The diary of a first-time voter: Revealing the utter rubbish spouted by politicians

Many students in Trinity seem to approve of the Social Democrats, and it’s not all that hard to see why.

I’ve said before that they have appealing policies. The lingering suspicion that the party could “do a Labour” on it, and betray the trust of the left-wing voters, hardly comes into the equation on this campus. Apart from the obvious differences between the parties (left-wing politics are not in fact entirely interchangeable), exposure plays a very large role in the student support for the party.

It’s like Glenna Lynch has no home to go to. She never leaves this university. One week she’s speaking at pizza- laden events, and the next she’s popping up at student activist marches for those sweet, sweet “connecting with the youth” photo ops.

In fact, the first piece that I wrote for the Trinity News was a panel on homelessness, featuring Lynch and several experts hosted by Trinity Social Democrats.

This was probably my first experience in witnessing politicians as real-life people. It was rather underwhelming.

Whenever there’s an expert panel on a social issue, it appears that the passion and knowledge of the people who actually work on, or with, the issue, throw the utter rubbish that some politicians spout into sharp relief.

Do people sit a crash course on how to stick obvious statements like “housing is a problem” and words without meaningful context like “empowerment” together? They sit, and furrow their brows, and nod seriously, but it seems so false.

The diary of a first-time voter: Revealing the utter rubbish spouted by politicians

Isn’t it their job to know about these things? I’m writing this as I walk down Grafton St at 8.15am on a Friday, and I’m passing doorway after doorway of blue sleeping bags, each one a cocoon of cold, hunger, pain, and humiliation. I’ll say this now, because somehow I’ve ended up writing for an actual paper, so I can. Not all the postulated rhetoric, or jargon, or buzzwords in the world are going to save these people.

That wasn’t intended to be an attack on the Social Democrats, I should add. As it stands, I couldn’t vote for them anyway.

Ken Curtin is the only candidate from the party anywhere near Cork (Cork East).

Ken Curtin
Ken Curtin

 

I’m realising that I may have spent too much time focusing on political parties rather than on individuals.

It’s easy to hide ignorance behind glossy logos, regardless of the affiliated body. Compare our political system to the one in the US, where politicians’ faults are less sheltered behind the broader divisions of Republican and Democrat.

When they are attacked with negative campaigning, it is more often based on the decisions made in their own political history, as opposed to the party’s political history. Lorna Bogue (Green Party), Fiona Ryan (Anti-Austerity Alliance), and Jim O’Connell (People Before Profit) are all politicians in Cork who I want to speak to, to gauge their honest personality.

Twitter won’t help that, no matter how modern or progressive it might seem for use in political outreach.

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