14 June 2007

Pantone 347 are we

150px-Irishgreenlogo.jpgWell, it's official. We now have a Green government in Ireland. Well, a semi-Green, one might almost say a Shamrock Green government, in that while they are definitely a minority party, they look likely to have two ministers.

It's an unusual feeling for me to see them in government. While arguably being in government will give them the opportunity to shape policy in key areas, the fact that they are such a minority party in this government makes me believe they will have an uphill struggle to have their voice heard. An electorate that voted for change could react badly to the Green's choice of partner, and this could impact them seriously in the next election as happened to Labour after their coalition with Fianna Fail in '92. However 86% of the Green party membership disagree with me, and hence this historic moment.

It looks like Trevor Sargent will keep his word and resign as leader of the Greens rather than go into coalition, a rare sign of integrity from a politician. It goes somewhat to restoring my faith in him, damaged as it was by the site of his hand-written notes during the live television debate (and by hand-written, I mean written on his hand). Not his most professional moment.

If the Greens can do something about the proposed Tara bypass, and more importantly end the Shannon stop-over for US military and CIA flights, the I'm all for it. If however all we see is tax incentives for solar panels and Bertie riding a bike to the Dail then I think the electorate will view this a wasted opportunity, and the Green agenda could be marginalized in the next election the same way the Thatcherite policies of the PDs were rejected this time round.

We truly live in interesting times.

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