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Comhaontas Glas

IP Comment: Green by name, green by nature‎

Comhaontas Glas 45%

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THE GENERAL ELECTION campaign in the Republic is now under way. In some ways it is one of the easiest elections to call: Fianna Fáil will be trounced, Fine Gael will end up with the biggest share of the vote, and Enda Kenny will be Taoiseach.


But there are many unknowns. The Labour Party will probably do better than at any time in its history; Sinn Féin will probably do very well, despite recent mediocre performances by Gerry Adams; the Green Party may well be eclipsed.


John Gormley’s party could end up paying a heavy price for being in coalition with Fianna Fáil. Even within the higher echelons of the Green Party it is accepted that there may be no Green TDs left in the Dáil after the election. The Greens will have suffered the fate that befalls many junior parties within coalitions - electoral oblivion.


An absence of any Green TDs in the next Dáil Éireann would be reason for lament. Environmental issues are still one of the most pressing problems facing the world today. Climate change is still with us, the problems of waste disposal in Ireland are now acute, and the difficulties of providing energy are greater than ever.


The Green Party might have been better remaining a pressure group outside government. Too often during this coalition’s tenure, the Green TDs and senators have been perceived as enjoying the trappings of power too much. The perception of them enjoying the ‘Mercs and perks’ of office certainly damaged the party’s reputation.


In Britain largely speaking a three-party House of Commons operates. Few MPs who don’t belong to one of the main parties get elected to parliament. Instead ‘single issue’ or special interest bodies form powerful lobbying groups and effect change in a powerful - but indirect - way: organisations covering everything from the protection of birds to monitoring human rights exert enormous power.


In Ireland it is perhaps time for the Green Party to go back to campaigning without office - they are likely to achieve more of their aims in the long run than by contemplating any return to Dáil Éireann.


Boxing clever


TWO campaigns recently launched have vital importance for our community - the Census campaign (launched last week) and the growing demand for Irish citizens abroad to have a vote back home.


These two campaigns have a historical resonance. Many of the emigrants now in receipt of aid from State-funded bodies in Britain helped keep the Irish economy afloat during former times of great austerity. They receive very little from the Irish State, and have no say whatsoever in the country of their birth.


These people need help now, and one very simple way of providing that is to tick the Irish ethnicity box. In doing so, you will be showing British authorities that we are a substantial community, deserving of grants and funds to help the needy members of that community.


By ticking the box you will be giving a voice to all member. of our community, particularly those who badly need someone to speak up for them.



Feb 2011

Source: www.irishpost.co.uk


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