It is election time in Ireland. Irish people go to the poles and vote on Friday. It`s been unusual in some ways. Very many people are tired of politicians in general and what they see as the empty promises that all parties have given over the years. There is always a certain amount of people who believe this but I sense this time these people have increased many times and there is now a general belief among the population that what politicians say is generally untrue.
Fine Gael, one political party in power, promised when they came to power they would “burn the bondholders”, meaning banks would no longer be paid money by the state. The new government continued to pay money to the banks. Fine Geal promised a free and high quality health care. We never got it. Labour, another party in government, promised to protect workers. They did not and they are responsible for introducing the harshest policies during the recession which has resulted in homelessness and the highest suicide rate in Europe.
There has been another mass rally of Irish people during this time. 80,000 people marched last Saturday to protest against charging for and privatizing Ireland`s water. People are tired from the government dipping into their pockets and taking money people can`t afford to give.
The problem is, in this election, people seem bored of politics. The postman said to me ” I don`t want to vote in people and all they will do is be driven around in posh cars”
I feel particularly strongly about the state of our health services. I put my money where my mouth is and got invited on RTE national television to talk about the mental health system. A few hours before the show they told me I was not going on the show. I was really disappointed because I just wanted to help so many people in Ireland that are suffering and then I was told no so that was that. I then went on Twitter to inform people of the censorship by RTE national television. People continously retweeted my tweet for an hour. There is a lot of goodness in people after all.
I know that America are also having an election and face difficult choices as to who to choose as president. To everyone in a democracy I would say use your vote. It`s fine to say “I`m bored with politics, they don`t ever do what they promise”. But the vote Irish people now have we only achieved through a war with Britain that started with The Rising in 1916, 100 years ago. A vote is our only say in politics, an integral part of democracy. So use your vote.