The Green’s national unity government could not last in the long term

The Green party are calling for a national unity government to deal with the Coronavirus, but would this make things even more chaotic?

The Green Party has ruled out a coalition with Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and are looking for a national unity government, including all TDs that have been elected.

The party has called for this formation amidst the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic, seeking to put the government in place now and then review it in three months’ time. 

Calling for unity in a time of crisis is of course understandable, but the question of whether or not it is feasible or a good idea has a simple answer, in my opinion. 

Today more than ever, the government must be able to make hard decisions quickly and efficiently, which would be virtually impossible within a cabinet full of TD’s with entirely different viewpoints.

It is difficult to see how eight parties plus independents would be able to make vital decisions in a timely manner, especially the type of decisions they have faced over the last few weeks, which have quite literally been matters of life and death. 

This would not only cause great difficulty within the government, but would also be extremely time-consuming. Time is something Ireland does not have during the Covid-19 crisis. 

RTE Health Correspondent Fergal Bowers has said that despite the number of cases in Ireland now exceeding 4,000, the outbreak is still in its early stages and the worst is yet to come. Do you think it is feasible to align all parties into a government when we are soon headed for the eye of the storm?

A government of unity would only be put together for a specific amount of time, making another general election inevitable. Therefore, politicians would have the cloud of an election over their heads distracting them from the more serious decisions needed to be made as Ireland faces a huge recession. 

The country needs a government who will make solid foundations for the future and its economic recovery, not politicians preparing for a general election whilst the country is in an economic crisis. 

On top of everything, if this government was to endure beyond the three months, there would be no opposition to hold it accountable, especially when sweeping emergency powers have been granted on a short-term basis to manage the current crisis.

Whilst our future is in the hands of the government, it is vital, especially in the coming years, that the opposition are present in the Dáil to debate policies, budgetary decisions and to propose alternative solutions.  

It is clear the Green Party are alone in their quest for a government of national unity, as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have publicly said they are opposed to this type of government.  

Ironically, Green Leader Eamon Ryan previously supported a coalition with both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, however, this has suddenly changed as many of the newly elected Green TDs have made their opposition to this policy very clear.

It is evident that the proposal of a government of national unity is lacking substance both theoretically and practically, especially with the current Covid-19 crisis. 

Katie Lowry

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