Ireland needs a Tea Party this election and almost had one

Let's face it if American was ripe for political revolution in the last election how ripe is Ireland right now?

The latest opinion polls from the weekend show voters indicating that 15 percent of them will vote for independents, rather than any of the established parties.

That sure smells of revolution, but the problem Ireland has is that there is no organized Tea Party to take advantage.

There almost was.

Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole (pictured) revealed this weekend that he had considered gathering clean government advocates like himself and running as an affiliate group of independents.

The name of the new group was going to be called 'Democracy Now.'

Among those approached according to the Sunday Tribune were businessman and former Wexford hurling manager Liam Griffin, Cork goalkeeper Dónal Óg Cusack, cystic fibrosis campaigner Orla Tinsley and Seamus Boland, ceo of Irish Rural Networks.

O'Toole gathered together many big names, including columnist Eamon Dunphy, economist David McWilliams and a bunch of others. They had raised $600,000 in one day and headquarters were being provided by Riverdance impressario John McColgan.

But O'Toole said time ran out as the election was called sooner rather than later.

They were to have a five point platform, calling for a referendum on the EU bailout and an impartial investigation into government and business corruption.

Chances are his version of the Tea Party would have done extremely well.

A measure of how badly the Irish electorate thinks of their leaders at present is that 30 percent think the newly elected Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin would make the best Prime Minister.

This is a man who was in a senior position around the cabinet table for all the major decisions that brought Ireland to this crisis.

But he is a 'now' face, relatively speaking, taking advantage of widespread coverage of him over the past two weeks as he challenged incumbent Brian Cowen.

But the Tea Party envisaged by O'Toole would have been an intriguing experiment.

Do commentators and economist make better politicians than those currently in the job?

Could they make any worse?

The answer to that is definitely no.

 

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