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FIANNA Fáil’s feeble showing in recent opinion polls can at least be explained by having been in power for much of the past 20 years.
Fine Gael’s dismal performance is much more complex and worrying. Near obliteration in 2002 appears to have engendered a return to antediluvian ‘conservative’ values and, shamefully, civil war politics. Fine Gael now looks like a museum piece, with an apparently defunct liberal wing.
Consider this series of horrifying events. We had that toxic and historically inaccurate letter on Brian Lenihan’s invitation to address the Michael Collins commemoration by Senator Liam Twomey. Nobody in Fine Gael condemned it .
And there was a cheap tweet cynically designed to tap into public perception of the Taoiseach (again, an action apparently approved by the party). Then there were the drunken shenanigans in the Leinster House car park.
Seriously, is this a mature political force that is ready to take charge of our nation’s affairs?
In contrast, the Labour party appears to have ditched their “class war” cloth-cap socialism in favour of liberal social democracy, underpinned by solid and responsible economics.
If it continues to redefine itself as a party of the liberal centre, running appropriate candidates, it has an excellent chance of being the largest party in the Dáil.
It certainly appears to offer the nearest thing to a credible government that we have.
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