A couple of candidates have caught my eye over the campaign, and I feel are worth having a look at:
First up, Averil Power of Fianna Fail, whom Pat Rabbitte has single-handedly elevated into a national figure. Now, let me be up front. Averil is a friend of mine. I disagree with her on a lot, as she is to my right on law and order, and to my left economically, but she’s in politics to do, not to be, and that’s worth something.
The “National Independents”, non-party candidates running on the big picture as opposed to getting a new roof for Athboy Toothchippers United, are an interesting development. Check out: Shane Ross, Paul Sommerville, Stephen Donnelly, and John McGuirk. Again, I’m friendly with John McGuirk in a know to say hello kind of way. Will any of them be elected? Ross, on sheer name recognition, and given the constituency, must be in with a shout, but the others have an uphill struggle. Having said that, this is the weirdest election I’ve ever witnessed, and their use of new technology, whilst being over-hyped (Once again, this is the social media election. Yawn) is an interesting way of getting voters familiar with them as people. In particular, check out John McGuirk’s introductory video on his website. It’s professional, straightforward, self-deprecating, and gives you a good snapshot of who he is and where he stands. And it’s filmed at the bottom of the sea!
Have also to put a word in for county councillor Victor Boyhan, who is running as an independent in Dun Laoghaire. I knew Victor in the PDs, and he was very much on the Progressive wing of the Progressive Democrats. A decent man, and worth a look.
As an aside, it shows once again the argument for electoral reform and a national constituency. Looking at some of these candidates, I’m reminded that a candidate does not have to live in my area to represent me or my values, and I should be able to vote for them.
Finally, a word about Dylan Haskins: When I first saw Dylan’s campaign, which seems to be an avant-garde piece of street performance as much as a political campaign, I sneered at it. Yet the more you look at his efforts, the more you have to give him credit. His policies are no less thoughtful than most FF/FG backbencher remarks, and he does seem to recognise that a campaign isn’t all about just website and Twitter, but about actually knocking on doors and speaking to real voters. He’s doing exactly what we say concerned citizens should do. If you are not happy, get up off your arse and do something about it, and for that I wish him the very best. Check out his introductory video.