Progress vs process

28th January, 2011

It is very interesting to see how the three main parties are addressing the electorate and fighting this campaign.

Fianna Fail with their new leader have spent 48 hours trying, with some success, to get the media to talk about the leaders’ debates in a (less successful) effort to appear in control of the agenda. Michael Martin wants a three way debate, but has yet to explain why he thinks the other party leaders should be excluded. By shifting the focus to what is known as a “process story”, he has avoided being asked what his vision for the future is.

Labour took the Fianna Fail bait and even had their spokespeople out on the plinth of Leinster House calling on Fine Gael to partake in the debate under Fianna Fail’s terms.

Fine Gael, meanwhile, are in Brussels. Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan will meet Jose Manuel Borosso to discuss the high interest rate applied to the EU/IMF bailout and signal that the next Government will be seeking a renegotiation of its terms.

What a contrasting set of political priorities. An opinion poll is due to on Sunday. I suspect Fianna Fail may get a bounce. But given the tactics employed by the respective parties on the last couple of days, I don’t think it will last long.