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On the Eve of the General Election

It’s the day before the most important general election in my lifetime, and I haven’t seen a single candidate at my door.  The only people who called were a pair of neighbours canvassing for Labour, a timid little man in a yellow jacket who tried to hand me a Peter Power leaflet, but who scurried away when I called FF a crowd of thieves and swindlers.  Oh, and a heavy-set gentleman with dyed blond hair who wanted to know if my car was sale.  He wanted it for for scrap, I presume, considering the state of it but I wasn’t in the mood for listening to wandering scrap-merchants, even if they call me Boss.  After asking him what his interest in my house was, I told him to go away, perhaps a bit abruptly .  His shouted insults as he drove off were lost in the gentle breeze.  I’d say he was there for Willie O Dea.

The National Interview seems to have been a monumental failure, since none of the candidates has had the gumption to turn up at people’s houses in person.  Little Willie is scuttling around suburban estates shoving pre-printed leaflets through letter-boxes: Sorry I missed you.

You didn’t miss me Willie.  I was at home.  You just didn’t bother to knock, you cowardly little reptile.

Here’s the deal.  You’re about to vote out the party that bankrupted Ireland by borrowing money to pay off the gambling debts of the bankers, and you’re about to elect a government that plans to do the very same thing.

I don’t advocate violence, but I’d like to draw the comparison with Greece and Portugal where they went out on the streets throwing petrol bombs in protest at their governments doing the very same thing.

Where did Paddy go?  Out on the piss.

Tomorrow, you and I have no credible option to vote for, apart from People Before Profit, who have no hope of being in government, and the Shinners, who were never noted for putting money INTO banks.  At least they’re consistent.

That’s it.  You’re going to replace Fianna Failure with Fianna Fake.

Bend over and enjoy it.

69 replies on “On the Eve of the General Election”

An accusation frequently (and legitimately) levelled at the outgoing administration (I wouldn’t grace them with the title of “government”) is that they acted without the mandate of the electorate when they propped up the banks, poured billions into them, negotiated a punitive loan & bailout package with the EU/IMF.

It’s increasingly looking like a landslide for FG tomorrow.

If that turns out to be the case, the new administration will have just that mandate from the electorate. FG will reverse nothing.

Isn’t that ironic?

I couldn’t sleep last night; a letter came in the door from the bold willie.
It was marked urgent.
He was worried that the votes for ff will be so small that he wants to get all of their number ones. Because if they split the vote neither he nor power might get elected.
Now at the time power was in Dublin because he was on RTE that night.
Turning on his own to save his himself, what would he do to the rest of us who cant stand him.

Short arses canvass person (singular) came to my door last night with a despondent air, offering me an FF leaflet, I declined. I decided to spare the despondent canvasser my thoughts as he looked very like he had been on the receiving end of other peoples, maybe negative view of the TD’s performance over the last 14 years and longer.

I closed the door on FF for the next 5 years

Any vote for the short one is a vote for apathy, I hope his worries that lead him to knife his colleague at the final hour will be justified, and they will both lose their seat and not just Peter (also a short arse when you think about it ) Powerless

Goodbye to you both and thanks for all the fish

You’re right Bock. More of the same.

I watched this recently on Prime Time…
http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1092031

The three potential finance minitures.. Lenihan, Brutal and Noonan.

At minute 14 you have Noonan stating his opinion on the IMF “Bailout” and how he’s going to negotiate with the IMF.

Minute 17:20 Quote from Noonan,
” Well you see, I don’t think it can be done on the basis of waiving sticks or talkin about burnin bondholders. I think ya have to negotiate and it can only be done if the colleagues in Europe will agree… we’re in the Eurozone, we’re all part of the same group so I think what they may offer is a different mechanism to the same alternative”

We’re fucked. More of the same.

Today I signed a lease for a house in England. That’s the only vote I’ll give the miserable shower of wasters that is our wretched political class.

A plague on all their houses and I hope that last clever person out of Ireland remembers to turn off the lights. Let them shaft each other in the dark………..

My kids will grow up English because of that shower of c***s!

Get ready for the sell- off of our assets, the flogging off of our forrests and Bord Gais to private investors. Fianna Gael look to the Tory party for inspiration! How can you identify with the Conservative Party? There is going to be a terrible comedown after this election.

If I was planning to burn the bondholders, the EU and the IMF I wouldn’t be shouting it from the rooftops until I was in a position to actually do it. That’s my hope for FG and indeed the Irish Nation.

“Get ready for the sell- off of our assets, the flogging off of our forrests and Bord Gais to private investors. Fianna Gael look to the Tory party for inspiration! How can you identify with the Conservative Party? There is going to be a terrible comedown after this election.”

Couldn’t agree more! Still holding my nose and voting Labour, but that won’t stop much of the above, particularly if one remembers the tax amnesty under FF and Labour which , in my view, gave an imprimateur to the rot as it gave legal recognition to ducking and diving.

Willie did call to my door but he was six doors up in the 45 seconds it took me to get to the door..Busy man our Willie..

I had hoped to do a National Interview with a candidate (I had my camera and tripod set up near the door) but not a single one called to my door. I got two visits from canvassers from Fine Gael and one from Fianna Fail, but they only gave me a leaflet and scurried away. And people where I work tell the same story: many of them have not seen a single candidate since the election was called. Has anyone in Ireland actually been visited, and spoken to, by all party candidates?

Hope this is ok here. I went to vote in the County Library in Dooradoyle this morning at Booth # 2. There were two ladies at the desk, i gave over my polling card and my passport as proof of identity. They checked me off the voting register and gave me a ballot paper. Just then i noticed a well worn copy of the bible turned face out to all prospective voters, I asked one of the ladies why there was a bible placed in such a way on their particular desk, it was in a very forward position, you could not but see it.

The reply was a mumbled one, i did not hear it properly or clearly so i asked that it be removed. When i had marked my ballot paper and returned to place my paper in the box the bible was nowhere to be seen.

Is this a normal occurrance, are religious symbols like bibles on prominent display allowed at elections? I do know that i have never seen such a thing before.

I am an Atheist, i found this a very provocative display, so much so that i felt i had to ask for it`s removal.

I was quite put out about it Bock. Once i saw that it had been removed i left it at that. When i got home a funny idea came to my mind. What if it was put back in place after i had left?

You can always make an official complaint to the returning officer. Get it in perspective though. Do you think the presence of the book will influence the final result?

To be honest it angered me personally. In reality i think that most people would ignore it. As to it have any influence on the final result, well of course not, anyone who have gone to the bother of voting today will most certainly have made up their minds on their voting preferences.

I did what i could to have any hint of religious influence removed, i am satisfied. Also they may not have put the bible back up in case i sent in someone to check later ha ha.

By the way i gave that lovely young man Cian my number 1, went to Labour after that and stopped, course hell is beckoning now!

Bible is there in regards to challenges of impersonation etc. Just like the garda. Do they still use the bible in court. Do you wander into court asking them to take it out of public view?
Check up the law, nothing to do with candidates.

Shane — All witnesses in court are required either to affirm or to swear on the bible, depending on their personal beliefs. Voters are rarely asked to do this, and while there may be provision for it in certain cases, I don’t know why it would be prominently displayed. What would be wrong with keeping it handy in a bag or a drawer, in case it’s required?

Most polling stations are located in our so-called National Schools, which are not national at all in the sense that they are, in the main, denominational schools and bedecked with denominational paraphanalia. Just like the place I voted in! Voted for an atheist however!

Why would it be prominently displayed?
I don’t know, maybe they are just messy like me and at 7 this morning, they went “oh f*ck where is that bible in case we need it” and proceeded to throw it on the table. Ignorant, thoughtless bast**ds forgot about the sensitivities of athiests.
On this day of days what could possibly be going on in their heads that is more important?
Very un PC of them alright.

Maybe the bible was there as a supple hint that you would be as well off going to some church and saying a prayer instead of voting because the country is fucked and Enda and co. are not going to unfuck it. God save Ireland.

That’s a fair enough point of view. On the other hand, they don’t have to start at 7 in the morning, and it’s not as if they were taken by surprise. They’ve known for weeks when the election was taking place. They have plenty of time to plan the job in a professional manner, which includes respecting not just atheists, but also Jews, Muslims, Hindus and every other Irish citizen who isn’t Christian in our society.

The bible has some role in one of the procedures for blind/incapacitated/disabled/impersonated voters, I forget which. It comes in the kit the presiding officer gets, with string, sealing wax, pencils, envelopes and all that.

I’m really wondering why primary schools have to close for elections and referenda. It is an anachronistic hang-over from the days when the ‘new school’ with the water tower on the right was the only decent building in any rural village. Now we have gyms, halls, community centres, and thanks to FF, too many hotels. It’s time to end the unnecessary and irrelevant disruption to the education system.

And another aspect of it is this. When all those teachers get a day off – is their salary for the day charged to the budget for the election? In soild accounting terms, it should be, along with one-fifth of the weekly cost of heating, lighting and cleaning. The election is not a charge on the education budget.
And following on logically from that – if those teachers act as presiding officers, polling clerks or supervisory presiding officers, why should the get paid the full day’s pay AGAIN? I’d be all for an allowance for the insanely long hours involved, but giving them a day off teaching at the exchequer’s expense and then paying them to turn up in school for a day of banal clerical duties is not correct.

Michael Hogan – what’s a supple hint?

Personally I don’t see how a bible being on display would offend anyone be it Jew, Muslim, Atheist.. whatever.
What if the lady at the desk were wearing a Cross necklace? Would that be bothersome too? It might have been a personal item she keeps with her. If it was a novel on the table, would that be bothersome? I mean the complaint was made, the book was removed.. why would you let it anger you? And go home thinking, ‘ I wonder did they put it back’?

The election day today and all we can talk about is a bible being at a polling station!

It isn’t all we can talk about. We can talk about many things, including this man’s concern at religious symbolism in a polling booth. It’s a legitimate concern.

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2009/en/si/0179.html

That’s the law on it. The Section 165 regulations. If you turn up to vote and your name is already crossed off, you swear an oath on the bible that you are Bock The Robber. This is the regulation:

(f) the following questions shall be substituted for those set out in rule 72(1)(c) of the Second Schedule to the Act of 1997, section 111(2)(c) of the Act of 1992 and article 73(2) of the 1995 Regulations—

“ (i) Are you the same person as the person whose name appears as Bock The Robber on the register of electors now in force for the city/county of ……………………..?

(ii) Have you already voted at these elections?

(iii) Have you reached the age of eighteen years?

and (in the case only of a person who applies for a ballot paper relating to the European election)

(iv) Are you either or both of the following-

(a) a citizen of Ireland,

(b) a national of a Member State of the European Communities other than Ireland?”;

(g) the following oath (or affirmation) shall be substituted for the oath (or affirmation) set out in rule 72(1)(d) of the Second Schedule to the Act of 1997, section 111(2)(d) of the Act of 1992 and article 73(3) of the 1995 Regulations—

“I swear by Almighty God (or — do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm — as the case may be) that I am the same person as the person whose name appears as Bock The Robber on the register of electors now in force for the city/county of.and that I have not already voted at these elections and that I have reached the age of eighteen years and (in the case only of a person who applies for a ballot paper relating to the European Parliament election) that I am a citizen of Ireland (or — a national of a Member State of the European Communities other than Ireland — or — both a citizen of Ireland and a national of a Member State of the European Communities other than Ireland — as the case may be)”.

So now you know why there’s a Bible in the polling station.

It might be worth a rattle in light of Article 44.3 of Bunreacht na hEireann:

3° The State shall not impose any disabilities or make any discrimination on the ground of religious profession, belief or status.

Surely the oath procedure is a positive discrimination in favour of those holding Christian beliefs?

The oath provision is a disadvantage to those giving evidence in court because the presumption is made that a witness will swear on the bible. To demur creates a subliminal bias against the witness. This is why many non-believers, including myself, have simply decided over the years that it’s all nonsense, and have sworn by Almighty God despite our lack of belief. Otherwise, you’re facing a judge who is biased against you before you open your mouth.

I don’t mean that literally, that that’s all we can talk about. I mean I don’t see how it’s of that much importance. I just don’t understand why it would concern anyone too much I suppose. I don’t believe a bible being on display has any influence over anyone.

If we’re going to develop a new society out of the wreckage of what we have, we need to be be extremely particular about the small things, just as as they are in grown-up countries. That’s the point I’m making. When we’re dealing with something as fundamental as elections, we can afford no sloppiness, and this incident seems to betray the usual Irish attitude of make-do. We have to challenge such amateurism if we ever hope to move on and become adults.

I agree completely with you. It makes no sense at all to close down the schools when we have plenty of options for housing the polling stations.I think it’s an outstanding example of bureaucratic inertia. What was good enough in 1930 is good enough now.

Do you know if we pay the bishops for the rent of the schools on polling day?

The whole set up is amateurish in my opinion. Give your polling card, get a flimsy piece of paper and mark off in semi pencil your preferences, all done in some half dilapidated school behind a 50 odd year old plank of wood. And that’s before you look at the choice of candidates.

And never mind registering to vote. Some spotty barely out of school pig of a Garda has to sign and verify you are who you are.. if he feels like it.

Ah Jesus Bock you’e not serious – rent to the bishop, for a school owned by the state? What’s the Bishop paying the State for the schools would be more like it – how would you cost a fair rental for unfettered access to a whole generation of children, in purpose-built buildings?

@FME – that spotty pig isn’t there for that reason.

Nope, didn’t realise ownership had passed fully, thought it was just the management of the “national” schools. Enlighten me?

You’re inferring the spotty pig thinks he has more important things to do is it, Nut?
They haven’t an interest in too much besides eating donuts and grunting at the public really.

I was up to them recently to get an electoral form signed.
Pleasant as can be, I said “hello, how are you”? No answer.
Asked would he mind signing the form for me. Grumpy reply I got was: “I will if it’s your local Garda station”
It was and he begrudingly signed the form and grunted at me and eyed me up and down the whole time.

Maybe he was annoyed at me because my car tax was up and I parked in their reserved for extra special pigs car spot. Oh well.

FME – no inference. SP on polling day is under the orders of the presiding officer. His duties are to keep order in the polling station, to arrest anyone suspected of committing an electoral offence on the instructions of the presiding officer, and to safeguard the ballot box. SP in a station is under the Garda Commissioner, so he’s accountable to no-one.
His signing of a form is in fact a witnessing of your declaration. He is within his rights to ask if it;s your local station because theoretically the legal fiction is maintained that the gardai know people, however if your station is manned by a green man, he’s illiterate and knows nobody therefore you have to go further, obviously. Anything that isn’t written down never happened in AGS, so if you get rude treatment the next time you visit, look around for the complaints leaflet and read it ostentatiously. Make a written complaint of rudeness and discourtesy if you feel strongly enough, but remember that garda might have spent the previous six hours taking decapitated bodies out of crashed cars, or knocking on parents’ doors telling ’em they ain’t parents anymore. It goes with the turf.

Nuts

That garda could easily have been telling people they weren’t parents anymore, but he wasn’t taking decapitated people out of cars, although he might well have been watching firemen doing it.

Hey, wonderful to see so many views here.

To Shane and Bolted Nut. I was a witness in a court, i explained to both sides that i would not be able to swear on the bible, i just did not believe in that book!

The defence took a huge chance on me, when the clerk took the book to me i turned to the judge and said that i was an Atheist. He asked if i was prepared to answere truthfully any question asked of me in his court. I said yes, he let the trial proceed. By the way he commended me for my truthfullness at the start, it helped the defence immensely.

At Dooradoyle this morning the bible as presented, with a gold cross on it`s cover was presented outwardly, there was no mistake as to what it was. It represented a belief, just one belief. I did ask what would be their response if a Jew, Muslim or indeed a person of no religious persuasion confronted them about it. As i said the response was muted, the offending item was removed.

The table they were using was quite small, there was no room for clutter. There was space for all that was needed and a better space at the front was created for this bible to be seen by all and sundry! Just where you put you ballot paper into the ballot box!

Or hey maybe i was just having an illusion, parnoid maybe. The presiding officer was so muted in her response she had the bible removed on my complaint. Does anyone think there was a diliberate attempt to coerce people according to their beliefs? I most certainly do.

It was very inappropriate to place the bible next to the ballot box, but really you can’t deduce any more than that from it. Let’s not beat this topic to death, ok?

I do agree with your response Bock. These people who sit there taking note of all who come to vote, crossing them off as they present themselves have to be aware of all that transpires. So all their actions have meanings.

As i said . I am satisfied. The offending item was removed, i presented the event here and have been overwhelmed by the responses of the other people who have responded. Thank you.

Here, Election Day is a national holiday, to get more people to go out and vote. We vote in the local high school.

To swear “by Almighty God despite our lack of belief”. That’s an interesting strategy – I mean, what’s the difference? Let them think that it means something.

I think that the Bible shouldn’t be displayed; if it becomes needed for swearing on, pull it out then. Seems to be a subtle hint, although to what I’m not sure. It’s a lot different than a voting assistant wearing a cross, unless it’s a really big, blatant, papal one.

John: wow – abandoning ship. Too bad it had to come to that.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/28-percent-of-young-people-say-they-want-to-leave-Ireland-116723304.html

If voters don’t have, or are afraid to make a good choice, then it doesn’t say much for democracy. And maybe the citizenry can’t be trusted to vote in the right people anyway. They’ll just vote for the candidate/party that gives them their own little presents, at the expense of everyone else.

Too bad people can’t just be good to and take care of each other. Guess we’re still just selfish animals. We better evolve out of it before it’s too late.

Good Irish luck with the vote.

Just thought of something else about the swearing issue in court. If a person is a known atheist, or it surfaces in the trial, then by swearing on a Bible, doesn’t that put their testimony into question? They already lied once – why wouldn’t they do it again?

Nut, I was talking about getting a form signed at the Garda station months before the election.
Not the polling station. The Garda station. He was there for that reason as it’s incorporated into the fucking form.
Like you have to do for a passport – Get them to sign it.

He was rude. But I wasn’t too surpised really.
When I was getting my passport renewed a few years back I went and asked for it to be signed by them too and the cop said ‘well I don’t know you but I suppose I will’. What the flying fuck kind of hillbilly shite is that? Of course he wouldn’t know me and that’d be a good thing. I asked him did he know my next door neighbour who’s a Guard.. and he didn’t know him either.. ffs. It’s bullshit. Cops are not involved with electoral forms in other countries like the U.S. but then there is no great deference to them over there.

Not such a good idea before bedtime! You might want to tell people next time that it’s a compilation of various scary devil images.

: O

Bock can be a bit devilish at times, but that dos’nt mean that Bock is the devil. How do you know that the devil only strikes at night.
Say your prayers and go to sleep. I always do even though I know that they ( my prayers ) won’t be answered, Why? Because I pray for evil things, like Bertie and Biffo falling down the stairs and breaking their fucking necks.

There may be beings out there who can hear them, and maybe even answer and fulfill some of them., so don’t give up hope.

Did I say that Bock was the devil? Or maybe he was cameod in your video. I don’t know – I only saw a few images before stopping it.

So if you prayed for good things, then they would be answered?

I said “never know when the devil will strike”. That includes nights. I meant that my mind would more likely imagine him striking in a dream.

Sorry – this went WAY OTT!

You should have watched the whole video, it’s shows the real devil in the end. Bock maintains that god is deaf. I wonder how he knows. Is it from experience. Did god not answer some of his prayers or just ignore them. Watch the rest of the video and get back to me. God bless Bock. I wonder did god hear that.

Sorry Bock if I misquoted you, but you did say “your prayers won’t be answered because there’s nobody out there to HEAR them”
That could imply that god is deaf. Anyway, if you watched my video you would see that I was only trying to make the point that Ahern and co. were evil basters. If there is or isn’t a god, I could’nt care less. If believing in a god makes some people happy, that’s fine by me. I’m only opposed to organised religion that tries to influence government policy and my and my family’s life. I’m even more opposed when this religion is based in a foreign state and claims to preach the word of a god that nobody has ever seen or heard.
I had fun making my video, but the fun is gone out of it now. Fuck God. PS What happened to “some1 loves u.” He started of the whole debate.

What did I start? You posted the video!

“There’s nobody out there to hear them” is not the same as there’s somebody out there Who can’t hear. Take it at face value – no need to imply anything.

Not to wax theological again, but I wouldn’t say

If there is or isn’t a god, I couldn’t care less.

Better:

If there would be a god, damn right I would care. I just don’t think that there is one.

So now we are at post erection time, will there be a rush to form a government and appoint ministers so they can quicly fuck off on jaunts around the world at the tax payers expense for paddys day?

Nollaig. ” post erection ” Government gone all Freudian on us eh ? They will just smoke a fag, roll over and snore, just like the old days before metrosexuals ?

norma,
I was using that phrase as i beieve that canvassing and polling (no pun intended) are the viagra of politicians.
the only thing is they are knobs all of the time.
just received an invite to the embassys paddys day party in kampala, it will be interesting to see the Africans take on our new government.

Nollaig. Was just playing with it as a typo, My sister’s in Kampala also, Must check with her if she has an invite.

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