Fianna Fail, Greens and Libertas go over the cliff

Posted by Kelly Fincham at 6/9/2009 6:27 AM EDT

It's been a massive weekend in politics here. Ireland went to the polls for mostly European and local elections and pretty much pushed Fianna Fail and the Greens over a cliff.

The hostility to the ruling government, led by Brian Cowen, is something else.

It seems terribly unfair that Cowen, a throroughly decent man by all accounts, is being made to pay for the mistakes of the past.

But that's party politics for you. Stand with the party and you will fall with the party.

For the first time that I can remember, my Fianna Fail-voting family and friends did an ABFF vote - "Anyone ButFianna Fail."

On the bright side, maybe Ireland can finally shake off these ingrained allegiances to the parties and start voting on the basis of actual policies.

Talking about policies, or lack therof, the Libertastrain also went over a cliff this weekend in what will forever be remembered as Wheelie Bin Gate.

Libertas - (or "two men and a website") was set up by English man Declan Ganley and trumpeted itself as a pan-European party which would hold the "faceless bureacrats" in Europe accountable for well, everything.

You know the type - free market basket cases who jump up and down screaming about the nanny-state and then go howlling for help from the government when their free market bets go horribly wrong.

Anyway, Ganley's bet in the Northwest also went horribly wrong.

Behind in the polls at the weekend, he had demanded a recheck.

Luckily for Ganley, the recheck found 3,000 extra Ganley votes in some wheelie bins.

Unluckily for Ganley, the votes were actually for Ganley's opponent, Independent candidate Fiachra O'Luain.

O'Luain, quite properly, has asked the Irish police in Castlebar to investigate how his votes ended up in Mr Ganley's bundles.

Ganley saw the jig was up and decided to resign from politics there and then.

Truly, you couldn't make this stuff up.

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