Day Thirteen: A Reflection on Politics in the Republic of Ireland

We spent most of the day on the bus from Derry to Galway, so today was a good opportunity to think and reflect on subjects which interested me. One such subject was politics in the Republic of Ireland, rather than Northern Ireland, which I have been discussing extensively on my blog. As I was leaving Dublin, the elections had just happened, but the results were still pretty up in the air, especially with European MEPs. Now that I have returned to the Republic, I have decided to check out how the recent election turned out for the country.

Here is a pretty great article by the Irish Times about the implications of the recent elections. Even though the elections aren’t for particularly powerful positions, they indicate a dramatic movement in the power of different political parties. The “revival”, so to say, of Fianna Fail is quite interesting, and really shows just how fluid the party system is in Ireland. Fine Gael and Labour may experience a dramatic decrease now, but regain power later on. It really is unpredictable, for better or for worse. It definitely works differently than the United States, where political parties are monoliths in culture.

Regarding Irish MEPs in the European Union, I found this good article on a recent election where a member of Fianna Fail retained her seat after a five day vote count. Again, this points to a resurgence of Fianna Fail, which I wasn’t really expecting. It’s interesting to see that it took five days to fully count the votes, which is completely different than how it is in America. Whereas it’s rushed in America, often leading to miscounts, it seems that the process is much slower in Ireland, which I think works better. Still, this specific instance was the result of a recount, so it obviously still is a


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