Saturday, 27 June 2020
Taoiseach a Ainmniú (Atógáil) - Nomination of Taoiseach (Resumed)
Fine Gael will not make a nomination on this occasion but will support the nomination of Deputy Micheál Martin as Taoiseach. I will speak at greater length when the Dáil reconvenes later but I want to briefly make three points. The first is that this is an historic occasion. I believe Civil War politics ended a long time ago in our country but, today, Civil War politics ends in our Parliament. Two great parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are coming together with another great party, the Green Party, to offer what this country needs - a stable Government for the betterment of our country and our world. I look forward to the privilege of serving in government with those two parties, as does my party.
For my own party, Fine Gael, this is an opportunity. A third term in government, three consecutive terms, is something we have never been able to do before. This is a chance to protect what has been achieved and secured over the past nine years. It is also a second chance, an opportunity to get right some of the things we did not get right in the years gone by. I am up for that challenge. It is a Government with a real democratic mandate. The three parties combined won more than 51% of the vote in the general election in February.
Some people may think that 24.5% is a majority. Some people may think 3% or 1% is a majority. It is not. A majority is more than 50% and these three parties have that majority. They won it in the previous election and have a very strong mandate to govern and to serve over the next five years.
I will make one last point. In the course of the debate over the next few hours we are going to hear a lot of rhetoric and spin about change, as though the press officers and the spin doctors have told Members to say "change" as many times as they can in their speeches and to keep saying "change" when they record their videos for social media. We all know what change means for Sinn Féin. For Sinn Féin, change means Sinn Féin Ministers in ministerial offices and Sinn Féin Ministers in the back seats of ministerial cars. They are willing to go into power with Fianna Fáil. They are willing to go into power with Fine Gael. They are probably willing to get into power with both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. That is what change means to Sinn Féin, but of course when the Green Party does that, it is a betrayal. What a load of spin and nonsense.