, then I may end up giving them my backing (shiver). The last night before the election and I still dont know who I'm going to back. I suspect theres plenty more of people like me.

Yes, and I think the economy will be the issue which will resonate in people's minds when they cast their vote.
 
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 7:59 am

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 39):
They'll be singin' through the night at FF HQ if that's all they lose!

For sure. I could be completely wrong on this, but, while the polls show FG doing well, Enda Kenny just doesn't have charisma or personal appeal. The best that is said about him is that he's a nice guy, but nice guys don't make good party leaders, or win votes, and that's what's needed for FG. Just talk to people around you, and even FG voters find him a turn-off as soon as he starts droning-on. It's here that I leap for the "off" button. Against that, apparently he comes across very well in person, and if he does well, it will be because of his high-profile campaign around the country pressing the flesh. The pol corrs have been impressed, and the one thing they all have remarked on is his "boundless energy". I also have a hunch that, while in public a lot of people would never admit to voting FF, in the privacy of the polling booth they will. Remember, FF votes always trickle away from them as the campaign continues. This is the first time their percentage increased at the end of a campaign. This is most peculiar. Do people suddenly realise they are about to lose Bertie?

FF got off to a disastrous start and only really found their feet last week after the Ahern/Kenny debate. This is by far the worst campaign they have ever fought, and their handlers should be ashamed of themselves. Their only real hope is the "Bertie Bounce" of the last week. While the Indo poll this week put them up to 41%. this was after the figures were adjusted to take account of them always doing better in polls than in elections. Their figure was 46%, which is incredible, given the disastrous campaign.

Oh and I must adjust my figures above: Ind: 4, Socialist Party: 1. How could I forget Joe Higgins! He's a howl. He even has an entry in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Higgins

(Disclaimer: all my figures are based on a hunch, and I wouldn't bet a cent on them.)

The "Best Defacing of a Poster" award in this election has to go to the genius here in Wicklow who, very professionally, changed the name emblazoned on Dick Roche's poster to "Dick Head".

And whoever thought up his legitimate slogan should be shot: "OTHERS PROMISE, DICK DELIVERS"   

[Edited 2007-05-24 01:27:42]
 
rineanna
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 9:34 am

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 40):
For sure. I could be completely wrong on this,

It'll be absolutely intriguing to find out how FF have fared this time around. There's really two predictions circulating:

The first one, which dogged the earlier stages of the campaign, was the doom-and-gloom prediction of FF seat losses (i.e anything up to 20 seats to be lost), which I have to admit influenced my prediction of 65 seats for them.

Then there's the second perspective, which arose as the campaign progressed and, most notably, in and around the leaders' debates. This view was less gloomier for FF, with numbers circa the 70 mark being muted.

There's nothing to say that either of these predictions are necessarily incorrect, and that is why this Friday will be fascinating.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 40):
The "Best Defacing of a Poster" award in this election has to go to the genius here in Wicklow who, very professionally, changed the name emblazoned on Dick Roche's poster to "Dick Head".

Brilliant, if a tad predictable!

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 40):
And whoever thought up his legitimate slogan should be shot: "OTHERS PROMISE, DICK DELIVERS"

Please tell me this is NOT a genuine slogan?!!!!
 
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 4:09 pm

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 41):
Please tell me this is NOT a genuine slogan?!!!!

It is, but thankfully it's not on all his posters. It could be some resurrected from previous elections. I have a funny feeling that there are dirty tricks afoot in this constituency: I've noticed a lot of posters disappearing from lampposts over the last two weeks, and suddenly the SF candidate's posters from the 2002 election have re-appeared all over the place.

If there's one person I wouldn't miss if she were to lose her seat it would be Joan Burton. At least she's shaved off the moustache in recent years, but when she talks I keep imagining a buzz-saw on a low battery, cutting into the hardest wood. She was in the forefront attacking Bertie last September over his infamous "dig-outs", and I really do believe she was a huge factor in his popularity going up.

And speaking of not missing people: whatever happened to that creep Justin Barrett? There wasn't an election but he would be out with his Youth Defence buddies denouncing half the country as abortionists. Dana seems to have rode-off into the sunset, has he done so to? Someone please tell me "yes".

Voting day and I'm still not exactly sure how I'll vote. It will probably be No 1 & 2 FF (Behan probably, with Dick Head following), then the PD candidate. He's the son of a famous Wicklow GAA player and expected to do well, though he won't take a seat. After that it'll be Greens, FG, Ind and Labour, not necessarily in that order. There willl be one blank space on the polling card reserved for the SF candidate John Brady.
 
abc9
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 6:41 pm

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 38):
FF 71, FG 46, Lab 24, SF 9, Green 9, PD 2, Ind 5.



Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 40):
Oh and I must adjust my figures above: Ind: 4, Socialist Party: 1. How could I forget Joe Higgins!

I'd be inclined to agree with your figures Braybuddy, well done, as close to this as makes little difference.

By Saturday morning either SF or the Greens are going to be the "king-makers" so to my mind we're shagged either way - time to emigrate - the Celtic Tiger won't even be a cub if either of these shower of eejits get their hands on him.
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 8:08 pm

Quoting ABC9 (Reply 43):
By Saturday morning either SF or the Greens are going to be the "king-makers"

It will be VERY interesting to see if FF go back on their word and are prepared to form a coalition with SF. Would that be the spur for Labour to ditch their principles and hitch themselves to FF? They could claim they are doing it in the interests of the country.

I'm not voting FF for any love of the party. I certainly wouldn't have voted for them under Haughey, but I see Bertie as a safe pair of hands on the economy, and their 2% flat-rate PRSI, along with the 2% reduction in income tax is enough to make me vote for them, and, whatever about anything else, they have stuck to their promises on taxation (credit to the PDs here). PRSI really is the most inequitous of taxes, and should have been reformed long ago.

The health service is a priority, but a FG/Lab coalition will do absolutely nothing to reform it, which is what it badly needs. In the recent dispute, Labour would have caved-in to the nurses long ago. That's the trouble with FG and Labour together: it's a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.

One thing that's surprised me: I was expecting a FF mega-blitz over the last week, particulaly yesterday. All I saw was a half-page ad in the Indo. What happened?

Despite my optimism, I am resigned to the fact that we will have Enda Kenny as Taoiseach by the weekend.
 
Danny
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 9:41 pm

I am negatively surprised how short sighted some people in Ireland are and how short memory they have. They don't seem to remember where their country was just 15 years ago.

Why would one push for a major change? Was Ireland doing really so bad in the last 15 years? Is socialist government proposing increase in public spending in country of 5% inflation really what you need?
 
kaitak
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Thu May 24, 2007 11:02 pm

Quoting Shamrock330 (Reply 37):
Basically I think its day day for the PD's with LIz O'Donnell to loose her seat

No, not luscious Liz - de darlin' of de Dail - losing her seat; tell me it ain't going to happen! If it does, I want one of her election posters for my room!

I think Braybuddy is probably closer to the likely outcome; I think 54 is far too high for FG in one go, considering they got under 40 last time out.

Quoting Danny (Reply 45):
I am negatively surprised how short sighted some people in Ireland are and how short memory they have. They don't seem to remember where their country was just 15 years ago.

You make a very good point and one would think, given what has been achieved over the past decade, that people would be returning Bertie and FF with an overall majority, but the public are fickle. In any case, I think open debate is healthy, as indeed is the opportunity for change. While I would like to see an FG/Lab coalition, I do agree that Enda simply doesn't inspire much confidence.
 
Danny
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Fri May 25, 2007 12:00 am

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 46):
I think open debate is healthy, as indeed is the opportunity for change.

Debate - yes. Change - in a few areas (healthcare) but not in general.

Even though the current government may not be perfect you should always ask yourself a question - is the alternative better?

Or do another exercise - compare achievements of European governments within last decade. Imo Bertie wins hands down.
 
smokeyrosco
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Fri May 25, 2007 1:52 am

Met My local FF TD outside the Polling station on the way out (he was a bit late) I voted FF, I figure I'm happy with my current situation and I don't really want to see any drastic changes right now..... Also I not sure I trust the other bunch of lunatics with my tax money.
John Hancock
 
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Braybuddy
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RE: Irish Election - 24th May: Predict The Result!

Fri May 25, 2007 2:03 am

Quoting Danny (Reply 45):
Why would one push for a major change?

If there is a change of government, this will be a more a case of FF/PDs losing the election rather than FG/Lab/Greens winning it.

The three things which the government are getting hammered on are the health service, wasting public money and lack of accountability; and deservedly so. With the money they've had to spend over the last ten years they threw it at the health service without reforming it, spent millions on wasted projects (such as the electronic voting machines, which apart from lying in storage around the country, cost millions per year to store, even though they will never be used) and never, ever held any of their ministers accountable for any of their mistakes. It's the classic case of "ah sure it'll do". In the US they would be fired, in the UK they would resign, while in Ireland they just get on with the job.

So while the electorate may turf the current crowd out, that doesn't necessarily mean the incoming one will do any better. Enda has promised to make his ministers accountable if they waste public money, but just how much do they have to waste before he sacks them? And there is NO WAY a FG/Lab coalition will tackle the problems in the health service. They will throw money at it, making it a bigger black hole than it ever was.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 46):
I want one of her election posters for my room!

She's a very attractive woman, but why the hell did they think they needed to airbrush her within an inch of her life on her posters???????

Our politicians are not the most photogenic, it has to be said, but 2FM ran a competition to find the best looking candidates of either sex. Lucinda Creighton and Terence Flanagan both won.

And where we they going with that poster of Enda Kenny? When I saw it first I wondered who it was. Michael Jackson looks more lifelike. They tried too hard to make him presidential and ended-up making him look like a wax dummy. Bertie looks like . . . well, Bertie, and is it any coincidence that Gerry Adams's smile looks like a row of tombstones?

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