US opinion pollsters use a tracking measure of whether people think the country is moving in the right or wrong direction. Such a poll here, I believe, would show Ireland under Cowen is very much going down the tubes.
Basis for pessimism
1. Those who were in charge, in government, banks and media who oversaw or ignored the then looming economic crisis are still in charge.
2. The main opposition party is ineffective in opposing the status quo eg they pair for bertie, they have not raised that a minister has mislead the High Court and voted for the bank guarantee. It is no place for outsiders.
3. youth unemployment and emigration is a drain on optimism.
4.300,000 empty properties Blighting the country.
5. nama will drain about 30-40
Billion and transfer taxpayers money to international bondholders.
6. The cuts have come too late and are not based on common sense eg mccarthy report largely ignored and government does cuts never reform.
7.Public sector morale has never been lower, contrary to media opinion these affects a huge number of people.
8 People talk of 'most vulnerable in society' but the 1200 in Victorian asylums, 5000 actual homeless and tens of thousands of children of disfunctional parents are ignored by politicians and media.
Can anyone suggest a basis for optimism in the next 6 years? .