Friday, February 25, 2011

Election Day

Never has an election been more anticipated that the current one here in Ireland, and thanks be to Jaysus the run-up to it wasn't any longer than it has been.

I swear the election posters here in Dundalk were multiplying over night. There's a roundabout near us that, four weeks ago had just four or five posters attached to the iron railings that protect pedestrians from the traffic.

Going through it today, I counted (periphally, of course, I was driving) about twenty. I have to laugh at Fine Gael's 'Five Point Plan - go to wubblywubblywubbly to read all about it'. As if!

Last week, I was up in Donegal for the weekend, a trip which necessitated travelling through Norn Iron twice - it was nice not to be visually assailed by election images for the time it took to go through the north. A visual break, I guess.

Anyhoo, at this stage of the day the deed is done. I have exercised my right to vote, placing preferences all the way down from 1 -16 (I'm old-fashioned and feel the need to vote from last to first - just to make sure I express myself most emphatically!). I feel sorry for anyone in a constituency that has more candidates than that - I hear one of Galway's constituencies has 35 candidates!

One thing for sure: the intricacies of the Proportional Representation Single Transferable Vote make the day after, Saturday, the most interesting day, when we see what it is the Irish people may have actually said. I'll be tuning in around lunchtime, when hopefully all the ballot boxes will have been opened.


Titus said...

I love election result nights! I always stay up all night and listen, and have absolutely no idea why. Maybe it is just the utter live-ness of it all.

We've got it all to come over here...

Unknown said...

I agree T, it's that 'as-it-happens' feel that appeals to me too. Riveting stuff, but made more complex here, through the transfer system, which doesn't always work the way you think it will - local variables make it unusual. Looking forward to the big scraps later on for TDs who are in rocky waters!

Rachel Fenton said...

SO, it will all have happened - is good change afoot?

Been reading so much Irish poetry, not all political - least not overtly - but it takes on extra power at such times.

Dick said...

Well, good fortune to you all. Sadly, no matter who you vote for the government will get back in. Always a disappointment, that.

Unknown said...

Is it good change? That's a good question Rachel. The former ruling party was trounced, being reduced from a previous 72ish to about 18ish. That's out of a total of 166.

The new rulers look like being a coalition between Fine Gael (76ish) and Labour (37). FG would be a centrist/right party and Labour, well, you can guess, can't you?

We are in for a week of negotiations to sort out who does what in the new government (yes Dick, you're right, you know) but essentially the problems remain: pay back the IMF, sort out some employment (to pay back the IMF) and stop emigration leakage (otherwise there won't be anyone to pay back the IMF!).

Coalitions are the norm here anyway, for the most part, due to the many proliferating parties out there (nothing like a good party to get you started)diluting the political pool (boo!).

Such is the Irish political system! It's a wonder we ever get anything done. OTH, it's probably why Irish people are so good at negotiating... :)