Growing Consensus on Gay Marriage?

Coat of arms of Cork
Coat of arms of Cork (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cork City Council last night unanimously passed a motion in support of Gay Marriage. Cork City Council became the first local authority in the Republic to pass a motion in support of Gay Marriage. They follow Belfast City Council who were the first council on the Island to vote in favour of Gay Marriage.

The motion was put forward by the Sinn Fein Councillors, just like in Belfast.

The fact that this was passed unanimously by the council shows that there is much agreement between the parties on this issue. The following parties are represented on Cork City Council:

  • Fine Gael
  • Labour
  • Fianna Fáil
  • Sinn Fein
  • Socialist Party
  • Workers Party
  • and 3 independents Cllrs.

So if these parties agree at a local level on this issue, why isn’t there more agreement at national level?

While there has been welcome announcements in favour of Gay Marriage by Government Ministers including,

  • Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade: Eamonn Gilmore (Lab)
  • Minister for Justice and Equality: Alan Shatter (FG)
  • Minister of State for the Office of Public Works: Brian Hayes (FG)
  • Minister for Transport: Leo Varadkar (FG)
  • Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn (Lab)

With many of opposition TD’s and Senators also in favour of Gay Marriage, why is it being sent to the soon to be established Constitutional Convention?

Why is being fobbed off when there is a growing number in cabinet who support this? When polls show that over 70% of people are in favour of it?

While I support the idea of the Constitutional Convention, which is being passed by the Oireachtas this week, I am not sure what the point in sending this to the Convention where it has the possibility to be lost among all the other issues being thrown in.

This issue should be put before the Oireachtas and then the people  and it would be passed and lot of people would be very happy. And Married.

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Zombie Banks, Zombie Government, Zombie Taoiseach

Posters for the local elections and European P...
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Its finally happened. The Green Party have called time on the Government, but won’t resign until after the Finance act has been passed. Jackie Healy-Rae also has announced he will not be supporting the Government. Cork North Central TD, Noel O’Flynn, is tonight meeting with supporters to decide his future.

This has been a long time coming and with the election due in January, expect canvassing to start in earnest in the next week or two. Also will Fianna Fail be fighting this General Election with a new leader?

With the By-Election on Thursday, it will be a hard task to get the budget passed. Especially by a Government with could either be described as a “lame duck” Government or a “zombie” Government.

What can we expect from this budget? Well according to the Cork Evening Echo we could have the following:

  • Social Welfare Payments (except Old Age Pension) down 5%
  • Minimum Wage down €1
  • All income to be taxed
  • A property tax

Will this be enough? Or will this bring us further down as if the low-paid are to be taxed, they wont have money to spend and therefore support the economy.

Is it worth Fianna Fail’s time to pass the budget? Is it worth Cowen’s time to stay on as Taoiseach to pass it or should he just hand over to his successor (Lenihan or Martin??). I’m sure who ever wins the general election will probably have a mini-budget in April-May. Should we hold off until then?

In the meantime its time to dust off the walking shoes and prepare for a long and cold campaign.

In the meantime prepare yourself for plenty of protests.

*Title taken from a tweet by Cllr John Buttimer

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FG 17 points ahead of FF

Election Posters
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I never thought I would see an opinion poll like this in my life time. But Fine Gael are 17 points ahead of Fianna Fail in the latest Irish Time TNS/MRBI Opinion Poll. The full party ratings are as follows:

  • Fianna Fáil  21% (-1)
  • Fine Gael  38% (+6)
  • Labour Party  20% (-4)
  • Sinn Féin  9% (nc)
  • Green Party  3% (-1)

This is the first poll to have the Greens down. They are down where the PD’s languished before disappearing. Will it happen to the Greens?

To have Fine Gael on 38% is just amazing! This is just a starting block of course and could be termed a “Lee Bounce”  if we in FG dont keep up the work and the pressure.

In terms of leader satisfaction the poll is as follows:

  • Brian Cowen 18% (-6)
  • Enda Kenny 33% (+3)
  • Eamon Gilmore 51% (+7)
  • John Gormley 25% (-4)

So while Labour support is down four points, Gilmore is up. Its strange that his satisfaction is not translating through to support for the Labour Party. Cowen is beginning to hit rock bottom with his rating on less then 20%.

The Bye-Election, Local and European Elections results will be very interesting! Roll on June 6th and 7th!

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