By Cathy Lee
So as it’s election season, this has brought focus to the chosen few in each constituency as to who is to represent and triumph at the polls.
The promises are thrown out and repeated on end, with the key words of “progression” and “prosperity” to be seen everywhere.
With posters shining above us upon most lamp posts and the odd fence, it’s easy to fall into a trap of seeing these running TDs as some new form of super-hero or celebrity.
I understand that these people are public figures, but it’s key to remember that these guys, although politicians, are still people at the end of it all.
Respecting somebodies status is a social phenomenon that we’ve all grown up with.
Such as respect your parents, respect your teachers, respect the priest, respect your boss.. and the list goes on.
But this week at the University of Limerick, RTE showcased the Party Leaders Debate, presented by journalist Claire Byrne.
I was very impressed to see that when questions were taken from the audience, the crowd had little fear to question the big bosses and ask them about their intentions.
I think this is only right and totally necessary.
If there’s one characteristic that running candidates or party leaders should have, it’s simply to be answerable.
(Not too much to ask from a person supposedly to be trusted with the running of our society.)
The way this election is going, there appears to be an act of desperation to get in rather than a practical approach to problem solving.
Don’t get me wrong that I’m being all preaching here, I know problem solving is hard.
I just don’t understand how in my home constituency of Wicklow, giving out Valentines cards from your local TDs, “refreshing” hand wipes or talk about going on the “Ferris-wheel” is really the target to assure a prosperous government to rely on for the future.
TDs want to be taken seriously but also want to win the sort of popularity contest that is currently going on.
These concepts can clash together creating confusion among the electorate.
A new approach is needed.
I believe that each person, as a citizen of this country, should be registered to vote and be informed.
If they are not, they can easily be manipulated by the next to nothing propaganda that’s happening at the moment of party-pushing.
It should be the standing obligation of our national government to make sure people are informed about the election process.
Instead TDs are acting somewhat manipulative, not thinking of the country as a whole rather their own career gains.
In recent elections, a lot of people had a change of mind on who to vote for within the last couple of days of the election.
These are fighting times, where it could really go either way.
Power and who holds it impacts, history has taught us that on many occasions.
So I encourage you to ask the TDs the hard questions, forget about their titles and make them earn your vote instead of a feeble attempt at buying it.
A friend recently told me a piece of advice that has been passed down through her family: “people may have their titles, their success and their status: but you must remember that they use the toilet in just the same way as you or I”.