No-one wants to see a Fine Gael/Fianna Fail coalition says James Browne
Published 19/03/2016 | 00:00
wexford's newest Deputy James Browne said he rejected the narrative that a grand coalition of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael would be in the best interests of the country.
'We just had a stable government with a huge majority for the past five years and the people rejected that,' he told this newspaper after his first day in the Dail in which no Taoiseach was elected, leading Enda Kenny to tender his resignation at Aras an Uachtaráin. He will remain as Taoiseach in a caretaker capacity until a successor is elected.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, the newly-elected James Browne sees Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin as the best next Taoiseach, leading a minority government.
Deputy Browne accused Fine Gael of conducting a 'cynical exercise' to encourage parties to break their election promises.
'Fine Gael learned nothing from this election and are now trying to put together a grand coalition, but I don't know a single person that voted for it,' said the deputy.
'We will be pursuing a minority goverbnment with Micheal Martin as Toaiseach. A FF/FG grand coalition wouldn't be stable and it's not about stability, it's about the right government, a policy-oriented government dealing with issues like housing and crime,' he said.
'The numbers might add up, but that's no reason for people to go in together. What's going to happen in three years time when that government collapses.' 'Minority government is going to be the norm in the future, multi-party governments work in the Nordic countrues, so why not here?'
Deputy Browne said the people had voted for change and the Dail reforms currently being examined would result in solutions being found.
Asked about his first day in the Dail, a baptism of fire during 10 hours of sometimes fractious debate on a day normally concerned with the formalities of electing a Taoiseach, a given for a government with a ruling majority, Deputy Browne said it had been a great honour and a momentous occasion for him. 'I have been up there ever since I got elected finding my way around, but it was only when I walked into the chamber yesterday that I felt a real part of the 32nd Dail. The Dail satd for 10 hours and five votes were taken. It really highlighted the need for Dail reform, and we now have the opportunity. 'We have cross-party committee set up and we are looking to make some radical changes,' said Deputy Browne, who won the seat previously held by his father, the long-serving John Browne.