Yesterday I vote in the Irish elections. Today (and tomorrow I think) they’re counting the votes. I’ve been sort of avoiding the live courage, but it’s pretty inescapable. It’s on TV (which is on the shops), it’s filling my intertube feeds. Instead I focused on doing stuff with the kids, playing football with my 3yo son in the morning and then taking my 6yo daughter to her pony riding lessons in the evening. Afterwards, on impulse, I suggested taking the stabilisers off her bike for the first time. My arm is wrecked from holding her saddle while she tried to keep balanced. And then when my wife came back from the shops with my son, and so the kids and myself spend the remaining light climbing trees and running around on the grass with my son’s hysterical laughter.
I normally try to avoid talking or writing about politics, mostly because I feel I don’t know enough or that I haven’t thought deeply about it. (A quirk of being an engineer is that you are more aware of what you don’t know, then what you do). But I think this time, it is worth speaking about, even if it’s just to say, I have thought about it. And I was torn about my vote this time. I didn’t vote the Fianna Fail last time and certainly not this time. I put my first preferences to Labour. I’m not liking their policies on tax (I’d be hit by it) but they are more liberal in their other policies such as, the can of worms that is, abortion and also equal marriage rights for gays. The Fine Gael seem to be going backwards on these issues.
This year we, as a family, have started to feel the pinch. Both my wife and myself work full time, we’re got college degree’s behind us, ten years professional careers. But yet, we’re starting to accumulate a debt, one we can’t just shake off. We’re certainly not in danger yet, our mortgage is still paid on time. But the reasons for this are rooted in the politics, the disastrous decisions of the previous government, a government I had voted against last time.
The result, as far as I can tell so far, looks like what was predicated before the vote. The idea that Enda Kenny will be Taoiseach just because he didn’t make any mistakes during the election campaign, just feels off-putting. It’s obvious I’m not entirely happy about the result so far, I wanted more change. But the important thing is that it’s a change. A reminder that being in government shouldn’t be taken for granted.
I don’t think our debt is going to disappear when the new government shake their magic wand at the IMF or that things are going to get easier. I suspect things will get harder to be honest.
I’m still cooling off from running around chasing the kids outside. They are quiet now watching some DVD on the TV. Dinner is on as I’m typing away on my blog. No matter what the rest of the result is, the government has changed. That’s something.