1. It is almost impossible to engage the electorate on any sort of mildly complex issue. Many modern voters refuse to accept an obligation to inform themselves, and will use the phrase “there wasn’t enough information” when they mean “I’m not reading a three page leaflet. Twink is on The Late Late.”
2. Some parts of in Ireland have now started wallowing in self-pity, and vote accordingly. The only thing that agitates them more than being run by dem fellas in Dublin is the thought of their county being run by themselves and their neighbours. Or paying their money towards services in their county.
3. Many elements of the Irish media struggle to prevent any debate on a social issue descending into hysterical emotionalism. You rarely hear Jeremy Paxman ask an interviewee how they “feel” about something.
4. Contrary to popular belief, most Irish people are quite happy with the above. The fact that more people get more energised about the government trying to stop their own faeces from contaminating their children’s drinking water than reforming our inept political system says it all, really.
5. Irish politicians, for the most part, see the political system as being a means of paying them salaries and pensions they never dreamt of. Governing is a bit of a nuisance. The only time you’ll see them debate democracy will be when the EU/IMF starts asking what exactly we need 218 full-time parliamentarians for anyway?