Since the very dawn of the Irish State and throughout decades of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael electoral dominance, countless smaller parties have tried and failed to hold on to power. Political wisdom says that if these ephemeral parties are radical enough, they can shine brightly and capture the mind of the voter before their time in the sun comes to an inevitable end. The list of political casualties is long but includes : the Business Men’s Party, the National Centre Party, the Monetary Reform Party, Clann Na Talmhan, Clann Na Poblachta, the Progressive Democrats. Historically it has been the case that when smaller parties enter coalition with the big players, their more attractive and progressive policies are thieved, their identities are smothered and they sacrifice their most basic principles in the name of pragmatism. But focusing on the electoral gain misses the point. The report this week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could not be more unequivocal: climate change is here, it is our fault and the time to act is now. A second report from the Environmental Protection Agency, Met Éireann and the Marine Institute brought it even closer to home. The watchdogs are warning that Ireland’s climate indicators are all going in the wrong direction. The Green Party, having already experienced a Lazarus-like recovery after a wipeout in 2011, has a chance now to leave a life-changing legacy for the country and planet.
Irish Times 14th Aug 2021 read more »