"The danger lies not in an imaginary hydra of revolution but in an obstinate clinging to tradition which hampers progress": Leo Tolstoy While questions regarding James Reilly´s conduct as Minister for Health refuse to go away, it appears at the moment at least that the Minister is set to hold on to his portfolio.This is despite the fact that fellow cabinet member and Fianna Gael colleague Leo Varadkar admitted Reilly´s actions in adding two sites in his constiuency to the priority list for primary care had appeared like "stroke politics". In addition, the manner in which Reilly has been running the department has led to the resignation of Junior Minister Roisin Shorthall. Shorthall had become exasperated and disullisioned at her role within the department ,her decision to walk considered a better alternative to being an unheard voice in the wilderness. Shorthall appears to have been disappointed with the level of support she received from the Labour leadership, and her actions have raised some serious questions about the manner in which this government conducts it´s business.Eamon Gilmore is said to have been annoyed at Shorthall´s decision to air her grievances with Reilly in the public arena. Her failure to mention Reilly in the vote of no-confidence against him is also said to have irked senior party offiicials. Her departure both from government and the Labour Party highlighted how angry and betrayed she had felt by Gilmore´s lack of support. The narrative after Shorthall´s departure seemed to suggest she had thrown her toys out of the pram.That in essence, she had failed to grasp her role as the junior partner and even that she harboured lingering bitterness having been overlooked for a senior post when the cabinet was appointed. Such arguments effectively seek to justify the actions of those who are concerned with merely protecting the status quo in Irish politics.It is inconceivable to them that someone would resign on a point of principle.For them, the ascertaining and retention of power is the absolute.Those who don´t know how the play the game or correspond to the established rules are to be scorned for their naievity. Perhaps Shorthall could have handled the situation more astutely, but we have to ask ourselves which kind of politicans we want in Ireland. For too long we have seen junior partners in coalitions pay lip-service to the notion of "accountabilty", all the while being compliant and complicit with the actions of the senior party´s agenda. Such mealy-mouthed platitudes are almost as damaging as some of the "stroke politics" with which Minister Reilly now stands accused. It reinforces and tacitly accepts that things are the way they are, and that change in Irish politics is impossible.The longer Gilmore, Reilly and others maintain it is otherwise, the stronger the disaffection with elected officials will become.Who knows?Perhaps that´s the point? This week, the Labour grassroots will gather in a bid to force Minister Reilly to account for the decisions he has made. For Eamon Gilmore, this may be a watershed in his leadership of the party and his time in government. Continue to support a Minister who clearly has major ethical questions to answer, or listen to those who have provided him with the platform to govern in the first place. If Gilmore wishes to avoid appearing like predeccessors John Gormley and Michael McDowell, he must surely choose the latter.His party and more importantly, the country deserve it.