Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The Internal Party Election.

Posted by Jason O on Apr 23, 2015 in Not quite serious., Occasional Guide to Irish Politics |

There’s a weirdness to internal party elections, caused by the fact that it is wannabe politicians canvassing other wannabe politicians. That and the odd mix between inoffensive “I have to write something on the canvass card” blandness mixed with surreal claims of worthiness.

“I am passionately committed to this party (really?) and to serving the best interests of the party members. And my great grandfather shot an Englishman in 1919.”

The sheer terror of saying anything that might offend anyone who might not give you a 15th preference is palpable. If the canvass cards were scratch n’ sniff (remember them) it would be the odour of pure sweaty fear. It’s either stand by your cronies or your man is from the same county. Unless of course he’s contesting the same ward as you. Then he’s got “stories going around about him. You know. One of those fellas.” For the women it’s worse, trying to look attractive but not too attractive, putting up with the too-close talkers with porter on their breath and busy hands.

The younger candidates, desperately trying to look mature, turn up in suits and and constantly trying to get pictures of themselves with party luminaries to show they are moving in serious circles and are therefore serious themselves.

Unlike in other countries, where different factions fight it out based on their viewpoint of where they want society to go, this isn’t about direction of the party. This is about winning elections because they’re elections. The day after the election? Never you mind, that’s none of your business.

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