Sunday 22 September 2019

The great promise of an election summer

Sir - Ireland awoke this week to the showy displays of colour, pomp and flash, that herald the arrival of spring! Election-poster blossoms peacocking every lamp-post, puff-top dandelions pamphleting every lawn and the first audacious cuckoo-calls echoing across the burnt Barna bog. Coincidence or design? Perennial predictability or short-lived promise? Ahhh, whatever it is, it

Sir - Ireland awoke this week to the showy displays of colour, pomp and flash, that herald the arrival of spring! Election-poster blossoms peacocking every lamp-post, puff-top dandelions pamphleting every lawn and the first audacious cuckoo-calls echoing across the burnt Barna bog. Coincidence or design? Perennial predictability or short-lived promise? Ahhh, whatever it is, it's still great to be alive.

Brian Nolan,

Aille, Barna,

Co Galway

Sir - In a programme on the local Kilkenny radio station, an alarming number of interviewees recently declared in sombre, cynical or mocking tones that they had no intention of voting.

The reasons or excuses given varied - "sure they (the politicians) are all the same", "it doesn't matter who gets in because nothing will change anyway", "I couldn't be bothered".

At every election, a substantial percentage of the population fails to avail of its democratic right to vote for the candidate or party of its choice. The consequence of this non-voting is a distortion of the democratic process.

Under our system of proportional representation, a candidate may win or lose a Dail seat by a handful of votes. The votes of those people who stayed away from the polling stations could certainly in these cases have made all the difference.

John Fitzgerald,

Lower Coyne Street,

Callan, Co. Kilkenny

Sir - At long last an election has been called but our Taoiseach seems to forget about the numerous third-level students studying away from home who will be taking part in exams and will be unable to make it home and let their voice be counted. I am angry that a weekend election could not be called to accommodate third-level students.

The election will come and go with the future of Ireland not having a say on who should run this country.

It is a great strategy by Bertie to cast aside the people whose vote will count in years to come.

Aidan Duignan,

Killakee Grove, Dublin 24

Sir - I would like to protest at the treatment of Enda Kenny and Fine Gael in your paper.

Jody Corcoran, Barry Egan and Brendan O'Connor are a disgrace! They should write on topics they know something about.

That wasn't bad enough until I saw the picture of editor Aengus Fanning strolling through the park with his friend Bertie.

It is quite obvious that your paper is pro-Fianna Fail. I think you have gone too far this time. I hope your articles backfire on you.

E Pauline Dawson,

Templeville Drive,

Templeogue, Dublin 6W

Sir - Brendan O'Connor piled non sequitur on non sequitur in his denunciation of the leader of the opposition (April 29).

I do not know if Mr O'Connor's overall assessment of the alternative Taoiseach is right or wrong but making policies surrounding stamp duty a political hanging offence seems to me to be a bit over the top.

One way or the other we are stuck with Mr Kenny if we are not to turn this democratic republic into a one-party state with all of us minions bowing and kowtowing to our great untouchable present leader with his face on every lamp post and every page of every newspaper. On top of that, if the present Government is returned to power, the serried ranks of the journalistic profession, including, on the evidence of the Sunday Independent of April 29, Mr O'Connor and his editor, will be in the posterior-licking business.

A Leavy,

Shielmartin Drive, Dublin 13

Sir - Congratulations on last Sunday's scoop ('Election will take place on Thurs May 24'). It is clear that your unbridled support for Fianna Fail, particularly over the last six months, has paid dividends. How foolish of some people to expect the Taoiseach of the country to first inform the Dail of his intention to dissolve it before going to Aras an Uachtarain in the traditional way!

While Sinn Fein has An Phoblacht it now seems that Fianna Fail has the Sunday Independent. I look forward to reading Budget 2007 or some other important issue affecting the state, well before it ever hits the floor of the Dail. That's if FF is re-elected, of course.

Finally, would it be possible for your paper to recruit some more Government ministers to submit weekly articles, as I think it's unfair to expect Minister Willie O'Dea to produce all the Fianna Fail propaganda every week. Eoghan Lawrence,

Lagganstown,

Cashel, Co Tipperary

Sir - Our election-results day would lose its excitement if the results were known in an instant. What would our analysts do? There would be no need for TV programmes wondering will they or won't they get elected. We might as well post up a results chart on our TV screens as if we were giving the results of a horse or dog race. So it seems that the pen and paper are here to stay.

Mary Murphy,

Mullagh, Co Cavan

Sir - As editors of the main Irish newspapers abroad, we, the undersigned, call upon the Irish Government to recognise the right of the Irish abroad to vote in Irish elections.

The Irish abroad, like those at home, have varying opinions on all issues. However, the one belief all Irish expatriates have in common, particularly those who have recently emigrated, is that the emigrant voice must continue to be heard. We believe that the Irish abroad contribute too much economically and culturally to their homeland to be denied that voice.

Every other country in Europe acknowledges some form of voting rights for their expatriates. Yet Ireland, which has embraced the European ideal more than most, still denies its citizens abroad a basic human, democratic and civil right - the right to vote in their own country.

We ask the Irish Government to look to the future in a progressive, intelligent manner and to realise the benefits of closer ties between the Irish abroad and those at home. We believe it is now time for the Irish Government to give emigrants a vote.

Donal Mooney, Irish Post, London

Damien Gaffney, Irish World,

London; Niall O'Dowd, Irish Voice, New York; Tom Connolly, Irish Echo, New York; Billy Cantwell, Irish Echo, Sydney

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