Thursday, February 24, 2011

Campaign Reflections

Tomorrow we, as a nation, go to the polls to elect who we think should govern us over the next five years. Given the horrors we face over the next number of years, it should be an event where the people of this land cast their votes, not in anger, but based on who is best equipped to lead us forward in a way that lessens the suffering of the unemployed and the workers, who have been made pay for the mistakes of the abomination which has left this tiny island of ours drowning in a sea of debt and run by outsiders.

This election campaign has resigned my own thoughts away from the hope that this election should have brought. It seems to me that the right wing agenda aspired to by mainstream media outlets and some broadcasters was the agenda being pushed along by them.
Unfair as it may seem, people still had the chance to gauge for themselves who is best equipped to lead us and in what direction, but sadly I don't think many have. As with the Lisbon 2 re-run, the people of Ireland have been scare mongered into thinking that Europe is what is best for our land, and all we need do now is elect the puppet who will have his strings pulled by them, and also by forces from New York City, the IMF.

I'd leave in the morning if an opportunity presented itself to me. Hard and all as it would be, the thoughts of facing into the future here are dismal and depressing ones. There will be no corner turned I can safely say and we will only be changing one bogeyman for another. That's the simple fact.

If the polls are correct Enda Kenny will be the next taoiseach. By all accounts he will just fall short of an overall majority, which means he will need propping up. Favourites will be the Labour Party but such is Enda's closeness to the golden ticket he may not need them at all. The support of a group of Independents will suffice. But the safe money would be on a Fine Gael/Labour coalition.
The polls baffle me. I can only judge it from the reaction I see around me. People are crying out for change, but alas they have not done their research. Parish pump politics is still alive and well in dear old Eire. So unless the pollsters have got it wrong, that's is what is ahead of us.

Any unemployed person giving Fine Gael a vote tomorrow really needs to get themselves checked out. Cuts to benefits, forced training and a reduction in the rent supplement are all on the cards. They claim they can reduce the social welfare bill by €1 billion by cracking down on fraud, yet the greatest fraud in this countries history goes on with no-one held accountable.

Fianna Fail enter this election with one thing on their minds. Survival. Only the hardcore should be voting for them tomorrow. My view is that they need to be decimated tomorrow. The old guard must go. If the party is to have a future it must come from the ranks of the younger, but it's hard to name an individual. If karma has anything to do with it then they should get what they deserve over the weekend.

Fine Gael offer nothing but the same right wing agenda which has seen us get to where we are. No difference. Their policies do nothing but aid the wealthy in our society at the expense of the lower classes. Vote for them and people can have no excuses. They are the weaker brother of Fianna Fail. Always have been. A vote for Fine Gael on current policy is one of the biggest mistakes any Irish person who is sticking around will make in their life times.

Labour. I had such hopes but six months back for them. Sadly, I came to realisation they are a left-wing party who'd sooner align themselves to the right wingers than offer a real alternative. If all anyone ever wants to do is be a prop for someone else, then a prop is all you are likely to ever be. They lost me when they sat back and did not obstruct the passage of the Finance Bill. That was unforgivable. For what? The chance of a state car? A missed opportunity for the party.

Sinn Fein. With the past thrown in their faces at every juncture they find it hard to break through time and time again. However they have a chance to lay the foundations for the party on into the future. If they give a good account of themselves in opposition, then perhaps the political landscape can change in the time to come.
They have strong candidates and young blood not afraid to speak out against the fraud perpetrated against the ordinary man and woman of this country for the generation to come. That has to be admired. Not many did it. They deserve to do well for offering an alternative.

The Greens. What a great party worldwide they are. But alas, power here sent them a different way. I wouldn't like to see them wiped totally, maybe a few new faces should be given a chance. But their leadership must go for what they allowed happen to the country.
I hope Dan Boyle gets elected. For a politician to engage with the electorate like he does he deserves another run. That's the future model politics should aspire to. Connection and transparency and involvement. I hope they survive and rebuild. They were led down an ill-advised path and now they may pay the ultimate price.

United Left. Do a lot of good talking, but i get the feeling with the exception of Joe Higgins they are out of their depth. They should pick up a number of seats, but they really need to sit down and work on their policies. They are a little to radical for me, who knows they may be right, but I think they would do more damage than good this time around.

Independents. What can you do but look at what each offer. But an independent, unless holding a government to ransom has little clout. That's the unfortunate scenario. They could well hold the balance of power, but with no room for negotiating games, they will probably lose out to Gilmore, who desperately wants to be in office.

It's hard to look forward when the past has been left the way it is. Some say Ireland has a two-tiered society. Well it may soon be a four or five tier society. A country united by land but divided by people. For so long.
Come next week the game begins again. Ireland, i fear, will never turn this corner. Not until the past has been addressed. Failure at the top tier and you are fine. Well looked after. Failure at the bottom and well you may very well be doomed and hounded for every last thing you got. That's the Ireland we live in, the Ireland those we deem suitable to elect aspire to on the right of our society.
Ireland is in for a dreadful time, regardless what happens over the weekend. A little bit of hope would not go astray, but its not there and it is hard to see where it may come from. Without hope people have no where to turn, but inwards upon themselves. That will be the tragedy that will unfold over the coming years in front of our eyes. The worst it seems, has still yet to come.

Padraig Pearce once said anyone emigrating from this land was a coward. I wonder if the great man would feel the same way about it today. I certainly don't see leaving this land at this time as an act of cowardice. I see it as an act of well-informed foresight.
It's a pity those who stay, for what ever reason, are not blessed with the same. If we were, we'd be standing on the periphery of something great. But barring a miracle, the only great thing from this election is Brian Clown won't be returning. Small mercies, hey!

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