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Democracy

Time to enjoy the election count blood-letting

Tomorrow the election count begins and we can all settle in with a bag of nachos and a slab of our favourite brew to watch the slaughter. Some of us might even make for the count centres with our knitting needles and sit at the front cackling through our toothless flapping lips as the heads roll into the basket, one by wide-eyed, gasping one.

What a shame it would have been to deny the Irish populace their only hope for glee in our drab political timescape. Only a man with no soul could fail to comprehend our attachment to The Count, and that man of course was Bertie Ahern, the visionary who dismissed so casually the old peann luaidhe as he defended his disastrous e-voting machines. Those same machines are now landfill somewhere, having cost us not only a load of money but also our national dignity while the mighty peann luaidhe lives on, as well it should.

Do you remember Nora Owen’s face in 2002 as the returning officer said something along these lines : You, you, you and you are elected. The rest can fuck off.

Or words to that effect.

Not only was Nora Owen shocked at being summarily kicked out, but so was everyone else, apart from the technological visionary Bertie Ahern, the Bill Gates Ireland could have had if only Bertie hadn’t dedicated himself to selfless public service.

How could we enjoy the election if we weren’t able to savour the extended, agonising humiliation of the candidates? It’s the only time in five years we get to see some of these people suffer before they retreat into their cosseted parliamentary bubble and here was Bertie telling us to push the electronic button and go home. Good luck with that, Bertie.

We weren’t having it, and neither were certain technology experts who pointed out the flaws in the machines. Flaws that Bertie the visionary somehow failed to appreciate. Flaws that meant we couldn’t be sure if anyone had tampered with the vote. Trivial, old-fashioned concerns about democracy that would never trouble men such as Bertie the technology expert.

Anyway, as I said, the e-voting gadgets are now history, converted back to the cheap poker machines they started life as and sold to a string of pubs in Belarus where they fit in very well.

Meanwhile in Ireland we’re back to the blood sport we all love so much. The drawn-out tortured count as one election hopeful after another suffers a crushing rejection by the public and some of the star performers are kicked into the gutter while other equally worthless clowns are elevated to our national parliament.

It’s great.

Its also the only time you will ever hear a politician being honest, because there’s nothing to be gained from lying. Only during a count could you hear politicians, down to and including Charlie Haughey, admitting that they weren’t doing well, that they were in trouble, that they’d made mistakes. That in itself was sufficient reason for keeping the pencil and paper and I hope we always stick with the system because it’s plain, it’s direct and it does what it says, unlike Sir Bertie the Technological.

I’ll be watching the count with a bottle of Wild Turkey and a Colt .44 Magnum, sitting in a swing chair on the verandah. Maybe with a pint of ether or a bag of ‘ludes but definitely not naked, given the current weather.

The tyres will be pumped up to 150 psi. The Samoan attorney will be asleep in the bath. Leathery winged creatures will be flapping in the sky.

Every bullet hole in the TV screen will be living testament to the vigour of our democracy.

It’s count time.

Bring it on!

 

9 replies on “Time to enjoy the election count blood-letting”

I’ve had a few people say to me that they were voting for Willie and when I was asked why, they said he does great work in the community.. with youth groups in disadvantaged areas, things like that.

I have to say I kinda like Willie myself.

He’s not the worst of um to put back on the gravy train.

It is not that Willie is the problem, I mean a Haughey looks like being elected again in Dublin…

The problem as I see it is the way we elect politicians.

We have a very parochial electoral system, it will reward that hard working foot soldiers aka parish pump operators at the expense of ideology every time…

I do not see how we will ever get an alternative under this system, considering how hard it is to raise cash for a new party as well…

We elect TDs because they are good at the things that our Councillors should be doing. We completely lose sight of the fact that the Dail is our legislature, and the biggest party or group of parties in it becomes our government. We elect clowns, rogues, characters, criminals, fraudsters, illiterates and assorted gombeen men rather than anyone demonstrating a shred of potential competence. 35% of use elect no-one, or if you prefer, elect the afore-mentioned sorts by default.

And then when it all inevitably goes arse-over-appetite we wonder why, and even get outraged.

in the year thats in it, perhaps we should consider that one of the main results of the rising, was an acceptance for poor quality candidates. we elected gunmen based on what side of the civil war they fought,we elect sporting champions/ celebrities, and we elect people whose only qualification is that they are the fruit of the loins of a recently deceased TD. is this not similar to the way democracy works in some african nations?

I have to disagree with you on this one. I wanted to vote for the Social Democrats but there was no candidate in my area. I didn’t want to vote Labour, Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael for the same reasons Carry outlined.
The candidates could be good workers. But their parties have stuck to the ECB/American Fed/World market mantra of severe austerity for the poor and light touch regulation for banks and multinationals. And none of these parties seem to know what to do the health service. As I have mental health issues this disturbs me. And I believe these parties have members who are the same type of people who have quibbles over the issues not completely different manifestos.
I can’t vote for Sinn Féin as their smiling terrorist leader has blood on his hands.
I can’t vote for any of the new left parties e.g. PBP/AAA/Independent Alliance. I read their leaflets and websites. They promise this, that and the other. But when I try to see how they’ll pay for it, they just want to tax the rich AND the middle class. Despite the fact that the middle classes partly keep this country going without a tax break like the big guys.
So vote independent maybe. Only as you say Independents pretend they are councillors to get stuff for their areas. Like schools and hospitals we have a basic human right to. And Indos, like Lowry and Healy-Rae, voted for the bank bailout that crippled us.
And of course the green party also signed up to it and Eamon Ryan viciously defended the Anglo bailout at every turn. And even though I like the greens, I can’t bear to look at Ryan’s smarmy face.
And the less said about Renua the better.
So there you have it Bock. Myself and my few inner circle of friends faced that challenge. And we voted NO. 1 to the Independents with second going to the Greens-begrudgingly! I think South Park was right. When the choice is between a douche and a turd sandwich, you really don’t feel like voting. ????

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