Thursday, October 27, 2011

Duty done

So that's my democratic duty definitely finished for this year. I hit the polling station in Harold's Cross at about 7:20 this morning on my way in to work. Turns out I was the 3rd punter to come through the door so definitely not what you'd call brisk.

On the two referenda I quickly marked the No box on both. I had decided over a week ago that I wasn't really in favour of McCarthyite Star Kangaroo Chambers so that was an easy one. The Judicial Pay issue was a bit more tricky as part of me feels that those pompus gits in wigs deserve to be taken down a notch or two. However, after much mulling over, I reckoned this was not the approach that the state should take. There are just too many potentials for abuse in the wording presented.

For the Áras, it was a no brainer putting 1 beside Michael D's name. After that I struggled for a while before putting 2 opposite Norris and 3 for McGuinness. Next came Mitchel and Davis. Finally, though it pained me hugely, I put Dana somewhere other than bottom of the list to reserve that special place for Sean Gallagher.

With that done, the question is what's next for my adventures in the Rosary Pastoral Centre. It would be nice to have a look at the Children's Referendum or perhaps the removal of Blasphemy from the Bunreacht. Or perhaps I will have to wait for the outcome of the promised Constitutional Convention that might redraft the whole thing. Any which way, I look forward to my next visit to the polling booth.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Aras so far

After all the excitement of the nomination process, especially the last minute additions of Dana and Norris to the ballot paper, the actual Áras campaign has been fairly boring. Despite all the debates, newspaper columns and comment the election is pretty much going as predicted. For a position that has almost no power or freedom, an awful lot of energy (mostly in the form of hot air) has gone into the campaign already.

Michael D Higgins is playing the safe pair of hands game and doing it well. Hasn't put a foot wrong and has impressed in both the Late Late and TV3 debates. The posters are a bit odd to my mind and standing on the box on the Vincent Browne debate was hilarious, but otherwise a solid showing so far.

Gay Mitchell on the other hand, as the candidate of the party with over twice the support of any other, has been a disaster. You'd think that after the parliamentary party picked Mitchell over Mairead McGuinness and Pat Cox that they'd go out and mobilize the troops but it doesn't seem to be working at all.

The other daft tactic of Mitchell's is the relentless attacks on Martin McGuinness. All it is doing is solidifying McGuinness' base, especially the young, unemployed males who already don't like FG. McGuinness will poll a respectable 18%-20% but won't have the transfers to pull off the win.

Mary Davis has finally been shown up as the fake that she is. Her relentless pushing of her work in the voluntary sector was shattered by publishing her P60. Her involvement in various public and private boards didn't help much either. And the less said about the Special K posters the better.

Sean Gallagher has impressed me more than I expected. He gives fairly straight answers to questions put. However, the huge issue of his close association with Fianna Fáil will still be his downfall. It's not like he was just a member of a local Cumman. He was on the national executive and being touted as a potential Dáil candidate for the General Election earlier this year.

Dana, despite her relentless constitution waving, is also a spent force. While she will act as a rallying point to the Eurosceptics, her general lack of understanding of the role of President as well as her general batyness will see her languishing in the 5% region.

And that leaves us with David Norris or the Comeback Kid as he has taken to calling himself. My opinion and position on him hasn't changed since the summer. I still think there are too many unanswered questions and his demeanour and behaviour in the two TV debates have not impressed me one bit. He will pull in a respectable vote, possibly fourth on 1st preferences but won't be there at the business end of the count.

So that's it. I'm fed up with #aras11 already. I can't wait for the next two weeks to pass and then I'll vote and be done with it. Unless something amazing happens I'm not going to post about it again until the votes are counted.

In fact the best thing about this election is the series of videos being posted on Youtube by Cutbacks2010. See below for an example.