Interesting piece here from British Labour MP Tom Harris about why people don’t bother to vote. I have to admit that the last local and European elections were the first time I seriously considered not voting, because I just don’t see the point. Local government in Ireland is pretty much pointless and exists almost entirely for the benefit of politicians, and the European Parliament does not change as a result of elections, as the three main parties just carve stuff up between themselves. In the coming mayoral election in Dublin, if the mayor doesn’t actually have the power to do things (as oppose to consult and chair things) you would have to ask is it worth the hassle?
The funny thing is, people will vote for power. If every constituency had, for example, an elected official who had the power (and the funds) to actually fix things whether it was welfare entitlements, speed ramps, graffitti, etc, I suspect that people would actually turn out to vote for such a person.
The problem for me is that literally hundreds of elected Irish officials exist purely to “call” on other people (who have power) to do things, and then send us a bill, through our taxes, for having done so.