But there are so many ways it could be worse than that. Worst of all would be a return to power of Fianna Fáil. And the return of Ireland to the zero-sum game that most of last century was wasted on, where people give their loyalty to parties for much the same reasons they give it to football teams.
So I cannot bring myself to vote for the coalition parties just to keep FF out. That would be to join in the zero-sum game. There is a real chance in this election of bringing in a government that includes neither of the big two conservatives, for the first time ever. That would really be something.
Even if it had to include Labour, yes. Indeed that may be their only hope for salvation as a party. (If the question is not theoretical – there will be precious few Labour TDS after this collaboration with the punishment regime.) Their choice will be to join with Sinn Féin and other groups on the (very) broad left, or forever be seen as the condom Fine Gael use when they fuck us.
Second only to the return of FF, the worst possible outcome of this election would be if people believed that the ritual sacrifice of our poor to the austerity gods returned prosperity to the land. In fact our economy is so naked to outside forces that government action has very little to do with its ups and downs – as FG will be only to happy to explain themselves if they’re in power when everything tanks again, in a year or two. So even if you think this is a recovery, it’s not a good reason to reward the parties. They didn’t start it, they can’t keep it going.
The worst outcome wouldn’t be a FF/FG alliance. Sure that wouldn’t be stable – how could it be, when these parties are defined by not being each other? – but it would change the game forever. And it would be so funny.
I think there is a real possibility now of government without FG or FF, and I urge you to vote that way.
But even that isn’t my dream outcome. What I’d really like to see is a government entirely composed of non-party candidates. Ideally, of people who’ve never even stood for election before.
Political experience is what got us where we are now.