It is scarcely surprising that-as of now- four Green Party constituency organisations have passed motions calling for a special convention on NAMA, the “bad bank” being set up by the Government to buy toxic loans from lenders.
A convention will be held by the Greens before the legislation goes into the Dáil on September 16th if a similar motion is passed by one more constituency organisation.
The party suffered a shattering reverse in the June local government elections and now holds only three seats nationwide. This was exacerbated by the abysmal performance of Dan Boyle and Deirdre De Burca in the Euro elections. Independent Patricia McKenna-who left the party- secured a higher vote than the official Green candidate Deirdre De Burca in the Dublin Euro Constituency. Party fortunes are at a low ebb.
Some observers suspect that the Green Party may be searching for an exit strategy. Such a conference might offer such a possibility. Superficially this might appear to be an attractive option. However if considered at a deeper level it would be- in all probability -highly unwise for the following reasons:
(1) In general, electorates tend to punish small political parties, which precipitate elections.
(2) The electorate would view such a move with the utmost cynicism. The Greens would be perceived as being more interested in saving their own political skins.
(3) They would be viewed as a party unsuitable for government and incapable of taking unpopular decisions. Greens would be labelled cowards. A vote for a Green TD would be a wasted vote.
(4) An immediate election would cost the party its full complement of seats.
(5) Remaining in Government ensures that the party has 6 TDs and 2 Senators until the 2012 General Election and offers it some prospect of surviving.
If it loses its TDs in an early election it is FINISHED as a political force. No doubt party leader John Gormley is well aware of the hostile reception awaiting Green and FF candidates at the doorsteps in an early election campaign. It is a case of hang together or hang separately. Would turkeys vote for Christmas? The Greens are now trapped in government by the need for self preservation.