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Independents do not have financial clout to fight second election at short notice

I have seen many letters on your pages since the last election, most of them a variation on the theme of ‘stop wasting time and form a government, or else call a new election’.

 It seems to have especially upset many of your correspondents that the people of Ireland elected so many independents, and they lay some of the blame for the current impasse on this fact.

Presumably, too, your correspondents voted for one of the main parties, rather than for independents, or they wouldn’t have as much to complain about.

I would, therefore, like to remind them that, whether they like it or not, the widely varied results of the last election reflect precisely the expressed will of the electorate; not some hidden assumption of support for either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail to form a government.

Equally significantly, those calling for a new general election should realise that it would be very bad for democracy here. Large numbers of independents were elected because voters wished to be represented by them, and not by the traditional two-party system that dominates political life. 2016 proved to be a real turning point at the ballot box.

These independents do not have the financial resources of the larger parties, and most likely spent whatever they had getting elected last February.

But they had five years to build resources to fight for election: this will not be the case should an election be called within the next weeks or months.

The main parties, and their supporters, must be aware of this and how it would be to their advantage.

If the next election provides a more stable, ‘traditional’ result, it won’t necessarily be because that’s the wish of any ‘chastened’ electorate, but because independents will not be able to put themselves forward in such large numbers. It will, in short, be a return to ‘buisness as usual’ and a bad day for democracy.

Nick Folley

36 Ardcarrig


Co Cork


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