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Thread: Does Irish politics have a "working-class party"?

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    Default Does Irish politics have a "working-class party"?

    Fianna Fáil's support base was traditionally described as a group "that thought Labour, but voted FF", but with that demographic having fractured in multiple directions at the last election, can any one party claim to be the voice of lower-income voters? Numerically, the answer must be Fine Gael, but their ideological focus concerns a middle-class coalition of urban professionals, prosperous farmers and Ahern-era FF ABs that have elevated FG to largest-party status. Labour have long pursued the left/liberal section of that social class, and by concentrating on the public sector, the party has left a vacuum which Sinn Féin are eager to exploit. That party has based its growth strategy on targeting lower-income voters before widening its net, but even then, its percentage of that group has yet to rival that of the traditional parties, if poll figures of 15-20% are any testament, while the ULA remain a micro-alliance. Of course, it may very well be that the notion of a monolithic working-class bloc is entirely false, but even that allowed, who can best claim to represent the most vulnerable?
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    No, but Bertie tried his best to make FF a Social Welfare Party - then Cowen gave social welfare to banks, multinationals (through low tax), higher paid public servants could retire with huge lump sums and then the be rehired as consultants etc

    This thread discusses some of the points
    http://www.politics.ie/forum/current...ents-them.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloatingVoterTralee View Post
    Fianna Fáil's support base was traditionally described as a group "that thought Labour, but voted FF", but with that demographic having fractured in multiple directions at the last election, can any one party claim to be the voice of lower-income voters? Numerically, the answer must be Fine Gael, but their ideological focus concerns a middle-class coalition of urban professionals, prosperous farmers and Ahern-era FF ABs that have elevated FG to largest-party status. Labour have long pursued the left/liberal section of that social class, and by concentrating on the public sector, the party has left a vacuum which Sinn Féin are eager to exploit. That party has based its growth strategy on targeting lower-income voters before widening its net, but even then, its percentage of that group has yet to rival that of the traditional parties, if poll figures of 15-20% are any testament, while the ULA remain a micro-alliance. Of course, it may very well be that the notion of a monolithic working-class bloc is entirely false, but even that allowed, who can best claim to represent the most vulnerable?
    SF promote the interest of working class people, across the island, whether in Donaghadee or Dalkey. SF is not a "working class" party - is it a party for all - but it is a party that looks out for those struggling to make ends meet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factual View Post
    SF promote the interest of working class people, across the island, whether in Donaghadee or Dalkey. SF is not a "working class" party - is it a party for all - but it is a party that looks out for those struggling to make ends meet.
    See! Another catch all party.

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    Politics.ie Member cabledude's Avatar
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    No.

    FF - The bankers and developers party.
    Labour - The public/civil servants party.
    FG - The farmers party
    SF - The 'all things to all men/women' but economically illiterate party.
    Greens - Who?

    Working middle classes. Na they don't have a party. Yet. But maybe soon?
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    If you work in a low-paying private sector job you might as well not exist as far as parties are concerned. Lose your job and you become Sinn Fein's/ULA/WP target market. Move to the public sector and Labour will start to care about you. Get promoted enough and FG might take an interest.

    Decide to pack it all in and borrow the money to build a shopping centre in The Burren, then Fianna Fail will have you in their tent.

    Private sector workers are a class without a party and it is the biggest gap in the political system.

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    I am relatively well paid but have a lot of mortgage debt.

    I work.

    For the last couple of years I have struggled to exist.

    What class does that make me?

    Many people understand working class to mean people without jobs.

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    Politics.ie Member cabledude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutingIsLeadership View Post
    I am relatively well paid but have a lot of mortgage debt.

    I work.

    For the last couple of years I have struggled to exist.

    What class does that make me?

    Many people understand working class to mean people without jobs.
    The coping middle class.
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    Politics.ie Member Analyzer's Avatar
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    To answer the question, No.

    But the media is very good at patronizing working people, at getting them to vote for parties that serve other vested interests.

    Hence, they never vote effectively in their own interest.
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    The problem with the OP is that many people who are working class have this notion they are middle class. So for practical reasons political parties have to have wide appeal.

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