SF voters blame everybody else for our woes
ONE thing that puzzles political pundits and many voters about Sinn Fein is the fact that it is perceived to be the case that once a voter goes over to this party, north or south, they tend to stay there.
This phenomenon was apparent during the Troubles after Sinn Fein stood for the first time for election in the north in 1982. At that time, the SDLP had comfortably more votes in the north than Sinn Fein had over the whole of Ireland. Then the votes began to flow towards Sinn Fein. Few came back.
In this instance, it was clear that some kind of quasi-religious conversion was the reason for the hold Sinn Fein had on the votes moving to them.
It was a clear conversion from the positive, compassionate ideology of the SDLP that rejected violence to a much more negative, cynical view of the world that advocated using force to change things.
In spite of the peace process, for many voters a vote for Sinn Fein continues to be a step over the threshold of cynicism into a world where everybody else is at fault: they did nothing wrong and they have all the answers.
The persistence of their guru, Gerry Adams, to live out his delusion that he was not a leader of the IRA is the acceptance of a lie that every Sinn Fein voter agrees with in the knowledge it can't be true.