May 21, 2016
This episode is an analysis of the new Irish government formed after 70 days of political inertia. It is a Fine Gael minority government supported from the Opposition by Fianna Fail. This government is a historic first as there has never been a Fine Gael administration re-elected. We discuss the impact of this and how the smallest government in the history of the state can function over the medium to short term.
For our non-Irish listeners here are some basic facts about the current political state of affairs within the Irish parliament.
The government of Ireland is formed within the lower house of the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas), the lower house called Dail Eireann is comprised of 158 members, called TDs. The Speaker of the House, called the Ceann Comhairle is elected and is officially neutral, leaving 157 TDs from which a government can be formed. The Fine Gael government comprises of 50 FG TDs and 8 Independent TDs. 22 seats short of passing any piece of legislation. A minority government comprising of 58 TDs is by the numbers the smallest and most unstable government in the history of the Irish state.