Okay then, let's add a little Hiberno to the Hiberno-Britannic Politics thread! Because I've been keeping quiet lately but there's actually a fair bit happening over here.
Oceanic Said in the OP, this chap
is Enda Kenny, An Taoiseach
, the Irish version of Prime Minister of An Poblacht na hÉireann. However, he's had a pretty bad week and is facing calls to step down, because quitting is all the rage these days.
To understand the situation better, I need to go over the last Irish General Election.
It was a mess.
Here's a rundown of the main contenders:
You had Fianna Gael
, who were in power and very unpopular due to their mismanagement of a number of different austerity measures and because they pushed ahead with the EU stipulation that Ireland had to bring in water charges, something most other European countries have (including the UK.) The issue of water charges has been a huge one in Ireland, with many who have been struggling with lower wages, higher taxes and an increased cost of living seeing it as the final straw and refusing outright to pay.
You had Labour
, who helped Fianna Gael with all this, despite the fact that they're SUPPOSED TO BE A FUCKING LABOUR PARTY!
You had Fianna Fáil
, arch enemies of Fianna Gael and the party who were in power before and during the 2008 financial crisis, who also drove our economy headlong into the worst of it, which lead to all the crap Fianna Gael has done since - something Fianna Gael are very keen to point out.
You had The Green Party
, who helped Fianna Fáil to do all this, despite the fact that they're SUPPOSED TO BE A FUCKING GREEN PARTY!
You had Sinn Féin
, growing in popularity in working class Dublin and various areas of the country by setting themselves up as the anti-corruption "honest" party, railing against the politicians who took bribes from Ben Dunne while hoping nobody pointed out that they had kidnapped him.
You had the Social Democrats
, a small left wing outfit who are quickly becoming the choice for voters sick of the irony of having a right of center Labour party.
You had Renua
, who were... honestly, Mrs. Lovejoy pretty much covers it.
You had People Before Profit
and the Anti Austerity Alliance
. Both parties do exactly what it says on the tin.
And you had independents. Lots and lots and LOTS of independents, who range from this guy...
Shane Ross, voice of the middle-to-upper-middle class who see themselves as the real victims of the 2008 financial crisis. To be fair, they're not entirely wrong. The collapse in the value of bank shares meant that many who had spent their entire lives working and were getting ready for a nice, comfy retirement saw their pensions obliterated overnight and instead find themselves having to grind through their golden years clinging to their jobs and living hand-to-mouth. They absolutely have caused to be pissed off, but they do tend to wear a bit on the nerves of someone who has to sit in a sodden adult nappy in their wheelchair for hours on end because their home care visits have been cut back to two half hours every day.
...to this guy
Mick Wallace, voice of lower-to-middle class who campaigns against austerity, against overpunitive drug policy and against discrimination against women - making him one of the few who will tackle the abortion issue head on - while quietly hoping that nobody remembers that he's a well off property developer.
Oh and you also had these guys
Michael and Danny Healy-Rae, who represent the all important Kerry farmers vote. Because of course they do.
"Gosh, Desktop Hippie!" you say! "What a web of interests and intrigue! Who won the election?"
That's the problem. Nobody.
Well, Fianna Gael juuuuust about managed to keep a majority despite losing a bunch of seats, but it wasn't enough to form a government and while many other parties gained significant ground, none of them had enough to form a government either. After the longest gap between an election and the formation of a government in the history of the Irish State (lasting over 50 days!) Fianna Gael eventually hammered out a deal with Shane Ross and his Independent Alliance, a group of six independent TDs (the Irish version of MPs) who agreed to club together as a sort of minority party in exchange for focus on their various raisons d'être and seats on the cabinet. This is exactly as stable a government as you're probably imagining it to be.
So, the election was in February of this year and we finally got a government at the end of April. What's happened since then?
Well, Fianna Fáil have continued to gain ground with people who are willing to forgive the whole destroying-the-economy thing if they promise to be good TDs and never do it again, especially since Fianna Gael are coming across as dangerously unstable in the fragile post-Brexit days. To tackle Brexit head on, Enda Kenny decided to set up an all-island forum focusing entirely on Brexit and the fallout. However, he sort of forgot to tell First Minister and DUP Leader Arlene Foster about it in advance. Needless to say, this went down like a lead balloon. Adding to this, there was a vote on the hugely controversial issue of abortion (still illegal in Ireland, don't get me started) in which Enda allowed his Independent ministers a free vote, which drew sharp criticism.
The biggest problem though? He fired the Deputy Leader of Fianna Gael, went through a selection process to choose a new Deputy Leader and has decided to go with... the guy he fired.
Feeling better about Theresa May yet?