A dreadful election

by Brendan Strong

hard as it may be to believe… this election is annoying me. I can’t believe it but there it is. What is this money? Where did it come from? What was it for? Yes, yes, yes – it’s no joke when there’s such a cloud over such an important figure in our society. However, is it not right now more important to look at who will be an important figure in our society for the next five years?

I feel sorry for the election winner. They will have 5 years of “Winning as a result of…” coming from journalists who love to dig and stab (as ours do). Alas poor Yorick, I knew him as an Independent columnist…

If Bertie wins, it’ll be “…a result of the electorate and hard line party supporters showing blind support…”

If Enda wins, it’ll be “…a result of an electorate who feel dispossessed by their government, let down and dealt one blow too many…”

Does it occur to anyone that these men, agree with them or not, have spent months in market research, focus groups, strategy meetings and the rest figuring out the vision of Ireland they want to bring forward. OK, OK, maybe too much there. You have to have a sense of humour about it all. But really, are we meant to vote on:

  • Whether Bertie took money
  • How well Enda handles Bertie taking money
  • If Pat Rabitte can reveal a sense of humour under the strange, do-it-down, attitude
  • If Gerry Adams can keep his mouth flapping, and let everyone know what he thinks of the “establishment”
  • If there are any independents who can get their voice heard
  • If the Greens would take bribes for bicycles

It truly is a bad election when I feel like tearing up my ballot. Mark my words (and I’m happy to be wrong), but I predict a low turn out (due to voter apathy, the removal of redundant entries from the register and people not re-registering elsewhere, as well as some lunatic fringe). Those who do turn out I can see voting in three ways: Hard line “This is our party”; Hard line “Well it’s worked so far…” and hard line “I’m spoiling my vote like those bastard’s spoiled my country”.

I’m very tired, and need beer to write coherently, but hopefully more and better structured election ranting will follow in the coming days. I may just take one party at a time, or one issue at a time (but then, what are the issues?). Let’s not forget that thanks to Bertiegate rolling on day by day, parties are releasing manifestos on all the important policy decisions. Rather than stimulating debate, these issues are getting lost by the media (because they are the ones reporting), in favour of Bertie Ahern and no answers. Maybe that’s what I should do for the next two weeks – an election media watch – who to watch for coverage on election issues.

YB

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