How Does An Irish Political Party Manifesto Differ From Those In The United States?

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

fine-gael-logoOne aspect of American politics I find particularly disappointing is the lack of substance inherent in political platforms of both the Republican and Democrat parties. Since most voters in the United States have only experienced the politics resident in our country, I thought in light of this year’s election it would be worthwhile to experience another point of view that is removed from our current political ideologies.

It seems unfortunate that most of what we see today are mere soundbites of half a dozen topics considered to be of utmost importance to each of the parties — seemingly only designed to inflame emotions and provide the voter with very little information which can be ambiguous at best.

I present to you a political platform from another nation, and  political perspective: the 2016 Fine Gael manifesto.


the Fine Gael party, formed in 1933, is a major political party within the Republic of Ireland. It is noted for its fiscally liberal economic policies as well as a somewhat conservative social approach: though not to the degree of conservativism as defined in the United States.

Since politics in the United States on the federal level especially, has become so polarized and unworkable I have doubts that many politicians can see the broader picture of the needs of the United States. It would be refreshing for many to see another perspective at least looking at it from a structural point of view. For the purposes of our discussion it is not necessary to evaluate the political tenets of the Fine Gael party, but instead to see documents such as this as an example upon which to formulate a greater governing approach by political parties generally.

I invite the readers to view this political manifesto: again not from a perspective of trying to evaluate so much the goals of Fine Gael, but instead to look upon it as an example of how the U.S. parties can do better to convey actual solutions to those problems facing us today. And, for each of the voters to evaluate for themselves. While certainly this is not intended to be all encompassing of Fine Gael’s itemized plan for its future governance, it certainly is much more comprehensive than what we are given here.

Fine Gael 2016 Manifesto

By Darren Smith

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

32 thoughts on “How Does An Irish Political Party Manifesto Differ From Those In The United States?”

  1. issacbasonkavichi

    I retrieved for you eleven comments the system flagged as spam.

  2. Page 90: “Updating our Laws: We will update Ireland’s laws to tackle new and emerging trends, in areas such as gambling, gaming, corruption, white-collar crime and with regard to the proceeds of crime. We will enact legislation to provide an independent and effective licensing system for handguns.”

    Yes, this INDEED sounds like the ‘DepoPublican’ call to instill a despotic, tyrannical Police State, as issued by the one political party of the United States.

    Remind me not to buy Guinness anytime in the near future …

  3. Issac: They are completely blocking out several others like the dogs who used to be on here. Barkin and Bitchin.

  4. Prairie Rose

    Bernie Sanders is making an impression. Unfortunately the Supreme Court had a conservative bent and was biased towards a mindless interpretation of the ‘sacred texts’. Nothing says pompous more than referring to something that is supposedly greater than the men that wrote it, and then identifying with that holier than all position. Now that Scalia is gone and the self destruction of the GOP seems well under way, perhaps there will be a rational position adopted by the Supreme Court. It seems that it all comes back to the Supreme Court.

    Of course politicians like the Republicans and Clinton would not abandon what has worked so well for them. However, if people could rally behind politicians like Bernie Sanders and take this to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court was composed of at least five rational and realistic members, then perhaps the first move, getting rid of concentrated wealth in elections could be made.

    If a voter can be a contributor and that voter is seen as an equal part of the democratic process then it follows that every voter can only contribute the same amount. A reasonable amount of ten dollars per voter would surface the public’s candidates. From there on in they would have to be based on issues, expressed evenly and equally throughout the publicly financed media. This seems to be the way the more advanced and more successful democracies like Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, etc do it. In every form of government at every level there will be corruption and perversity. However, the American system of electing its representatives and their representation of the people’s will is perhaps the most corrupt and perverse. It is momentum both economic and social that is the saving grace of America today. The question one must ask is do we fix it because it is broke but we don’t experience it well enough yet or do we bury our heads in that sand mixed with patriotism, our historical myths, etc and say, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”?

    Of course because of the width of the interpretation of freedom of speech guys like the Koch brothers would be able to endorse this or that candidate but if their multi million dollar displays of their interpretations of what it means to be an American came with their names attached then perhaps the average voter would understand. Perhaps, as with other more democratic countries, they simply would not be permitted to contribute more than an equal share. In a pure democratic condition the only funding allowed would be based on the lowest amount. If that is ten dollars and a million people wanted a person to run for office then that person could muster ten million dollars. That is democracy, not ten million dollars from half a dozen oligarchs that never reveal themselves. What we have now are politicians for sale to the highest bidder, not the most voters.

    The downside to this is that most voters are ignorant of the realities that come into play in the running of a country. However, those realities, whether they result in more or less pollution, more or less inequality in the workplace, more or less proper distribution of wealth, etc will be there under the control of that 1% for some time to come. The most successful forms of government are those with an equal and productive interaction between government, labor, and corporate. It is the holy trinity that marries the best interests of the citizens with the potential of the nation. The present American system is well out of balance when it comes to the best interests of the citizens.

    In the beginning there was leadership through force. Then came mumbo jumbo and force. The Western World is on the brink of leadership through equal and informed representation. Time to catch up.

  5. Paul

    Just not posting. When you think of the genius that has been lost, never to be retrieved, well??? I have tamed my content to well below what appears on a regular basis. I think it’s a technical issue. Turley is much, much, much too in favor of free speech to edit my stuff. I utilize all the necessary asterisks.

    1. issac – there are a number of words that WordPress dislikes. The other thing is no more than two links per comment. Then again sometimes it just goes into the Great WordPress Void.

  6. Thanks for posting this. It would be interesting to know how many politicians have read the party platforms. I have asked several local candidates who had not read it.

    As to Ralph’s post above on making work pay….there is general agreement that people have a higher quality of life if they can participate meaningfully in productive aspects of their community. The problem is the large number of folks with learning disorders — who cannot read, write, or even communicate in a meaningful way. I’m not talking about diagnosed disabled folks, but the millions of people who fail in school and wind up unemployable for reasons out of their control. Farms and factories were a good pathway for many of those folks. They need a new pathway like that where physical skills are needed. Building infrastructure is the best option.

  7. Issac,
    Those sound like good ideas. How would these ideas gain a foothold: legislatively or as a policy change in the DNC/RNC?

  8. Darren
    If you get a chance, find out why my incredibly relevant contributions don’t get posted on Turley’s blog.

  9. First move, take out private funding from the political process, now that Scalia is gone.
    Second move, candidates run independently of their political party expressing their views on issues of interest to the voters-not the candidates.
    Third move, after determining the candidates by statistical popularity, candidates will have equal time over major media, funded through taxation, not private wealth.

    This will encourage and allow the formation of more political parties. If the President is elected on the merits of his or her stances on the issues presented by the voters, then the people will be represented, not one of two political parties or the oligarchical status quo.

  10. This document has a fatal flaw. We will be back in a world-wide recession by the end of 2016. There is no way to uphold many of those promises.

  11. I have two supporters from California who put my name in the running out there. Their names are Cheech and Chong.

  12. I think that we need to have a War On Poverty in this country. It would begin by bringing jobs back from China. That would begin by giving American business entities incentives to make products here in America. We could start with tea. I am not a Tea Party advocate and yet I believe that the phrase All The Tea In China has some substanence. We need to compete and might as well start at the get go. We can grow tea, put it in tea bags and sell it in stores. We can make Chinaware, software, and footware. We must not be confused as to who we are. I am Dave. And yet when someone knocks on the door I say that “Dave’s not here man.” This is a way to get around the two party system and make America great again. I am running for President as an Independent. Thank you and here’s my address.

  13. Darren wrote: “…become so polarized and unworkable I have doubts that many politicians can see the broader picture of the needs of the United States…”

    Re. three particular items, our duopoly (AKA “two-party system”) absolutely, unequivocally agrees and works permanently toward the following:
    1. More debt
    2. More war
    3. Less personal freedom

    Anyone that disagrees is naive, in denial, or both.

    On at least the national level, ban both parties for at least a half-C.

  14. Not a damn bit of difference between this platform and most of the promises of the Democratic. Some folks seem to have this Xenophilic notion that foreign equals somehow inherently superior…..we call that ‘pretentious’.

  15. You are spot on with this document Darren. Here is a small excerpt:

    2. Making Work Pay
    Fine Gael believes that work, rather than welfare, is
    the only sustainable route out of poverty. The second
    step in our Plan is to continue to make sure that, as
    more jobs are created, work pays more than welfare,
    and that hard work and entrepreneurship are better
    That’s why our manifesto commits to:
    • ompleting the equalisation of the income tax
    system for the self-employed by 2018
    • ompleting the abolition of the USC over a 5-year
    period, as part of a wider income tax reform plan
    that broadens the tax base and limits the benefits
    for the highest earners
    • oubling housing output to 25,000 per year by 2020
    to make housing more available and affordable for
    working families
    • ensible, affordable increases in the minimum wage
    to €10.50 over the 5-year period
    • Working Family Payment designed to ensure that
    every parent working 15 hours or more per week
    takes home at least €11.75 per hour
    • he extension of free GP care to the children of all
    families by 2019
    • second free pre-school year, and a €2,000
    childcare subsidy for working parents of children
    aged between 9 months and 36 months in formal
    childcare settings
    Through these measures, our Plan aims to – by 2020
    – move 70,000 long-term unemployed people into
    a job, cut the national unemployment rate to 6%,
    and reduce the numbers of people living in Jobless
    Households towards the European average.

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