With the general election just weeks away, and with all the polls pointing to a minority, Fine Gael-led government of the centre-right, Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin, is keeping all his options open. From thejournal.ie:
“In a robust interview with Cathal Mac Coille on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, Martin refused to rule out supporting a minority Fine Gael government.
Martin was asked repeatedly and wouldn’t say either way.
“Mac Coille: Would you be prepared to consider, in the national interest, supporting a minority Fine Gael government?
Martin: We don’t want to be in a minority situation.
Mac Coille I’m not asking you that.
Martin: Yea, but I’m not going to concede that at this stage. Sorry, we will work in the national interest irrespective of our strength.
Mac Coille: Translate that for us. Would you consider….
Martin: I will translate that if you give me a chance. Irrespective of whether we’re the lead party, and we want to be the lead party. The national interest demands a fairer and more decent society.”
After some more back and forth, Martin was asked a direct ‘yes or no’ about whether he’d support a minority Fine Gael government.
“Martin: I’m not going down that route now because I want to be leading a party that’s a majority.”“
Though a coalition administration of FG and Labour with various Blue Shirt and Champagne Socialist “splitters”, propped up by Martin’s Former Republican Party, would be ruinous, at least it would put clear electoral space between the politics of right and left in Ireland. If FF is so lustful for power and respectability that they are prepared to cosy up to the political descendants of the people who put their political antecedents in front of firing squads who are we to gainsay them? Fine Fáil it is!