Rejecting political parties: A sign of things to come?

Interesting developments from the Republic of Ireland, where the Presidential election campaign has seen a previously rank outside independent candidate sweep to odds-on favourite to replace Mary McAleese (not Robinson as I wrote at 2am through bleary eyes…)

According to an opinion poll conducted by ‘Red C’, the candidates for Labour, Fine Gael and Sinn Fein are trailing in the wake of Irish ‘Dragon’s Den’ entrepreneur, Sean Gallagher.

The former Fianna Fáil man is running as an independent and his stock is rising rapidly with Irish voters who are deserting the organised political parties.

  • Independent – Sean Gallagher – 39%
  • Labour – Michael D Higgins – 27%
  • Sinn Fein – Martin McGuinness – 13%
  • Fine Gael – Gay Mitchell – 8%
  • Independent – David Norris – 7%
  • Independent – Mary Davis – 4%
  • Independent – Dana Rosemary Scallon – 2%

However not all is quite as it seems, as Gallagher is effectively running as an ‘arms length’ Fianna Fáil candidate.  He is a mere Indeplastic – a cheap rip off of the real thing.

That political party, knowing it would get short shrift from voters, does not have an official candidate and has decided the way forward is to get behind a proxy ‘celeb’ candidate.  It is a sign of weakness.  Clearly the penny is dropping in Ireland that the interests of the political parties are not the same as the electorate and that voting for the usual suspects doesn’t result in the changes they demand.  Fianna Fáil are wise to it, but will others change tack too?

If Gallagher wins the Presidency and takes up residence in the Áras it could signal the acceleration of the demise of political parties in Ireland.  While that might be honey in the ears of the unelected bureaucratic dictators of the EU, it could see more people step up as genuine independent candidates – the kind of people who still want democracy and can’t be bought off by Brussels.

One thing is clear in this political era, we are at a critical juncture and everything is to play for.  The question is, are we up for the battle?

14 Responses to “Rejecting political parties: A sign of things to come?”

  1. 1 Brian H 16/10/2011 at 2:44 am

    The obvious message, in Ireland and internationally, is that “bearding the dragon” of political croneyism amongst political parties pays off. In the US, e.g., the response has been to try and hype “false flag” independents like Romney. Look up “dynamic conservatism”.

  2. 2 jones 16/10/2011 at 3:47 am


    The fact of the matter at this point is that if there ever were a truly independent candidate who (theoretically) challenged the status-quo then such a person would be destroyed……within our societies which, one hopes, lacks death-squads knocking on your door at 4am the preferred method would be by thorough character assassination.

    But if that didn’t work I have little doubt that physical destruction would follow in some fashion or other….’tragic accident’ etc….

    No, I do not subscribe to conspiracy theory as a rule.

    A complete paradigm shift is required. It is going to happen with such shifts happening all the time (and they always will) with the only question being when and how…?

    Then again, maybe I’m mad………there, see how easy it is?……

    With respect to Eire……..How very dare they vote against the Lisbon constitution the first time…….Just what kind of democracy do they think they live in?….

    This new candidate will do nothing of note to the paradigm above……

    Nothing at all….

    The fact he has passed enough MSM filters to even enter public consciousness to this degree defines him as just like the rest. In a well functioning system such ‘outsiders’ are required to give the perception of ‘choice’.

    He could give a Cameron ‘cast-iron’ guarantee I suppose…

    Or a Tony Abbott ‘blood oath’……


    In my view the mere seeking of political office should, by definition, be an exclusion criterion for such office…….

    Random lot for political office, not ballot……..with severe punishment for those who decline to take the post for the prescribed time-span…..

    But then I am mad remember…..

  3. 3 Brian H 16/10/2011 at 3:52 am

    Actually, I seem to recall an Ig-Nobel Prize awarded for a Management Science study (simulations, of course) that concluded that random promotions to management positions from among the entire employee pool worked better for corporations than the ladder-climbing mode.

  4. 4 jones 16/10/2011 at 4:15 am

    Thank you kindly Brian.

    I would be very interested should you have a link for such work.?

  5. 5 Brian H 16/10/2011 at 5:18 am

    MANAGEMENT PRIZE: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy, for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random.

    REFERENCE: “The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study,” Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo, Physica A, vol. 389, no. 3, February 2010, pp. 467-72.

    WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo.

  6. 6 right_writes 16/10/2011 at 6:39 am

    So who is Mary McAleese then AM?

  7. 7 permantexpat 16/10/2011 at 7:05 am

    Political parties have long since ceased to represent those who elect them & therefor lack use or validity…some deep introspection & the abolition of the Whip might bring new life if MPs had the interest of their constituents as their raison d’être

    AM…your opinion on the burgeoning “we are the 99%” movement would be interesting..

  8. 8 Brian H 16/10/2011 at 7:08 am

    I gather there’s a new counter-movement: “We are the 53%” — those who pay taxes that support the rest.

  9. 9 permantexpat 16/10/2011 at 7:15 am

    “Brian H
    16/10/2011 at 7:08 am
    I gather there’s a new counter-movement: “We are the 53%” — those who pay taxes that support the rest.”

    Really? Even better, it gets more interesting!

  10. 10 Junkk Male 16/10/2011 at 9:03 am

    I like acronyms.

    WAT53 has a nice ring. Especially after Mr. Tyler.

    I was a NOTA temptee, but the anarchistic aspects of that were troubling.

    Now more GAOLA, Grudging Acceptance Of Least Awful

  11. 11 Autonomous Mind 16/10/2011 at 10:51 am

    Right-writes – you could have just pointed out my error without being sarcastic.

  12. 12 Autonomous Mind 16/10/2011 at 11:08 am

    Junkk Male, it is GAOLA that allows the politicians who are as BAEO to press ahead with their destructive, anti democratic consensus sanctioned agenda.

    All GAOLA does is continue the merry-go-round as they take it in turns to be the least worst of the detritus on offer.

  13. 13 TomTom 16/10/2011 at 11:40 am

    The Pirate Party is an attempt to create an affiliation of Independents without party programme beyond Freedom and Transparency. Without some form of association the Media-Political Structures do not give any coverage. Look at the OccupyWallStreet groups ignored by MSM until Michael Moore got involved.

    The attempts in German MSM to rubbish the Pirate Party belie the fact it could get 7% in a German Election.

    Corporate Parties representing FIRE Interests are simply Fascist Cliques as the Fox Affaire has revealed. Money buys Parties and Politicians. It is only by creating grass-roots movements that change can be effected by small donations and activism. Reject MSM on TV and Newspapers.

    Newspapers should be FREE they are simply Propaganda and should be freesheets funded by Corporate Advertisers promoting Political Advertising

  14. 14 right_writes 16/10/2011 at 6:02 pm

    They say that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit….

    And I am the lowest form of political animal… As you know AM, I support the UKIP!!

    Half of my family is Irish, and those names are very familiar in my circle.

    Sorry if you were offended old chap, won’t do it again.

    Fianna Fail runs very deep in the Irish conscience, they only temporarily forgave Fine Gael (Free Staters), because Biffo was so dire… But from my recent visit to Ireland, they still seem to be very pro-EU, despite all the indignity that they are suffering because of it and their toytown currency, and likewise they seem ready to forgive the old party, perhaps they see this chap as a half-way house…

    In other words, I don’t think that old parties are very easy to wipe from most voters’ conscience.

    The UKIP experience being a case in point… My son is campaigning at the moment for a council seat, and yesterday he met with a CONservative councillor, who said (without really any other discussion)… “we all read UKIP leaflets and agree with everything in them… but you’ll never get in!”… We’ll find out on Thursday whether that was famous last words, but somehow, I don’t think so.

    Anyway… The show must go on, and it’s good experience for him.

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