And we’re off again. NFB will be offering comments on the election as it progresses, though maybe not in quite as much detail as last time. Just thoughts as they occur during the canvassing, the debates, and the actions especially of the candidates in my own constituency, Kildare North, which is a bit different to m previous home in Limerick City.
Opposition and a bit of the media are trying hard to make it seem as of the run-up to the election announcement was some kind of shambles, but man they have short memories. They might recall the stuttering mess that was Fianna Fail’s last days in power five years ago, and how that just seemed to drag and drag. This was a cakewalk in comparison, and everyone should be happy with a Friday election. The shorter campaign timetable is also something I find myself not minding.
Making out a list of the things that I find important, that I want to ask candidates if I happen to meet them, and the results are varied. In no particular order:
-Employment. I have some, but I want more. My other job recently was lost due to the employer going out of business recently.
-Taxation. I don’t want to pay more tax, but at the same time, if you have a good pitch for the status quo/increase in exchange for public service improvements, you can pitch me. That includes water charges.
-Homelessness. Holy God, something needs to be done, especially in Dublin.
-Healthcare. Having recently encountered the snail’s pace of A&E’s, and gone through surgery myself in the last few years, I know how slow and backed up the system is.
-Law & Order. I think Ireland has significant problems with anti-social behaviour that is accepted to a disgraceful extent, and I want to know how prospective candidates will change that.
-Schools. My sister has two children under the age of four, and disgracefully little options in the way of non-religious schools and second level schools to send them.
-Housing. I want to move to Dublin at some point in the next few years, and I won’t be able to do that if the renting crisis isn’t brought into some semblance of control.
-Transport. It’s a mess, between fares and general infrastructure. How will candidates plan to save entities like Irish Rail?
-Environmental. Recycling policies, combating climate change, renewable energy. It’s self-evidently vital, and easily ignored.
-Social Justice Issues. Plans for the 8th Amendment especially, but so many other things as well. Would male suicide rates fall under this?
-Military. Hey, it was still my MA. Do candidates support the Defence Forces existence, and their role in peacekeeping operations?
-Political Discourse. It’s fallen far, or maybe it was never good. But I have gotten increasingly tired of guillotining, whips, and the Dail back and forth.
-The Church. As in the continual and needed erosion of its impact upon the state, at any level. How will candidates go about improving this?
-Red Lines. When it comes to coalition negotiations, what will specific candidates refuse to support, or back down on?
I’m sure more will come up as time goes on. At some point soon I’ll be making a list of the Kildare North candidates and how I think they stand, and how they stand with me.