Now we’re really playing with the percentages…something politicians have, figuratively, always done. You are constantly making calculations. That’s how you get elected.
And that solo focus is still at the heart of the debate about agriculture’s goal to reduce its emissions. Individual rural TDs are emerging collectively…although the argument is that climate collapse (“change” is too mild a word now) threatens us all, humanity as a whole.
Nonetheless, given that domestic policy is such that agriculture comes to a certain figure between 22 and 30 percent, there will be perceived winners and losers.
Yes, it is a deficit, narrow-minded and short-term view – but Irish politics has always been essentially narrow-minded and largely short-term oriented.
That’s because in a multi-seat constituency system that uses proportional representation and the single transferrable vote, there is effectively no long-term incentive.
Take on a bold, visionary leadership position and you are clearly in trouble. You are easily caricatured as aloof and far off base with your lofty thoughts. We all know what happens to big poppies.
So to the political realities. Country TDs of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael need a win over the Greens to give them a chance to retain their seats in Sinn Féin’s expected surge next time around.
That means delivering for their rural constituencies by “protecting” farmers even as they tilt the seesaw against the planet.
The dreaded reduction target of 30 percent must be brought back to below 25 percent. A quarter is too much…the magic number for victory is 24 percent (or less).
That percentages are largely meaningless when instead various parameters can be manipulated to achieve a similar result needn’t stop us.
This is a political battle and it will have a numerical result next week. There is a number – a score – and therefore winners and losers, unless there is a tie. And in Irish politics, it’s never a tie. Some people will have won with a draw, others will have
That’s how we, um, hold points in this country.
For the Greens, the reduction target for agriculture must be 25 percent or more — exactly the opposite of what the rural backbenchers of the traditional governing parties want.
The median between 22 percent and 30 percent is obviously 26 percent… but a compromise of the kind that might be considered an honor even in other democracies would be seen as a green victory.
There would inevitably be claims that “the tail is wagging the dog” as Fianna Fáil currently has 36 seats and Fine Gael 34 (ignoring Joe McHugh’s lost whip), both far outnumbering Eamon’s dutiful dozen.
And therefore more politically powerful, which means that Realpolitik must account for a 30 percent countback, even when the latest figures from the Environment Protection Agency would actually suggest a 30 percent reduction and even beyond – because agriculture accounts for almost two-fifths from all national emissions, which must be reduced by a total of 51 percent by 2030.
Eamon’s ace up his sleeve is Micheál Martin.
The Taoiseach, like him at this point, at the height of his career, is indeed looking to future generations. It’s partly what drives his backbenchers insane. So the leader of Fianna Fáil will toss Eamon that extra poker chip. Eamon can live with 25pc.
It’s probably the lynchpin of society as a whole because most of the voters live in the city.
Lose-lose may just be Ireland’s political equivalent of a tie – although ultimately the planet is also likely to lose. Imagine that.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/saving-the-planet-comes-down-to-a-numbers-game-for-fianna-fail-fine-gael-and-greens-yet-well-still-lose-41859309.html Saving the planet will be a numbers game for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Greens – and we’ll still lose