Ireland's new government announced last week is the same as the old government in some ways, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny very much calling the shots once again after 70 days when he was acting leader due to a muddled result in February’s general election.
It took a deeply complicated formula involving the abstention of the largest opposition party Fianna Fail and cobbling together an eight strong group of independents to make up enough members by a single vote for Kenny to be elected.
The result is a Cabinet with several independents in ministerial positions. It's been decades since such a formula was used for the creation of a government.
Amazing too, that the main opposition Fianna Fail, a deeply corrupt party during the fall of the Celtic Tiger, have bounced back and like a shiny new pin are seemingly free of all that baggage now. Attention spans in Ireland clearly ain’t what they used to be.
There are some interesting new faces. Katherine Zappone is an American-born and reared gay woman who is now minister for children. A 29-year-old wunderkind Simon Harris has taken over the dreaded ministry of health where too few resources and too many patients has led to massive waiting lists and deep disaffection. If he survives with his reputation intact he will have really proven himself.
The new tanaiste, or deputy prime minister, is Frances Fitzgerald, who seems to be Kenny’s pick as his successor when he steps aside which he has said he will do before the next election, set to happen within a two year time frame if not before.
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, however. After a poor performance in the last general election the talk of leadership succession is widespread as the next generation chomps at the bit.
Gender quotas are now in place in Irish elections, with women having guaranteed numbers in the race for seats or else their political party gets no funding. It is a double edged sword with obvious resentment on the part of male candidates who feel the process is unfair, and women who feel affirmative action of some kind was needed to make them heard in Irish political debate.
Indeed, if there is one trend that could improve in the Irish Dail, it is the massive number of representatives who come from families that previously served, including every taoiseach of the modern era with the exception of Albert Reynolds and Bertie Ahern.
The opposition benches will see Fianna Fail settling in as the main opposition after refusing coalition with Fine Gael which was the outcome many had expected.
Meanwhile the Labour Party, decimated in the election, will try to rediscover its working class roots but may well find that Sinn Fein, now third largest party, gained a firm grip when Labour shared power with Fine Gael in the previous government.
The end result of the February election was confusion at first but then the creation of an unlikely government that may well soar to meet its challenge. But it is terra incognito, especially with unreliable independents on board.