Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Upcoming contests

Over the last five or so years I have become more active in political campaigning, whether leafleting, canvassing or policy debate. Initially it was just at branch and constituency level within the Labour Party but since 2007 there has been a lot of doorstep work starting with the General Election in 2007, Lisbon in 2008, Local and Europeans in June and Lisbon II in October 2009. Several pairs of boots and runners were worn out over this period, walking the streets of Dublin South East.

But now there is a big gap looming. It is looking more and more likely that the current government will last until 2012 so no election there. The next Local and European elections won't be until 2014 and unless the Child Protection referendum (which I disagree with) is brought forward it doesn't look like there will be any changes to the constitution. This leaves two upcoming contests, neither of which is particularly exciting to me at the moment. First up is the potential Dublin Mayor election later on this year and then in October 2011 the Presidential election.

At the moment it is still very unclear what the role of Dublin Mayor will be, what powers will be delegated to it, whether the GDA will be extended to include places like Bray, Maynooth and Ashbourne and so it is hard to see what sort of candidate will be required. If the role is a behind the scenes, local government advocate then Dermot Lacey may be the right person. However, if the position will be more managerial, knocking heads together like the London Mayor then it may require someone with more political experience like Pat Rabbitte or Ruairí Quinn to be nominated. The lack of information has made it difficult to become enthusiastic about this contest but I'm sure come the summer it'll be all hands to the pump.

As for the race to the Áras, who knows what will happen for that. In a few months time, having thought about it some more, I'll write a full post but at the moment it is hard to see past whoever FG put up being the eventual winner.

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