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Once again, while the world has been transfixed by events in the Arab world, legal but no less revolutionary change has been occurring elsewhere. For there is no word other than “revolutionary” that fits the Irish voters’ rejection of Fianna Fail, the party that has dominated Irish politics since independence, in an election last week.

The dethroning of Fianna Fail was both expected and justified — the party’s incompetence created one of the most spectacular economic crashes in modern history. The new government will be lucky to prevent the situation from deteriorating: Indeed, there is little reason to expect more from Dublin’s new leaders.

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