I don’t agree with Fintan O’Toole about a lot of things. But I do believe him to be sincere, intelligent, and a patriot with the best interests of the wide majority at heart. I also think that he is dead on the money in saying that radical political reform is a vital part of what is needed to get the country up off its’ knees. He has brought a seriousness and a thoughtfulness to the public square that is lacking in our political system. Yes, the Jackie Healy-Raes and their supporters will sneer at him, but people have to ask themselves in their hearts: Of those two competing visions of Irish politics, Fintan and Jackie, which is more likely to have brought us to where we are today? Make your own judgement call on that.
Fintan O’Toole needs to put his name on the ballot at the general election. It’s the next logical step. If no party is offering radical political reform, then he should. Now, some of my readers have had a go at me for suggesting this on Facebook, pointing out legitimately that it’s all very easy for me to advocate other people running, and that running for election is not the only way to effect change, and that other things such as NGO activism and even blogging can affect change. These points are true. Well, the NGO one is, anyway.
As for running myself, if I was as well known as Fintan I’d be down with me nomination papers faster than a senator running at a county councillor he’s never met before (A little Seanad election humour there for the aficionados). Running for election is an expensive business, I agree, but I think Fintan could fundraise quite easily on the web, people donating five and tens and twenties. I’ll start the ball roll by pledging him €100 if he runs. Anyone want to join me? Just pledge what you can afford, no sum too small.
Worse case scenario, he loses and there’s a rake of material about the campaign to write about. Best case scenario, he wins, and can at least speak for those of us who want political reform. Is the Dail the place to bring change? I don’t know.
Let’s get one of ours on the inside and find out.