The general election is of both great importance and no importance at the same time. It is of no importance because the difference between the parties is very narrow, and virtually all have been rendered uniform by the State-NGO complex. Given that the Dáil doesn’t debate anything important, the Government can’t and won’t change.
On the other hand, this election is of great importance because, like the last Presidential election, it is an opportunity for nationalists to continue to foment nationalist discourse.
In the last Presidential election there was not, and was not supposed to be, a serious contest, with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael naturally rowing in behind Michael D. Higgins. However, the massive vote for Peter Casey was the real story of that election, which had huge propaganda value for nationalists, and was instrumental in the manifestation of a nationalist discourse in Ireland.
This general election probably won’t have any surface effect; it will probably result in a Fianna Fáil- Fine Gael coalition government, which would be interchangeable from any other government formed by other parties in the Dail. The use of this election should be similar to the last Presidential election in representing and hastening nationalism, and impressing it on public discourse. The large Peter Casey vote was much more valuable for nationalists than if they had not voted at all, or had voted for disparate candidates.
While there are different parties running, it would be optimal if votes are concentrated in one party. The only party among them who are likely to win seats, and attain enough first preference votes to gain State funding is Aontú. As such, nationalists should give Aontú their first preference vote. Even if they do not represent your exact form of nationalism, a good result for them will keep open the possibility of the development of different nationalisms in the future. If Aontú is not running in your constituency, then one should vote for the available nationalist candidate.
In considering transfers, one should seek to diminish the seats to be attained by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, thereby keeping their majority after the election as small as possible, or perhaps even depriving them of a combined majority. One should transfer to any party who is contention with Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael for the contestable seats in your constituency. Given how horrendous is Sinn Féin, one should, where available, transfer to those others who are in contest with it for seats.
Nationalist voters must not vote for the ‘main’ parties, in their current guises, ever again. Voters should realise that Fine Gael is an anti-patriotic, illiberally licentious party, who are hostile to social conservative views; Sinn Fein are likewise. Fianna Fail’s change of views is the most remarkable given that social conservatism was their core principle, and that it is still still the value of the vast majority of their membership, as was evidenced by 80% of whom voting to retain the Eighth Amendment at their Ard Fheis. Though, Micheal Martin has no regard for his party membership and is solely enthralled to the NGO industry. He will continue to behave as such for as long as he can get away with it.
If Fianna Fail has a bad election, and Micheal Martin resigns or is replaced, then Fianna Fail could have a new leader who represents their membership. If Martin stays on, or is replaced by someone similar, then the membership would need to either assert itself or otherwise leave Fianna Fail en masse.
In this election, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Sinn Féin believe that they will retain the votes of those whose values they have spent recent years ceaselessly betraying, in their pursuit of office. On Saturday, nationalists can, and must, return the favour.