Monday, February 26, 2007

Beyond Irony

Meanwhile in Kerry, an embittered old man polishes his father's medals and stares into the middle distance, while a nation celebrates.

The only sound, other than singing, during God Save The Queen was of a large portion of the Irish media muttering "Ah crap, there goes my pre-written story". Their attempts to whip up some controversy last week over the matter were despicable and pathetic. We deserve better.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Some Dutch Gold To Ease Our Election Angst

Maybe Bertie communes with CJH using Ray Burke as a medium.
Maybe Enda has trouble fighting off a cold let alone knife wielding muggers.
Maybe Michael wears a leather overcoat and peaked cap in the privacy of his own home.
Maybe Pat keeps a €20 note printing press in the back of his wardrobe.
Maybe Trevor dreams of hunting endangered species in an SUV with no catalytic converter.

Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Call me hopelessly naive and old fashioned but isn't voting for a new government meant to have some small relation to picking the party or candidates with the policies you are most in agreement with? Sure character is important both in terms of having the credibility and ability to get their policies implemented and also for the nature of the response to unknown future events that a five year term are bound to throw up. But whatever about their character, the important thing is for voters to want to get done what the parties say they will do.

"I like Bertie Enda Pat Etc. He'll get things done. I just disagree with what he wants to do."

During the Dutch elections an online service called Vote Match helped take some of the personality element out of the voting equation.

The Vote Match system compares your political preferences with questions and statements taken from election documents of political parties contesting the elections. You can give your views on these statements by clicking on 'agree', 'disagree', ‘neutral’ or 'don’t know'. After responding to all statements, you can indicate which issues you consider of extra importance. The program will then calculate which party has opinions closest to yours, and rank the other parties in descending order.

So who wants to create an Irish election version of this? And given the recent policy gyrations, would there be any point?

Because Tonight All the Parties Think It's 1979

Labour promises to keep changing policies until they discover one votes like lower tax rates. The PDs promise to buy votes increase social welfare spending on pensions. Fianna Fail warns everyone not to get carried away and talks about fiscal responsibility.

Who has been spiking the drinking water at Leinster House?