It’s now a month since we went to the polls and I’d like to thank all 772 people who gave me their first preferences on February 26th, as well as the many more who gave me a 2nd or 3rd preference. Your trust and support means a lot to me, and I look forward to continuing to work with you in the interim before the next election.
I would also like to thank my campaign team, especially my manager Martin Byrne, tireless canvassers Ife & Tony Dimbo, and everyone else who came out to help canvass or gave a small donation.
I would also like to thank everyone who took the time to write or phone me with your questions during the campaign. When I first started in politics, many ‘experts’ told me that people just aren’t interested in policy questions. I was very happy to see that proven wrong and to receive so much interest and engagement from so many people. I know that digital democracy definitely has a future in our constituency.
I plan to run again in the European/local elections in 2019 and in the next national elections, should they occur before then. I will, therefore, continue updating this blog and my webpage, and am available to take queries or be of assistance at any time. I will also continue to work towards digital participation locally and abroad.
The outcome of the last election was fuel for the fire in this regard with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael winning nearly 60% of Dail seats with less than 50% of all first-preference votes. All three large parties (Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Sinn Fein) have proceeded to dance around the contentious issue of forming a government. This means one sure thing: unless new elections are called immediately, we will certainly end up with a government that is not even remotely reflective of voters’ first-preferences.
We’ve also seen flip-flopping on issues like abortion and water charges over the past few weeks, meaning there is definitely a lack of clarity on what precise mandate voters were giving to the main parties on these and other issues.
Issue-based decision-making where people vote directly dispenses with these difficulties, and we are ready to begin that journey. I need only compare in my mind the enthusiasm people showed for the marriage equality referendum in May with the increasing apathy and despair as the election campaign degenerated into empty back-biting to know that we can do better than this.
We will be working towards that every day from now until the next election, and our door is always open for input or volunteers.