Thursday, May 24, 2007

Election Fever

Today is election day here in Ireland. For the last month every available lamp post and telegraph pole has been adorned with posters of all the men and women who hope to be elected to the Dail (Irish Parliament). There have been very public slanging matches and televised debates and according to the media it is a very close race. As is the nature with politics things suddenly happen just before an election. Those of you who read about the measly donation the current government gave our school will recall how the parents were asked to fund the majority of the building work. On Tuesday representatives of the Minister of Education, who happens to be hoping to be elected in my area, came to the school and handed out letters detailing an increase in the amount to be funded by the government. Instead of the original €300,000 they promised they are now giving €763,000. This is more than double the original amount and means that the school only has to raise €387,000 (which it has already done through parental donations). Now I don't know about you but to me this stinks of a cunning plan: pay out at the last minute and we'll all be so relieved and pleased that we'll vote for the current Minister of Education. Well in this house it doesn't work like that!

Even though I am English I am allowed to vote in the General Election in Ireland as well as local elections. However I am not allowed to vote on Constitutional changes and referendums.

22 comments:

Lisa said...

You don't have citizenship rights? How does that work?
(And I'm with you about the politicians.)

john.g. said...

Politicians, PAAH! Can't trust any of them.

PortraitofPeter said...

Beccy, well done!!

You have experienced the UK's shady dealings of politics!!

Enjoy casting your vote

ChrisB said...

beccy did you actually vote? and even though you can see through the ploy it's still good the school has the extra money!!

Beccy said...

Lisa I have kept my British citizenship therefore am not allowed to vote on constitutional changes or referendums. I could get Irish citizenship but I'm English and wish to remain so.

Especially when the head honcho has been caught taking backhanders John!

Peter, I just worry that they think we're dumb enough to fall for it!

Of course mother, I wouldn't be able to claim if I didn't vote. All the children were very interested in the election as well. Great news about the money, now they have more than they wanted.

Jamie Starbuck said...

We had council elections recently in Plymouth. One week in, the conservatives have reduced the amount of time allowed for questions on council actions and had an injuction put on the local paper for reporting on sexual harrassment allegations.

willowtree said...

You are talking about Northern Ireland right?

frannie said...

that is very shady!

is the school still expecting you to give them the $1000. (how do you do the other symbol for pounds??)

enidd said...

is it because eire is an eu country beccy? enidd thinks she could vote in france. not in the usa though...

Carla said...

It's a little disheartening to realize polititians are the same regardless of where they're from.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear beccy. That totally stinks of crappy politicking. He just wants to get elected back into the area.

Now, this is what I don't get. Voting on a weekday? In Australia, voting is compulsory for everyone over the age of 18 (hence all the Aussies hanging out the front of Australia house at election time). Thus, to ensure everyone has as much chance as possible to reach the election booths, voting is always on a Saturday. That works for me! And because we were brought up on that compulsory system, people don't really mind voting - it only takes 10 minutes after all. In the US, they have the votes on Thursdays, and many working people don't have the time or energy to vote...

Argh! Sorry. Rant.

Emma in Canada said...

So who did you vote for? Or are you one of those who doesn't tell?

Steffi said...

I don´t like elections very much because it´s always the same who you vote and for what you vote my life is after every election the same...and the little peoples must pay the bills.I think so.

Extra money for the school that´s good!

Beccy said...

Jamie, the Tories didn't take long to stick their oar in!

WT, actually I'm talking about the Republic of Ireland, not part of Northern Ireland or the UK in any form.

Frannie the school have received donations from over 120 families and they still want all the families to contribute! Now they have extra money and we'll wait to see what they choose to spend it on.

Enidd, I think you're right. Although the politicians claim that uk and Ireland share a special relationship therefore it was always easy to travel between the two countries.

Carla, but not surprising!

LMM, voting here and in the UK is usually a Thursday. There was talk of changing it this year but they didn't. The polling stations are open from 8am till 10.30pm so I guess that gives everyone time to vote as it is much longer than a working shift.

Emma, voting here is done by proportional representation. My no.1 vote was for an independent candidate who has views similar to mine and really cares about the area I live in.

I agree Steffi although for us it meant the school got more money.

Sally Lomax said...

As you have lived there so long, can you not become a Citizen?

The Gymnast (8 year old) was born in Northern Ireland, and as I understand it, although the British kept 6 counties, the Irish ahve never fully acknowledged such, and so if you are born inthe North, you can have an Irish passport, as well as a British one.

Similarly, would you be allowed dual citizenship?

alissa said...

Politics... all so very shady!

Here, in Canada, the Conservatives decided to pay every family, regardless of income level, $100 per month per child under six. So even if you have a household income of say, $4,000,000,000 a year, you'd still get $300 a month if you had 3 kids under 6 years old.

I am a Conservative, and I did vote for them, but not for those reasons. However, I don't think they would have gotten back in power had it not been for that tactic. (Yes, it worked. Go figure!)

Nice to hear that you can't be bought.

Amy W said...

Interesting. But I like learning how it works in places other than the US.

Asha said...

Ahh..! Politics! I hate it!
Same here,school system asking for more money but they only get half!What happens is more fund raising and cancellation of Music classes,which is sad!
Go vote!!:))
Have a great weekend Beccy.

Beccy said...

Sally, I have no desire to become an Irish citizen.

Alissa, I'm not surprised that worked!

Amy, I'm sure the back biting is the same everywhere.

Asha, I'm delighted our school were looking for the money at election time or we may never have got it.

alfaking said...

The same kind of trick is used here also. All kinds of bribes; Pressure cookers, roads tarred, recreaton grounds erected, donations to socio-cultural organisations, name it.... This is what we call "Putting people first", a famous slogan in our country during the last elections. It's real fun; not when you see all the mess jsut after the elections...
If you remember one of my posts: "election invalidation" at http://alfaking.wordpress.com/2007/04/02/election-invalidation/, this year one politician's election was invalidated by the Supreme Court, due to alleged bribery. He's appealed to the Privy Council.

my4kids said...

Sounds shady to me.
In Oregon we don't go to the polls for elections we do it all on mail in ballots. They don't even have election centers anymore. It gives me more time to get it in I guess but I've heard that they don't get as many ballots in that way.
Our schools get most of the funding for building and remodeling from the state funds but they constantly complain that they don't get enough then raise or taxes but it never changes no matter how often they raise them the school just finds new ways of wasting money.

willowtree said...

Well now, that is interesting! I just assumed it was the other place.