- Nov 15, 1999
The election campaign seems to be running in some distant, sealed part of the country. This isn’t necessarily from any lack of local effort by candidates. Doubtless, doors are being knocked on, hands shaken at shopping centres and poster-related ire has reached record levels in the political classes. Though difficulties mustering volunteer efforts in the dark and bitter gloom of January may explain some of the lack of boots on the ground.
Perhaps it’s a sense of disengagement from the whole process. The Irish voting system lets voters express their wildest electoral desires at No. 1, while still letting them fall back to 2nd and 3rd etc choices. It should result in a fantastically plural campaign, with every preference potentially the one that will get the last TD elected.
And yet we’ve been treated to a campaign- and this is hardly the fault of the parties- which has been presented as FG v FG, with everyone else an afterthought.
This is a a return to a model of viewing public discussion from the 1980s. Except the two big parties used to capture nearly 80% of the first preference votes and now account for hardly half. That a state of affairs that hasn’t been in place for 30 years is still considered a return to normalcy is a reflection of the mental ages of those thinking about it.
The result is a campaign where half the voters (the half not represented by the Old Firm) are ignored while the parties themselves seem to talk past them, at each other’s supporters.
He turns up at every event where the majority of folk there will be over 60 and has been doing so for a decade now. Between that and the standard Fianna Fail vote he's a force to be reckoned with.he is the most godawful chocolate teapot ever devised. only got the seat because the local cumann owed his da a favour.
We could just do what the French do, and tell every neoliberal austerity monger to get fucked any time they try to raise the pension age. I'd be up for that.
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