Dail Eireann: Use only in emergencies
It didn’t seem possible that the Irish political system could look more busted today than it did yesterday but that’s where the version of Lanigan’s Ball from the Greens leaves it. Michael Lowry — having had the leverage of his side-deal with the Coalition for nearly 3 years in return for his vote, runs to the hills at a time of true crisis and declares that it’s up to Fine Gael and Labour — shut out of government by deals with independents and small parties — to help pass the budget. Fianna Fail, at least under their current leader, announce that
We believe that there is a clear duty on all members of Dáil Éireann to facilitate the passage of these measures in the uniquely serious circumstances in which we find ourselves. The political and financial stability of the State requires no less.
So again ministers who couldn’t have cared less about the Dail in the day-to-day running of the country suddenly want all its members aboard for a budget which they have no hand in creating. Perhaps if you like parliamentary government, it should be seen as a good news that the days of the country being run through social partnership meetings and quangos have been put to one side. But is it really the function of the parliamentary opposition to wait every 2 decades until the country is in a real shambles and then be called upon to vote with Fianna Fail for the sake of the country? If, as periodically comes up for discussion, you take the view that there’s a dearth of talent in Irish politics, it doesn’t help when that’s the basic job description.