Nest Friday may well be a defining date in the history of this nation. In the future history students will study the economic collapse of the early years of this millennium and our response to the challenge. Who we vote for next week will have a defining influence on the shape of our future. The question is, for whom do we vote? My analysis is based on national issues because we must cease with the parochial political gombeenery. Vote for the most competent team. Electing local stroke-pullers over competent legislators is the root cause of our problems.
The Fianna Fáil aristocracy since Haughey has been an abysmal failure. They all need replacing. A small bunch of inept shysters have bankrupted this nation and destroyed their party in the process. That is the irony of it all. The party that overtly valued party loyalty above all else has virtually consumed itself through its greed and avarice. Their primary virtue rendered redundant because of the greed and ego of its officer corp. They do not deserve our respect or our votes. I for one will not give any preference of any kind to a Fianna Fáil candidate next week.
Nor will I give any preference to Sinn Féin. Aside from their economic illiteracy they have yet to demonstrate that they have earned the right to govern. Their close links with criminality coupled with their refusal to condemn the many atrocities carried out in their name such as the killing of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe is indicative of their unsuitability for office. Their time may come but not before they discover a moral compass, embrace democracy, and learn about economic and social management. So, I will not be giving a preference to Sinn Féin either.
The greens have sold out their principles and should be banished to the wilderness to enjoy their thirty pieces of silver. They achieved nothing of substance while in Government and supported the entire fiasco. No vote from me here.
Eamon Gilmore’ abilities are limited to a talent for sound-bites. Outside of some really powerful candidates such as Ruairi Quinn and Pat Rabbitt, Labour has little else to offer. They have few credible policies and with their ties to the trade union movement I do not believe Labour has the courage for public sector reform. They will do as directed by the bearded brethren of Liberty Hall. They simply have not got the personnel or economic philosophy to sort out the mess.
Fine Gael does not have all the answers either but imperfect as its members are they do appear to have the most talented team on offer. They also have a leader whose primary strength seems to be overlooked by most observers. Enda Kenny appears to be devoid of ego. He has had no difficulty in promoting his political adversaries to positions of authority. He appoints his best people to senior positions and then delegates the responsibility appropriately. He is a team player and will use his team to maximum effect. A team with Noonan, Bruton, Hayes, Shatter, O Donnell, and Reilly is actually quite a strong one. I will give Fine Gael my highest preferences. In the national interest I suggest you do too.
I will not be giving any preference to any independents. Most are simply mercenary politicians who will sell out to the highest bidder. Look at Jackie Healy Rae as a prime example. His vote was sold to satisfy his parochial self-interest at the expense of the nation. In my view independents are unlikely to be needed so an independent vote is in my view likely to be a wasted vote. The reality is that if elected their voices are unlikely to be heard.
Whatever your political persuasion you need to elect a team to address the economic plague that has fallen on all our houses. That team needs a foundation of strong economic policy coupled with courageous personnel. Political idealism, historical influences or family loyalties should all take second place on this occasion. Vote with your head not your heart, and above all get out and vote. It could be our last chance.