Politicians who make promises they can’t keep will pay a high price

It’s not just that parties will end up having to negotiate with other parties or political groups, the rise in populism worldwide shows the real dangers inherent in auction politics

26th January, 2020
Politicians who make promises they can’t keep will pay a high price
Eamon Gilmore declared “It’s Frankfurt’s way or Labour’s way” before the 2011 general election. Picture: Mark Stedman/Photocall

It was inevitable that this general election campaign would turn into a promise-contest. The parties’ campaigns were never going to ignore the spending made possible by the Department of Finance’s estimate that the next government will have an additional €11 billion to spend over the next five years.

That said, the re-emergence of auction politics in the opening phase of the campaign, particularly on the pension age issue, shows how chronic uncertainty...

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