Well, they are out of the traps and running.
The election campaigns are already in full swing, and so far I am thoroughly underwhelmed.
So far, all I have heard is the usual petty point-scoring and bickering, each party trying to outdo the other by catching them out on trifling matters and essentially just confusing people.
They have all missed the point.
They think we wanted the old crowd out and a new crowd in. Wrong. We wanted the old crowd out of course, and the quicker the better, but we don’t want to replace them with a bunch of different faces spewing out the same tired old policies that have destroyed the country. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard that what we want is a different system, not just a different party.
The old system is corrupt, expensive and it doesn’t work. Representatives that are elected on parish pump issues are by definition not the right people to run the country. They may be good at getting pot-holes in the road filled, or fixing peoples driving test problems, but that does not qualify them to negotiate far reaching financial policies with foreign banks, or understand all the petty regulations which are foisted on us by Europe.
It is my contention that the system will never work all the time we elect people on local issues who then have to deal with national issues. By all means, elect people on local issues, but let those elections be for local councils and not the national parliament. National elections should be on national issues only, and furthermore should be based on an all-Ireland constituency. If I like the policies of Joe Rasher from Galway, I should be allowed vote for him and not the plonker who is standing in my area. Furthermore, this system would allow for far fewer TDs. Why do we elect 166, who spend their time not turning up, when a handful would do? Essentially the government in power only needs say two people for each ministry. The rest are superfluous and damned expensive.
The way we are going now is just going to lead to a repetition of the old problems – TDs who see the Dail as a cosy honey pot where protection of their own salaries and pensions is more important than the protection of the country.
That may sound cynical but I have been watching Irish politics for too long.