Pollwatch: Sunday Business Post/Red C 25th March 2012

There is an interesting poll in tomorrows Sunday Business Post by Red C on both Party support and the fiscal treaty referendum. It is worth nothing that the poll was taken before the announcement on a deal on the Promissory Note and the Mahon Tribunal Report .

The top-line figures for party support are as follows:

  • Fine Gael 34% (+4)
  • Labour 15% (-1)
  • Fianna Fail 16% (-1)
  • Sinn Fein 18% (nc)
  • Ind/others 17% (-2)

Fine Gael manage get to get a four point bump in the poll this month. I am not sure exactly why considering all the major developments happened after the respondents were polled! Of course with the Ard Fheis next weekend there has been some mention of that.  Labour and Fianna Fail both continue their slow slide, but of course the next poll will the most important one for Fianna Fail. If their move to kick Bertie Ahern and others mentioned in the Mahon Report  are the right moves to keep support from the voters. Also it shows the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis and the apology has not helped with the polls.

Labours as the junior coalition party seem to be the ones suffering from policies implemented as there voters do not seem to agree. Of course with their National Conference coming up they could manage to stake out their own course after that.

Sinn Fein hold on to their support level as they start their campaign against the Fiscal Compact Treaty. Independents and others are the ones who are down two points as can happen when a party gets a boost larger then 2 percentage points.

On the treaty referendum the poll found the following:

  • Yes 49% (+5)
  • No 33%(+4)
  • Undecided 18% (-9)

When the undecided’s are excluded it is

  • Yes 60%
  • No 40%

Which is no change from the polls earlier this month. The campaigns have yet to get under way, but with the undecided’s splitting evenly at the moment it might not be tight, but lets not get complacent!

Sinn Fein to lead the No Campaign – but will the message change?

WASHINGTON - MARCH 17:  (AFP-OUT) Former Sinn ...
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Sinn Fein have, as expected, come out against the Fiscal Treaty and aim to lead the No campaign in the upcoming referendum. They claim that  passing the referendum on the fiscal treaty will seriously undermine Irish sovereignty. But is that not what they said during Lisbon? Or Nice? Or Maastricht? or any treaty on the European Union that I remember anyway.

Stephen Collins writing in yesterday’s Irish Times points out that the No side have come out with many slogans in past referendums but have any of them come true? He quotes Tainiste Eamonn Gilmore speaking as at the Forum on Europe back in 2008.

Ireland had not been reduced to a province of a European empire; conscription had not been introduced for young Irish men and women; Ireland had not been forced to join any imperialist wars; the nation’s population had not collapsed; Irish culture had not become a thing of the past; trade union rights had not been abolished; abortion and euthanasia had not been introduced; and religious freedom was not suppressed.

“All of these firm fear-inducing predictions were made again and again, and every one was proved to be groundless and inaccurate. They are being made again today by the same individuals, and they are just as unfounded and misleading,” said Gilmore.

The latest claims are of course saying that this treaty will outlaw Keynesian economics as well as undermine our sovereignty. But are they right? Will the treaty do that?

I don’t think so. A cursory reading of the treaty, which is readable thankfully, shows that is highly unlikely that either of those claims are true.

Of course what this means is that the Yes campaign have to be quick to knock down false claims by the no side. But when issues like sovereignty are brought up, it is very hard to argue  it. Abstract ideas like sovereignty are debates suited to philosophical debates rather then the doorsteps and streets of a referendum campaign.

The sooner the referendum campaign starts the better!

Head Shops – Should they be banned?

Happy Hippy Dublin
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I recently got a mailshot from the local Sinn Fein Councillor, Fiona Kerins, and as part of it, it should her and her comrades picketing outside a shop as it carried out its LEGAL trade.

Some people may not like head shops, what they stand for, or what they sell. But, they are breaking no law.

Why should people picket a shop that is not breaking the law?

Yes I do think mephedrone and its synthetics should be banned, but picketing and threatening shops, as some “dissidents” are doing, is not the answer.

Maybe we should follow the lead of the UK and ban the substances as soon as possible? Thereby leaving the Head Shops alone to carry out their legal business?

A recent letter in the Irish Independent makes me think that a total ban on Head Shops is not the way to

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Ahern, Coughlan and O’Dea.

Fianna Fáil
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So what do three of the above have in common at the moment? To me they represent why Fianna Fail is no longer fit to govern.

  • O’Dea lied under oath, and was forced to resign.
  • Coughlan thinks young people emigrate for fun and theres the whole Hanger 6 debacle
  • Ahern was cheerleader in chief for O’Dea and he is the Justice Minister!

This government is beyond itself. It is out of ideas. It has no idea what it should be doing. Of all the cabinet Ministers, the only one I think that is trying to do their job is Brian Lenihan. While I dislike the idea of NAMA, at least he is trying to do something to fix the country, none of the other ministers are!

We have a government where a minister can be brought down by a tweet. Two parties desperate to stay in power because one will be out of power and the other will possibly be wiped out at the polls.

The government has gone stale, Cowen has the opportunity now to embark a wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle with his only constraint being the Green Party. What they want, only they know, though the Evening Echo is suggesting that Dan ‘tweet’ Boyle could be elevated to Cabinet.

Where does that leave the rest of us. Well there is the possibility of the Dublin Mayoral Election this year, through which Dublin residents can tell FF and Green Party what they think of them. You will have the Dublin South By-Election (2 years in a row, is that a first?) and you also have the Donegal South-West Bye-Election. Of course there will also be the Childrens Rights Referendum, but the popularity of the Government won’t come into that, hopefully! Then next year you have the Presidential Election.

I dont think FF or the Greens are going to do well in any of the upcoming elections. Dublin South is more then likely going to go Labour, Donegal South-West is probably going to Sinn Fein (I’m sticking to my prediction!), and the Dublin Mayoral election will probably go to Labour on Fine Gael transfers (just like the 1990 Presidential Election!).

Unless the Government gets its act together it will go from crisis to crisis as it is now. It seems to just get over one thing when something else crops up. They need to think quick, the boom is long and Ireland needs solutions now.

Its that or be wiped out.

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Should Ferris Go to Jail

Martin Ferris
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A friend, Dave Maloney has written an interesting note on Facebook, which I couldnt help posting about here.

Sinn Féin TD (and convicted gun runner) Martin Ferris aided the released killers (Pearse McCauley and Kevin Walsh) of Garda Jerry McCabe in evading the Gardaí. On RTE’S News at One, Conor Lally the Irish Times Crime Correspondent stated that the van in which Ferris was in, was used to block the road, preventing an unmarked Garda car from following McCauley and Walsh, who at this stage had transferred into an awaiting car.

Ferris is nothing short of a disgrace and an embarrassment to those who elected him, but to the institution that is the Dáil. An elected representative greeting murders and obstructing the Gardaí should at least spend some time in prison. It is further evidence, if needed, that Sinn Féin have not changed their ways and are not ready or even fit to enter government in the Republic.

I can’t help agree with him.

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