Conceding soft scores – the date of the Presidential election
The announcement that the Irish Presidential election and a pair of referenda are to be held on October 27 isn’t, in the great scheme of things, all that important but in this instance it is a sign that the government is going to be worryingly prone to going native and conceding soft scores to the opposition. See the date of the election is much less significant than the day, a Thursday. Yep we’re back with voting on Thursdays again.
I had a brief exchange with someone on the twitter box and he was defending the government on the following basis that staff would not be available, that the following Monday is a bank holiday so we couldn’t have the count over the weekend and lastly it was the last possible time to have it cos we were bound by the constitution to have someone in place, that delaying another week or 9 days would leave us all devoid of a President and so laid bare to the world as not a real republic. (how it looks when a President dies and we don’t have a Vice-President in place to hold the door for visitors I don’t know. Perhaps, we’re worried the constitution will get all huffy if we don’t have a president sworn in on time and it will just debunk to Aruba)
Now let’s face it, those would be shite reasons if ff were in government & they are still shite now that we are. I happen think that we as a nation and the party that I’m a member of are better than this sort of guff.
Imagine that it is seriously being advanced as a reason to hold it on this specific Thursdays that with months to simply pick a date we ended up running out of time cos we have to invite people to the inauguration and book the Aras (cos that’s a place that is normally booked out with events well into the new year.) Surely, we can let various people know when the inauguration will be in advance without having to know who the winner is, or are we concerned the winner might want to go on a crash diet to look their best for the day?
Or should we consider it plausible that in a country with a huge downturn in tourist numbers there won’t be any suitable hall available in the various towns and cities to count the votes. Now these same halls are empty the Friday night of a bank holiday, but are all apparently committed to events the rest of the weekend. Well except for their commitment to be available on the Saturday morning or later in case the count runs over, but they’ve definitely got plans on Saturday night! Or maybe just on the Sunday.
And let’s all keep in mind these highly specialised staff that we need for the count who are simply not going to be available on the Saturday on a bank holiday weekend but who are apparently footloose and fancy free on the Friday night of a bank holiday! Of course if the 3 counts run a bit late (and with half a dozen candidates that is no impossible) it is entirely possible that they will be expected to make themselves available on the Saturday. And no disrespect meant here but they don’t exactly need to undertake a year of intensive training and backpack across the MackGillicuddy reeks in order to be able to count votes. Sure it is good to have some experienced heads but most of the staff won’t be and need not be that skilled.
Now I am not expecting the date to change cos of the arguments that anyone least of all myself make, but I am expecting that those arguments were considered before picking this date and as a result to hear somewhat better reasons than those outlined so far.
If we want to market ourselves as a knowledge economy it would help to not treat the people living, working and voting in it like they were thick.
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