Launched on 21 December 1985 by Desmond O'Malley and other politicians who had split from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the Progressive Democrats took liberal positions on divorce, contraception, and other social issues. The party also supported economic liberalisation, advocating measures such as lower taxation, fiscal conservatism, privatisation, and welfare reform. It enjoyed an impressive début at the 1987 general election, winning 14 seats in Dáil Éireann and capturing almost 12 percent of the popular vote to temporarily surpass the Labour Party as Ireland's third largest political party.
Although the Progressive Democrats never again won more than 10 seats in the Dáil, they formed coalition governments with Fianna Fáil during the 26th Dáil (1989–92), the 28th Dáil (1997–2002), the 29th Dáil (2002–07) and the 30th Dail (2007–09). These successive years as the government's junior coalition partner gave the party an influence on Irish politics and economics disproportionate to its small size. In particular, the party has often been credited with shaping the low-tax, pro-business environment that contributed to Ireland's Celtic Tiger economic boom during the 1990s and 2000s.
However recently the party has been criticised for the its policies which some have argued contributed to the Irish financial and economic crisis.
On 8 November 2008, the party began the process of disbanding, and was formally dissolved on 20 November 2009. The two Progressive Democrat politicians elected to the 30th Dáil, Mary Harney and Noel Grealish, continued to support the government as independent TDs, and Mary Harney also continued as Minister for Health and Children.
The party was a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR). Its youth wing was the Young Progressive Democrats.
Other articles related to "progressive democrats":
... O'Flaherty Fianna Fáil Joined the Progressive Democrats while mayor 1986–87 John Mulholland Fine Gael 1987–88 Martin Connolly 1988–89 Fintan Coogan, Jnr Fine Gael 1989–90 Angela ... Angela Lynch-Lupton Fine Gael 1999–2000 Declan McDonnell Progressive Democrats 2000–01 Martin Quinn Fianna Fáil 2001–02 Donal Lyons Progressive Democrats 2002–03 Val Hanley Fianna Fái ...
... into a coalition administration with the Progressive Democrats ... This was also precipitated by the fact that now, under its new pact with the Progressive Democrats, Fianna Fáil would now be able to, though remaining quite ideologically ... The rise of the Progressive Democrats diminshed Fine Gael's chances of continuing to promote the Fitzgerald-ite liberal agenda alongside its more ...
... Patrick O'Malley (born 1 July 1943) is a former Irish Progressive Democrats politician ... constituency at the 1987 general election, along with 13 other Progressive Democrats Teachtaí Dála (TDs) to the 25th Dáil ... He is a cousin of the Progressive Democrats founder Desmond O'Malley ...
... Following the 1997 general election, Fianna Fáil formed a government with the Progressive Democrats in which Bertie Ahern was Taoiseach ... Fianna Fáil continued in coalition with the Progressive Democrats. 78 seats in the 2007 general election, while their coalition partners, the Progressive Democrats, lost six seats ...
Famous quotes containing the words democrats and/or progressive:
“Do you know I believe that [William Jennings] Bryan will force his nomination on the Democrats again. I believe he will either do this by advocating Prohibition, or else he will run on a Prohibition platform independent of the Democrats. But you will see that the year before the election he will organize a mammoth lecture tour and will make Prohibition the leading note of every address.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)
“To grant woman an equality with man in the affairs of life is contrary to every tradition, every precedent, every inheritance, every instinct and every teaching. The acceptance of this idea is possible only to those of especially progressive tendencies and a strong sense of justice, and it is yet too soon to expect these from the majority.”
—Susan B. Anthony (18201906)