In a recent discussion on Newstalk, one contributor made an interesting point about homogeneity in our political landscape. We all know that our main parties, while divided on historical ideological grounds, are all really sides of the same coin and occupy broadly centrist positions.
However in the past there was a genuine diversity of opinion on social and moral issues. And this diversity is essential to a fully functioning democracy.
Today there is a growing consensus among all our political representatives that amounts to a liberal social democratic world view.
It’s pro-choice, pro-state, pro-minorities, anti-church and anti-individualist.
This isn’t a reflection of the views of the majority of Irish people but rather of the Irish media (which shares the political homogeneity).
In an impassioned speech on the proposed abortion legislation, Lucinda Creighton referred to a “groupthink” mentality in the Dáil, “which is a corrosive affliction in this country… The distinct irony of this prevailing view is that it is so illiberal in its intolerance of any alternative outlook.”
Such is the tyranny of the liberal agenda, that anyone espousing a view contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy is vilified as conservative, reactionary or worst brainwashed by the Catholic Church.
And in the game of politics no-one wants to be seen to rock the boat. Fianna Fáil had the opportunity to take a stance on the abortion debate and fulfil their purpose as an opposition party but it appears Micheál Martin didn’t have the stomach to swim against the tide and risk media censure.
It’s unlikely that anything will change anytime soon. There will continue to be a growing disconnect between the electorate and their political representatives. A significant proportion of the country will remain unrepresented and disenfranchised unless they bow to media pressure to conform to the liberal hegemony. Perhaps we don’t always get the politicians we deserve.