Budget Gamble

There is one more chance to pass the budget on Monday. There will be no more. At midnight on Monday, time will run out if the budget is not passed and the elected Council will dissolve and all the Councillors will be out of work with immediate effect.

The department of the Environment will take over and will run Donegal Council.


So, who will take the blame if the Council collapses? After all this is an election year.

Will people applaud the stand of Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein. Will they believe they were right to take a brave stand against the Government taking control of Donegal Water and incorporating it into Irish Water with job losses here, and grabbing €355 of Donegal Council assets without paying a cent?


History Lesson

However, history doesn’t seem to make that likely.

Twice in the USA the Republican Party in Congress took on a Democratic President and refused to sign off the budget shutting down the Government.

The first time was under Newt Gingrich and the second time was more recently as the fundamentalist Tea Party under the crackpot Ted Cruz refused to pass the budget and shut down the Government.

Both times it was the Republicans who the public blamed. The Republicans under Newt were heavily punished in the next Congressional elections and the polls are showing that the Republicans in Congress will get punished again.

People expect their elected representatives to be able to compromise and reach agreement.


Also, when the people of Donegal have a problem there will be no Councillor to contact to try to get that problem fixed. Every time a problem comes up and there is no elected representative to contact, local people will notice the difference and wonder why the councillors committed collective suicide.

Who is going to make sure that the shore walk path gets fixed?

Altthough Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail are saying that there is no point in having this meeting because they are not going to change their minds and their votes, they are flirting with danger here. They would be taking a massive gamble if they took out the elected branch of the council.


They have made their protest and got massive national publicity for it. They have embarrassed the Government and stood up for Donegal.

They might get a lot of kudos for standing up to Dublin as long as they don’t self-immolate and take out the Council on Monday. People will realise that there was nowhere else to go and they could do no more.

However, if the Council collapses on Monday and Donegal people are unrepresented for months and months they are likely to blame Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail and will wonder why they should vote them in next time.

I could be wrong but the American examples would seem to suggest that it is likely to be right.