We live in a democracy. The will of the people determines the make-up of the government, except of course in the case of Bertie Ahern who was allowed to choose his own foundation.
It is a point worth making again though, in order to pull back on those politicians who have spent the last week telling us earnestly who they will and will not enter into government with.
If the people elect enough representatives of any political party it is beholden on the entire 31st Dáil to recognise that and act accordingly.
Áine Kerr dismissed Eoin O Broin and Sinn Féin on TV last night saying they could make all the populist statements they like because they would never be called on them in government. That is wrong.
If the people elect enough TD’s from Sinn Fein or Fianna Fáil then that is their prerogative. A grouping of significant size, and the Greens counted as that with only a handful of seats in 2007, must be entered into discussion with.
Political leaders and acolytes of every party have fallen over themselves to say they would or would not go into power with.
They do not have a right to make such statements until they have listened to the voice of the people through the electoral system. Then and only then can programmes for government be negotiated to reflect the views of the nation.
Those who cast a vote for any candidate on whatever local or national issue they deem of most importance must be considered and must also be prepared for their vote to help in the framing of a government.
I have the greatest of respect for any candidate who submits themselves to the public vote.
But those who see themselves as kingmakers by deeming who they will or will not talk to in March need to rein back their rhetoric.
We will decide the next government. We will give you a mandate. You will act upon that by forming a government.