‘Fianna Fáil 2021: Where will the Cadets of Destiny bring the Party?’
Since General Election 2011, Fianna Fáil has rightly being going through a period of reflecting and renewal and will culminate with the first Ard Fheis since before the Local and European Elections 2009.
As part of my MA in Public Affairs and Political Communications, I wrote a dissertation entitled ‘Fianna Fáil 2021: Where will the Cadets of Destiny bring the Party?’ (click to read). As part of it, I undertook a number of interviews with Fianna Fáil Oireachtas members, political commentators and activists as well as analysing the results of a survey of young Fianna Fáil members under the age of 40 about their views on various social, economic and organisational issues.
The results lead me to believe that there is a significant distance between the views of the Parliamentary Party and those party members under the age of 40 regarding the positioning of the party especially with respect to social issues. For example, the vast majority of young members are in favour of civil marriage equality for gay men and women which do not seem to be replicated within the ranks of the Parliamentary Party. However, with regard to economic policy, there is more commonality with most young members favouring a centrist position which is in line with the views of the leadership and in particular of Party Leader, Micheál Martin.
If I was to predict where Fianna Fáil will ultimately end up on a political spectrum, I would say that it will end up being a moderately libertarian party with a pro business outlook while being a defender of civil liberties. However, only time will tell.
Fianna Fáil was founded by men and women in their 20’s and 30’s with a vision and a passion for Ireland. It will be a new generation of Fianna Fail men and women who will lead Fianna Fáil into the future. What they believe in will not only shape the party but also the Irish nation.
Thanks to everyone who took part in my research. I appreciate all your help. Hopefully it will be of some use to the party into the future.