Watching some of my “friends” talk about the Irish General Election count tonight on Twitter (while it was up) has made me laugh and cry all at once.
You’ve had the usual “will be PM with 35% of the vote” not to mention “The two major parties are both Conservative”. As if “conservative” was a globally defined type of politics. The consideration that the Irish Labour Party has any relation to the poorly spelled Australian counterpart made me guffaw, before I ROFLMAO when I heard commentary on the Irish Green Party basing it on their understanding of the Australian “Greens” and uninformed dismissal of the Irish Socialist Party.
While it’s some years since I’ve lived at “home”, and my knowledge was never that of an expert I think I understand the complexity of the voting system a bit better than some of the, especially Australian, “experts” tonight.
Put simply, you might use Single Transferable Vote here people, but single seat constituencies and other factors don’t make it anything like the same thing.
Whether the results this weekend will mark a permanent seachange away from a civil war decided political orientation or not will be decided in the future. What we do know is that the greatest political beneficiaries of losing the Civil War are for the first time going to have to sit as a minor party in the Daíl.
How the new Government deals with the Fianna Faíl disaster and how Fianna Faíl deal with lengthy opposition will decide that, not ignorant commentary on Twitter or elsewhere.
So here’s a thought, if you know nothing about a countries politics, do a bit of investigation first. For Ireland’s, you could do less badly than starting with the RTE feed tonight as well as the live count updates.
Then read up on the War of Independence, the Civil War and the reasons why the Labour Movement didn’t contest the 1918 and 1921 elections and the long term implications of that. Follow that with some discovery on the multi-seat constituencies in use. And we haven’t even started on party splits, local politics, dreadful nepotism and the number of pints the candidate can buy during the campaign.
Then consider in great detail the changes in Irish Society in the last 10 years and especially the impacts of the excesses of 14 years of Fianna Fail Government in the last 2 or 3 years.
If you do, perhaps in the next election, if twitter or its like is still around (or even can stay up), I’ll be more impressed by your commentary.