Friday, March 18, 2016

Housekeeping - New Twitter; other updates; USA, Ireland

Just a quick heads up, I have a new twitter account for this blog

I will still talk politics from my main/personal twitter account, but this one is specifically for the blog. In particular, this is so I can follow hyper-partisans without reading their partisan propaganda when I just want to check twitter to see what my friends are up to.

In Ireland, things are slowly continuing. It seems we are on the path towards a FG-FF Coalition. There are a few problems. First is Irish Water. This is a government agency that is very unpopular, but that is likely the best way to manage waste water. It's not uncommon that a pragmatic idea will be very unpopular, look at the GST in Canada for a good analogy. Because of the pragmatism, it is likely Irish Water will stay; as a result FF will need to get something, and likely will announce "significant and real" reforms to Irish Water; which will be neither significant nor real.

There are 17 Cabinet positions in Ireland, one of which is the PM or Taoiseach, and another is Tanaiste, or Deputy PM. If balanced according to seats won, there would be a total of 9 cabinet members from FG and 8 from FF.

There are three basic ways a coalition could work. The first is the traditional method; with the FG leader becoming PM, FF leader becoming DPM, and the cabinet being split. The problem with this is the Kenny 'lost' the election and FF is almost certain to want another FG leader; FG may not want to dump Kenny and find a replacement so fast. Despite that, this is still a possibility.

The second option is the pragmatic and unemotional option. This would see the FF leader become PM, in return for a greater balance of power going towards FG. This might be done simply by adding one or even two additional FG cabinet ministers. This is smart because there are still a few tough years and decisions ahead, and having Martin (FF leader) wear these problems in the public eye would be helpful. The problem with this is that it goes against human nature and emotion; FG 'won' the election and would be likely to play second fiddle.

The final option is a rotating system. If FG is smart they'll have FF go first; but in short, this would see the leader of each party be PM for two years. One good way to pull this off is to force an election at the end of the term of the first in the rotation in the hopes that they will wear the problems of the day and that your party can gain additional seats.

I will keep you updated on how this evolves.

In the USA I've done a bit more research (here are some maps) and my current prediction is as follows:

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