Paddy wants to know when ...Date for an election

THE will-she-won’t-she pantomime around an early election hardly inspires confidence and should be resolved one way or another before the fever animating Leinster House unnecessarily wakes backbenchers of all persuasions slumbering so very contentedly.

Some years ago a defined lifetime of a Dáil was established and this innovation added considerably to the stability of political life. If this destabilising silliness around when an election might be called — “in the best interests of the country” — continues if might be worth considering setting a date in the last year of a parliament’s lifetime by whch an election date must be declared.

It seems that the coalition is split on the issue. Fine Gael hope to be returned to office for the Christmas celebrations but Labour are far more reticent. It is hard not to think that Mr Kenny might conclude that the country’s interests might best be served by an early election if he was certain that he would not, after an election, need Labour support.

At this stage in the political cycle an election date is almost academic as the election campaign is already well underway as Mr Kenny’s intention to unveil a key element of Fine Gael’s manifesto at a Dublin Chamber of Commerce annual dinner last evening suggested.

Nevertheless, Paddy wants to know when he can pass judgment on Mr Kenny’s government — and he should be told sooner rather than later.


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