Friday, 25 February 2011

Votail Fianna Fail to smash Sinn Féin?

If the rumours (spread by rutherford ;)) are true, Fianna Fail candidate, Averil Power, last night dispensed a last gasp election leaflet in the Dublin North East constituency stressing that "only Averil can stop Sinn Féin in this area".  Now you'll not find me arguing with the premise that Shinners should be kept out, or that the party is an aberration in any healthy polity, but there is a certain delicious irony to this type of campaigning.

First of all, is it just me, or is "the republican party" coming rather close to DUP tactics?  In the Upper Bann constituency the unionist party distributed an eve of poll leaflet with an unerringly similar message, during the UK general election campaign.

Secondly, to gild the cliche, surely this is a rather sauceless goose compared to the version served in Northern Ireland?  The southern parties are horrified by Sinn Féin in the Republic, but they were quick enough to demand their inclusion in government up north.  It's a point Jason Walsh touches upon in this pre-election broadside.  We wouldn't have them in our government, but they'll do to keep those barbaric unionists on their toes!


rutherford said...

I want attribution for that!

Chekov said...

No sooner said ... ;)

Seymour Major said...


The DUP did not invent that tactic. It has been going on in ROI politics since the civil war. It is similar to "vote for me to keep the other side out". It is just that the names of the parties they want to "smash" are changing.

This is all part and parcel of tribal politics. Politics might look different in ROI because tribalism there is not related to sectarianism.

Phil Larkin said...

I do believe that the results from the general election in the Irish Republic contain disquieting overtones, and not just for the reasons which Chekov sets out in this article.

I'll be writing on this theme later.

andrewg said...

Seymour has hit the nail on the head. In the Republic voting habits are passed down the generations just like unionism and nationalism in the North. One political old hand I know muttered recently: "I hate them. I hate the way they treat us, the lies they tell about us." People complain about Civil War politics, but today's divisions in the Republic are no more about the Civil War than Northern political parties are all about the Penal Laws. But at least there is hope here for a long-awaited realignment. It still took 90 years for Civil War politics to die, which doesn't fill me with great hope for the future of NI.