The final leaders debate takes place tonight. A final opportunity for the political elite to capture the hearts and minds of a disillusioned electorate. Yeah right!!
Polls suggest Enda Kenny may be close to an overall majority. He may just fall short, so he's going to have to welcome somebody into the bed. Independents and Greens must be licking their lips at the prospect. If it goes the way of the forecasters, Eamon Gilmore will be left wondering where it all went wrong for him and the Labour Party, when just six short months ago it appeared a new political dawn may be about to rise in Ireland. As it stands though, it seems the Irish will opt for the same old, same old...
I remember a general election in the UK some time back when the night before the election everyone predicted the Labour Party under the stewardship of Neil Kinnock would sweep to power. On the morning of the election The Sun newspaper took a conservative stance, and in a blast at Kinnock and his party, the British electorate were swayed and the Conservatives found themselves back in power.
Of course I'm not suggesting that the same will happen here. I think it's fair to say that Fianna Fáil are on course for a whipping. A total wipeout only halted because they were forced from government a year and a half early.
The campaign has been a total disappointment. The mainstream media seem happy enough to let it play out with challenging anything that may sway opinion or heaven forbid, open a line of thought that may make people actually think for themselves.
I have been doing up the numbers to see if there is an alternative, but unless an alliance can be formed which would have to include Fianna Fáil in a government that would give new meaning to the word 'rainbow' it's hard to see anybody but Fine Gael leading the next government. There has been bad blood between them and Labour over the course of the election and that may not bode well should they form together.
Barring a dramatic sway of opinion this week or the undecideds all going left, Kenny will be taoiseach. I don't know why I think there's still a surprise or two left before we know who will govern. It's probably based on hope more than anything else. I just don't want the man as taoiseach. Never have and never will. He's not the leader we need facing into what we have to. Then again Michael Martin or Eamon Gilmore wouldn't be able to fill those shoes either.
They've laid out their manifesto's and nothing within their contents adds up to more than generic political speel. If we thought the past three years were tough, wait for the next three. Will Ireland wake up after that? History tells us 'no.' But generations get older and one would hope wiser, so I guess in the spirit of optimism, let's hope so.
I've spent the past two weeks putting the finishing touches to my business plan for what it is I'd like to do work wise in the future. I've had a long time to think about it. Fine Gael have plans to force people onto training courses or risk losing their dole payments.
OK, it may be a start but it all depends on the training people will be told to do. Part of my own plan is geared towards social entrepreneurship, which I think will be a growing career choice for people in the years ahead. I do any visual work I do under the name JaSE, a combination of initals of kids of those involved in it with me. But it also has another meaning which is Just and Social Equality.
That forms the basis of where I see my work life playing out should anybody be willing to listen to me. I'm really tired of reading about addiction being on the rise and suicide statistics reaching epidemic proportions. I've always felt there is a gap that needs filling for people who decide to address their problems and moving forward into a life that fills the gaps left by addiction or helps with the battle with depression.
There's enough material out there to gauge that art forms do offer a positive cognitive outlet for people dealing with either of those areas in life. And it's there where I see my own little branch of the smart economy. It's early days, but it may be worth pursuing and developing. Part of me dreads a negative response from the powers that be, as that would forever cement in me the feeling that these are areas of life that will always be at the bottom of agendas. Isn't it sad that in this day and age economics is more important that people.
So taking another look at it, i had to bring an economic angle in just to give the plan a fighting chance. I'm sure I'll let you know how I get on. No point holding back at this stage.
You can't address a problem unless you know it's there. You don't know it's there unless you know about it. The only way to know about it is to make people aware of it. Finding ways to that...
Challenging times ahead. Challenges worth pursuing? Only time will tell...