Fine Gael and Labour are both failing to grasp the reality of the complex, post-election mood and are harming themselves by proposing an unrealistic, bizarre coalition.
Old fashioned policy politics has died and been replaced by slick image management.
By the standards of western democracy, the election in the North must be one of the most bizarre ever to have taken place.
With election fever rising, it was only to be expected that the debate about the costs of the tribunals would have had an outing last week.
Ahead of the general election, RTE’s The Week In Politics programme has hired American political analyst Frank Luntz to conduct a series of focus groups.
Is the general election already becoming something of a non-event?
Whatever the developments in the North in the next couple of weeks, the long-term prospects for devolved power-sharing look grim.