Since FF first took power in 1932, it has lost power following an election, on only 5 occasions. And never two elections in a row. It has been in power for 20 of the last 22 years. In fairness an awful lot has been achieved in that time and even when the (self-made) current economic woes have passed, the State will be a far healthier position than it was in 1987 (for starters the economy is about 3 times the size). But is recognised by 72% of the electorate and large portion of FF members, that the Party needs to get out of power. For the good of the country and the Party itself. It goes without saying that those at the top will do all that they can to stay in power (Powers only wears you down when you don't have it (Andreotti)).
So how can FF be forced out of government:
1) FG and Labour need to win the bye-elections, leaving them on 52 and 21 respectively, with SF, they have 3 seats mre than FF.
2) The Greens hold the balance of power, exclusively.
3) The Green party will continue in governement until such time as it becomes untenable (they believe that they rae doing well in their two ministries) from within, outside due to unpopularity or Mahon.
Part 2: the Greens
4) Either Gormley and Ryan are made an offer they cannot refuse ie they will get their ministries in the next government even if their votes are not required or the Green Party is infilrated by people who will vote the Party out of power. The memebership is quite low and a critical mass could be achieved within the party to have a special conference next year.
5) Pressure. The Greens are reminded of the collective nature of government ie they are made to support every education and health cut, every dodgy appointment and decision and harassed constantly. The pressure becomes massive. Evey speech, press release, media report should highlight the fact that the Greens are the only party keeping FF in power.
Part 3: Within FF.
6) FG and Labour (and even SF) need to target FF backbenchers/former ministers, with a view to them crossing the floor. This is unlikely to be achieved, but it could make a few go independent and that could be enough.
Part 4: The Seanad.
7) The government majority here is very tight, while it cannot vote a government out, a majority here can make governing very difficult.
Part 5: the People
8) A link has to be made in people's minds that voting FF for a 1,2,3 or 4 preference, in the locals, euros and by-election is a vote for Ahern's digouts, banker bailouts, corruption and cronyism, dodgy deals. An ABFF education shoudl be co-ordinated.
9) Being associated with FF needs to be seen as anti-social. Or basically anyone in FF should be treatde in the same way as an Nazi Anglo-Irish boardmember who has just farted. Eventually the media will cop on.
Part 6: offer a credible and coherent alternative.
No elaboration required.
Part 7: the FF state needs to be dismantled.
1. Provide real accountability for spending public monies.
2. Abolishing over 800 quangos.
3. Kicking out the unqualified friends of ff from boards and bodies.
4. Ending dependence on social welfare for 640,000 citizens.
5. Greater regulation of certain aspects of business and community life eg planning and financial services.
6. Abolish a host of tax shelters and 6,000 lawful avoiders.
7.adopting EU regulations on time and then then enforcing them eg pollution, habitats
8. Reform the national broadcaster.
9. Break the power of the press barons.
10. Improving the education system with a view of qualtity and ending inequality.
I accept that I was part of the problem. I was a member of FF for 16 years.