The latest poll numbers from Ireland showing the Labor Party with a clear lead and likely to form the next government with Eamon Gilmore (above) as prime Minister are the exact mirror image of what is happening in America with the Tea Party.
Labor have never been the major party in government and their leader has never been Prime Minister of Ireland but now it looks increasingly likely that it may happen.
They have a six -point lead over Fine Gael, 36 per cent to 30 and a fourteen point lead over government party Fianna Fail who are at 22 per cent.
The Irish voters are infused with the ‘Throw the bums out” mentality that has driven the Tea Party phenomenon in America but are trending heavy left rather than far right.
That is because the two experiences are not the same.
In America government is seen as the problem, in Ireland, not enough government especially in the oversight department, is the mantra.
The bank collapse and housing debacle in Ireland came about because a Wild West mentality infused both arenas.
Anglo-Irish and other banks ladled out massive loans to anyone who asked and plenty of developers came calling.
The government egged them all on providing massive subvention of housing schemes that are now so called ghost estates all over Ireland.
It is hardly surprising the unholy alliance happened. Fianna Fail have been in power 18 out of the last 20 years and they got very cozy with the golden inner circles that controlled most of Irish business.
Though they have backtracked now the media was also very culpable feeding the property boom by turning many of its main players into celebrities and fueling the property mania with special sections and get rich quick stories.
Now comes the hangover and the realization, like drunks who have stayed too long at a party and are getting argumentative, that the worst is yet to come.
Voters also realize when they look at Australia and Canada where there was no meltdown because of proper oversight and conservative banking policies that Ireland does not need to be in the mess they are in.
More government oversight of the runaway banking system for instance would have prevented the collapse.
Thus, the voters are ready to punish the party in power that presided over the boom but they are not turning to the main opposition party Fine Gael but to the left- leaning Labor party.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny is suffering from an over familiarity with the electorate, he has been opposition leader for a decade and many consider him not skilled enough for the top job.
In sharp contrast, Eamon Gilmore, the Labor Leader, is a relatively new face and has an excellent media presence.
Clearly the electorate want a new face and a new future and they believe that Labor supplies both. Like in America new faces and new policies are in
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