Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s assurance that there will not be a “grand coalition” between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil after the next election smacks of hubris, tribalism, and the dangerous disconnect undermining politics.
Sadly, Mr Kenny’s assertion will more than likely prove accurate. We will continue to stagger between crisis after crisis and lost opportunity after lost opportunity with our half-cocked system that indulges the century-old fairytale that there is any real difference between the country’s two most popular parties.
There is also, in Mr Kenny’s assertion, the tacit suggestion that he expects to be a central figure in these events, even though it was expected he would have announced his resignation around this time.
There may be many reasons — excuses? — to argue such an outbreak of sanity would never work but in a world where Donald Trump is president-elect of the world superpower and where our nearest neighbours and biggest trading partner are about to quit the European Union such indulgences seem quaint, outdated, and dangerous.
Surely it’s time for each party to look at the bigger picture? Surely it’s time for each party to measure their differences against the far greater challenges facing us all?
There is also the small matter of what the electorate might decide. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have already ignored the simple, logical implication of the last election — dare they do it again?
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