Tag: Sinn fein

Irish Candidate Seán Gallagher Announces 2018 Bid

By Evan Pereira | Ireland

Early Wednesday, Seán Gallagher, a household name in Ireland, threw his hat into the Presidential race. He will face off against nine other Independent candidates for nominations from at least four local authorities.

Old Controversy

In 2011, Gallagher was a front-runner in the polls until controversy hit only days before election day. During a debate, he made comments referring back to when he accepted a check of €5,000 from businessman Hugh Moran. He called Moran a “convicted criminal and fuel smuggler” during the debate, but still took the money. This incident also involved the center-right former governing party, Fianna Fáil, which left the government in 2011 with record low approval ratings. Many see this debacle as the main reason Gallagher lost.

Gallagher and His Opponents

Last October, Sinn Féin, the largest left wing party in Ireland, announced their intention to run a candidate in October. So, it is now a guarantee that there will be a contested Presidential election. This will be only the second time in Irish history an incumbent had a challenger. The only other instance was in 1966, when Tom O’Higgins challenged Éamon de Valera. De Valera went onto win the election by 10,717 votes (~1%).

In 2011, Gallagher, an Independent candidate with significant backing from the disgraced but still powerful Fianna Fáil party, came in second place with 628,114 votes (35.5%). The winner, then-TD (equivalent to a member of congress or parliament) Michael D. Higgins, bested Gallagher by 23%.

From senators to artists, Ireland’s presidential election will be an interesting affair. Though some are saying Michael D. Higgins has a clear path to victory, others think that it is not going to be that easy for him. Only time will tell.

The Irish presidential election will take place on Friday, October 26th, 2018.

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5 Nationalist Movements to Watch

By Colin Louis | U.S.

All around the globe nationalism is on the rise. The ideas of right wing populism and nationalism are starting to grow into large movements all over the free world. People are beginning to shift to these ideas. The following five countries are turning nationalist.

5. The UK

Recently, the U.K has shown signs of shifting further to the nationalist right. The Brexit vote provided evidence that the UK is moving further towards nationalism and populism. Brexit clearly signals that nationalism and euroskepticism is on a significant rise in the U.K. The recent UKIP leadership election could help them continue this.

4. Ireland

Irish politics serves as a reminder that nationalism comes in different forms. In the case of Ireland, it’s left nationalism with much momentum. The concept of left nationalism is a form of socialism mixed with nationalism, not to be confused with National Socialism, which is a far more authoritarian belief. Sinn Féin, led by Garry Adams, won around 14% of the vote in the recent 2016 election. Sinn Féin did very well compared to its past performance and that of other less nationalist parties. 14% might not sound like much, but the ruling party, Fine Gael, only received around 36% of the vote.

3. Germany

In the most recent German elections, the new nationalist party, Alternative Für Deutschland (AFD), won a considerable amount of seats in the German parliament. This sent a signal to incumbent Chancellor, Angela Merkel, that the German people are moving further from the European Union and her administration. Germany has always attempted to stray away from their Nazi history and refrain from nationalist movements. Although the election of AFD provides evidence that Germany is losing this mindset.

2. America

The recent election of Donald Trump as President of the United States signals a shift further towards his movement of American nationalism. The policies Trump promised he would put in place, such as protectionist trade deals with China, are designed to put America over the rest of the world. The movement Trump sparked now runs rampant through the Republican Party. The Republican Party didn’t necessarily hold these views until Trump nearly hijacked the party. His America first movement destroyed the Party establishment and put these ideas into action.

1. Netherlands

The one that may surprise people the most is the Netherlands. The once center left nation recently took a swing right in the 2017 elections when Garret Wilders and the Party for Freedom ran a hard anti Islam and European Union campaign. Wilders has come out in support of banning the Koran, even going as far as to compare the book to Mein Kampf. Wilder’s Party won enough seats to place them as the opposition party in the Dutch House of Representatives. Even parties that have never run a hard line anti- Islam campaign are shifting in support of more nationalist ideas. Prime Minister Mark Rutte put out an advertisement that stated, “act normal or leave.” Rutte later said that this wasn’t meant to attack ethnic groups, but instead people who did not share their values. This signals that Wilder’s nationalist movement has spread most everywhere in the Netherlands.