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Election time – we love a good scandal May 2, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.

So here’s my tuppence ha’penny on the upcoming election and the climate we now find ourselves in. It’s only 21 short days away !

First of all I am unhappy that the election is to be held on a Thursday. I cannot see any intelligent reason for this as it isolates a lot of voters and makes it awkward with work etc. to get to the polls. Students for example, or people who haven’t transferred their vote to where they currently live are going to have real trouble.

Secondly I don’t think the electorate are that interested … I think the status quo will be maintained with Fianna Fáil remaining in power. Contrast that with an 85% turn out in France recently … the incumbents here would shit themselves on the spot if they thought that could happen.

Given the recent unanswered questions – let’s not call it a scandal because I’ll be accused of being sensationalist – I think the government have a lot to answer for. They have done a lot of good work over the past couple of terms of office. But they also can do no wrong in their own eyes and with some of them, this had manifested itself into incidents of pure ridiculousness. I would crack my arse laughing if it wasn’t so serious … these negative factors are persuading me to vote for change and give someone else a turn.

To give an example of why, in my opinion, I think something in the current government stinks like a whorehouse mattress, I remind readers of the latest “Bertie and bags of money” stories …

To cut a long story short, Bertie’s landlord gave his partner 30 grand to (a) either pay her stamp duty, (b) renovate the house or (c) a combination of both ! A number of things remain to be answered and as the Taoiseach kept insisting yesterday “It’s now a matter for the tribunal!” but of course, the tribunal is suspended until after the election … anyway given that stamp duty was approx. 11 grand at the time why did the partner get 30 thousand ? and then a further 50 after that ? And why would a landlord give his tenant’s partner the money directly and not conduct that sort of business through a lawyer ? Keep diggin’ lads and you’ll get out of the hole eventually …

Another thing that gives me ire about these stories is our reaction to them … the Irish electorate is so warped that after the last “Bertie and bags of money” story – the Manchester saga – the man’s popularity actually went up 5% in the polls and for example, Pat Rabbitte’s (who criticised him) went down ! All it took was one smarmy TV interview. So no way is Pat or Enda or any of the opposition going to grow a pair and say something this time lest it damage them again, especially since the election is only a while away … but to make matters worse they come out and openly discuss this point as if it was valid not to do anything or as if it is OK to let it lie because their reputations (and remember they are not the ones under scrutiny) might be damaged by saying something about a plainly dodgy situation … for Christ’s sake people, what have we become ?

We love a good scandal and we love a good villain and even when the facts about someone like a Haughey, or a Burke or in the future, Bertie come out, we’ll still love them because we love getting fucked over … there’s no other explanation for it …

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1. Laurie - May 2, 2007

are your elections not on a standard day of the week? ours are always on tuesdays, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. it was weird to be in paris on a sunday, knowing that was Election Day. but i think the run-off is this friday. so their voting day must jump around too.

2. Rambling Man - May 3, 2007

i think most of them have been on a thursday but the government can certainly change it if they want to – what the media are saying is that the party in power (fianna fail) want to disenfranchise the student vote because they wouldn’t normally get it anyway

3. laurie - May 3, 2007

your bertie scandal sounds a bit like our wolfowitz scandal.

all i can say is, why can’t i be one of these girlfriends that the rich and powerful give good jobs and lots of money to???

4. Rambling Man - May 3, 2007

would you want to be though ? i just can’t get over the fact that these kind of things have a positive effect on someones ratings …i can’t explain it …

5. Laurie - May 3, 2007

no, i wouldn’t want to be. i was kidding.

and i’m with you on the weirdness of a scandal like this making someone more popular. i think it has to do with personality–some people can get away with murder. ahhh, tha’ts just bernie! they say.

clinton was like that. almost. until monica. but sex in america is never approved of. we are puritan to our core.

6. Rambling Man - May 3, 2007


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