And rather convincingly, too – from the Telegraph:
Early returns from Ireland’s national elections Saturday suggested the opposition had routed the ruling party, national media said.
State broadcaster RTE said exit polls indicated the Fine Gael party had a “huge” majority over the incumbent Fianna Fail party, although official results weren’t due for two days, the BBC reported…
Ireland, being inhabited by Irish people, naturally has a horrifically complex means of determining who gets how many seats in a proportional representation system, so know one knows just just how many seats Fine Gael will win, but it does look like a complete route of Fianna Fail, which has ruled Ireland for most of its modern existence as an independent nation (reports elsewhere indicate that Fianna Fail took only 15% or so of the vote; they got 42% at the last election).
This is a rejection of Fianna Fail over that party’s agreement to a bail out program which essentially would tax the Irish in to penury in order to make good banker losses – bankers who, with eyes wide open, agreed to investments in Ireland which never had any chance of being repaid. To be sure, the people of Ireland played their part in the financial meltdown – buying in to a get-rich-quick scheme, after all was said and done – but the bankers are supposed to be the wise men in the know who, with their fiduciary responsibility, steer people away from financial traps. Instead, the bankers were right there in the mix, being stupid from day one.
How this will effect the larger European Union remains to be seen. German Chancellor Merkel’s party was wiped out in a recent regional election over pretty much the same issue – and while she doesn’t have to face a national vote for a while, there are a series of other regional elections coming up this year, all of which look to be a disaster for her party. Not just the Irish, but the people of Europe are determined not to play the sucker for bankers and bureaucrats who made the mess. This could lead, eventually, to sovereign default on the part of some weaker EU nations – as the bail out funds dry up, places like Greece, Portugal and Spain might be forced in to default. That would have incalculable results on the global economy – incalculable in the sense of no one can say how bad it would be, but that it would certainly be bad.
At all events, my hats off to the people of Ireland – it was high time that people took a stand against this nonsense.