With the resignation of another Councillor today, all the indications point to Labour being in serious trouble come 2016 - especially given the fact that much of the old guard who might have been returned are likely going to not run again. The grassroots seem to be demoralized and ignored, the councillors are rupturing and the backbenchers are grumbling in this Government.
But when one looks at the maths in the Dail - Labour playing second fiddle to FG is the only way it was ever going to happen. During the Rainbow Coalition (a good government in retrospect), Labour and DL had the numbers to force an agenda on FG - that's why Quinn was able to get Finance for example. That was never so in this Dail with the disparity of numbers between FG and Labour. They are circling the drain now - but it didn't need to be so. Labour could have opted to lead the opposition - and had they done that, it is arguable that they could have finished off FF by starving it of oxygen in opposition, created a right/left divide in our politics for the first time and could well have been on their way to leading the next government.
So how did this happen, and why? I'm not asking for a rant about Gilmore, Rabbittee, arses in mercs etc - there are plenty of threads around here to rant about the Labour Party, and while pride may have been part of it it's too easy to pass it off as that entirely. I want this thread to really focus on engaging with the question. Why, for example, did grassroots delegates (up to 90% of them) vote to enter coalition with FG (as per Labour Party rules - a special conference has to be held and the programme for government has to be approved by grassroots delegates before entering coalition)? Why did all but 2 people on the NEC of the Labour Party for example vote to enter negotiations with FG? The vast majority of these people had nothing to gain directly from entering government, and presumably don't relish the impeding destruction of their Party, so why did they opt to go the direction they did? Also surely the Party Strategists, looking at the history of coalition with regard to the Labour Party, knew this couldn't end well - why didn't they speak up?
There's just a lot of things that really don't add up about why Labour is in the mess it's in, and how it got itself into that mess. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to have an actual conversation about the Labour Party especially online without it very quickly decending into a ranting session - I don't disagree with all of the rants mind, it's just not helpful for gaining understanding