Saturday, May 30, 2009

why Sinn Féin supporters should vote labour, Green and Socialist Party

This is an article written by Eoin O Broin and published in this weeks An Phoblacht. I agree with its ideas, but living in Dublin I would certainly add the Socialist Party to the list of candidates Sinn Féin supporters should vote for.

Voting for a Left alternative

THERE are nine days left. Seats will be won or lost on the basis of what each of us do and say in the remaining days of the campaign. Every vote is crucial. Including transfers.

For Sinn Féin, securing transfers is vital if we are to make breakthroughs across the country. Enormous thought and energy will be spent on identifying and securing those preferences.
But what of our transfers? How will we vote after placing our initial preferences for Sinn Féin candidates?

For this writer, it’s very simple. I will vote Sinn Féin, Labour and Green.

My reasons for doing so are straightforward. I want a Left alternative government.
I want a Left, republican, green alternative in my local council, in Leinster House and, in time, nationally.

I want a Left alternative that promotes job creation, public services, environmental sustainability, social and economic equality and human rights.

In the 26 Counties, this means that Sinn Féin, Labour and the Green Party must form an alliance to break the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael stranglehold on local and central government.

But haven’t Labour ruled out a coalition of the Left? Isn’t Eamon Gilmore positioning himself to enter government with Fine Gael? Surely a vote for Labour is a vote for Fine Gael?

Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is yes.

But, in order to strengthen the hand of those people inside Labour who are arguing for a Left alliance, we have to demonstrate that the numbers stack up. We have to show that a Left alliance is not just politically desirable but numerically possible.

But aren’t the Greens propping up a Fianna Fáil government? Haven’t Green TDs supported cuts to vital public services and bail-outs for developers and bankers? Did they not pass two Budgets that punished young people, pensioners and those with special needs?

Yes, and the electorate will punish them for all of these decisions.

The Green Party is not the problem; Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are. Building a Left alternative in the 26 Counties will require the involvement of the Green Party, their policies and those people who vote for them. Our objective should not be to punish them but to detach them from Fianna Fáil and engage them in our alternative.
Despite knowing that neither Labour nor the Greens are currently interested in building a Left alliance, I will vote for them anyway.

Some on the Left find it easier to dismiss both Labour and the Greens. But, as always, disunity on the Left benefits only Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
Our job must be to build the Left republican alternative we believe in. It is not enough just to make the political arguments. We have to win them, with other political parties, trade unions, civic society and, crucially, the public.

As with any process of political change, someone has to take the lead. Should it surprise any of us that that someone is Sinn Féin?


  1. Starry,

    There is a party on that list that supports the voluntary re-integration of all of Ireland back into a 4 nation union - effectively the United Kingdom but presumably without the Kingdom part.

    Its consistent then for that party never to seek or support the withdrawl of the 6 counties from the UK.

    Our Irish identity is a distraction from the workers struggle for them.Being part of reunited britain would allow us to maximise workers power and seeing as how the workers struggle is international then we are mistaken to remain in a small state isolated from fellow workers.

    Personally I'll stick with Connolly who said the national struggle and labour struggle were the one. We can build a decent republic without joining Britain thank you.

    For that reason I will not be able to give a transfer to one of the parties on your list. Their misguided internationalism would destroy my right to have a separate cultutal identity.


  2. I have no problem supporting the Socialist Party. The VOLUNTARY unity of these nations (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, & England) is not a problem. Imperalism is the problem.

    AUTHOR: Who should I write to in the party leadership to voice my opinion on some issues where I feel we can do better? I know Dawn Doyle is Ard Runai but Declan Kearney is Chairperson, so which is best?


    Slan Abhaile (of

  3. Slan

    First thing I would say is why not put your comcerns on party policy up here and see if others share your concern. Just write an article and post it as a comment. I will then do the rest. Here's a tip though, write it in word and paste it. I know a couple of people who have spent a long time writing stuff and then lost it.

    In relation to contacting the leadership, well I don't know. Why not send a letter to both of them and also discuss it an your local cumann.

    But most importantly follow this blog and post your opinions/concerns up here.

  4. Why not write to An Phoblacht?

  5. Have I stepped into a time warp or something. We are talking about the voluntary union of Ireland back into Britain.

    Handy that the 6 counties are still there then is it?

    When we talk of re-unification I hope we always meant 26+6=1 not GB+all-Ireland = 1.

  6. Starry,

    I'll work on putting my complaint into writing and allowing you to post it here. However, I don't see how that will change the issue until it is pointed out to the Leadership and other levels of the party that "XYZ" is wrong.

    Slan Abhaile (of

  7. Slan,

    i don't know the nature of your problems with the party at this moment, so it is difficult to say what you should do. One thing though that has seemed to have happened in the party is that people have just left when they didn't like some of what they saw.

    I think we need to change this. Perhaps onthers in the party share your concerns. So, say what they are and see if anybody agrees, then you can take it from there.

  8. Well thought out. something i have being saying for awhile. its why i am voting left parties this election, though i may disagree with some of the greens actions in gov, they did some good on their agenda.

    a left alliance is what this country needs.

  9. If I vote for Sinn Fein am I also voting for Labour?