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Personality cannot win over substance

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The Dun Laoghaire 2011 election debate on RTE's 'Frontline' gave me a feeling of deja vu.

The Government might be in trouble but the opposition does not inspire much confidence. Any gains have mostly been by default rather than imagination.

The only members of the 'Frontline' panel I took any notice of were the independents. Not because I agree with what they say, but because they annoy representatives of the bigger parties, which makes me think they must be doing something right.

We Irish seem to be all about personalities. Do we never learn? I wish people would just look at the facts. I have no idea who I am going to vote for. My biggest problem right now is that I'd like a party comprised of Pat Rabbite, Joe Higgins, Michael D Higgins, Mary Hanafin, Richard Bruton and a few others. I do know what I am not going to vote for: personality, innuendo or mere soundbites about the way forward.

The boredom in what should be the biggest political competition of our State's history is killing me.

Do they all learn from the same cue cards or what?

Anthony Halpin
Bray, Co Wicklow

I find myself becoming furious whenever I hear Taoiseach Brian Cowen's indefensible justification of his and his unrepentant government's disastrous decision making. They have facilitated the ruination of this economy.

It is bewildering and depressing listening to faithful supporters of Mr Cowen and the Government, proclaiming their leader to be the most intelligent and the greatest leader we have.

There is an old saying. "There is none as blind as those who do not wish to see" and opticians haven't any cure for that problem.

The faithful have to accept that their knights in shining armour are responsible for facilitating speculators and socialising with the heads of financial institutions.

Nobody else is to blame except the present Government that has presided over a regime that must bear full responsibility for the arrival of the IMF and ECB in this country.

Mr Cowen and his affiliated party can take credit for achieving, in 13 years, something the might of the British Empire failed to do over 800 years.

Mattie Greville
Co Westmeath

Irish Independent