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  • Green shoots, Green scores

    June 2, 2009 @ 11:17 am | by Kilian Doyle

    Are we mishearing him, or is Green Party candidate for the ward of Pembroke-Rathmines Dave Robbins telling us his daughter was born in a park?

    We know the Greens like to be earthy, but that’s a bit of a step too far, wouldn’t you agree?

    Seriously though, he seems a decent chap, and, married as we are to an urban farmer, we echo his enthusiastic approach to growing one’s own food, even if he does lay on the self-satisfied Dublin 4-6 “I only feed Siofra and Fiachra organic food from Donnybrook Fair” schtick a bit thick. And he reminds us of Declan Ganley.

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  • Most unfortunate slogan of the campaign?

    @ 9:06 am | by Kilian Doyle

    Independent Limerick County Council candidate Richie Smith (48) urges the electorate to “cut the bull” in this recent newspaper ad.

    As Limerick Blogger points out, this is a “poor choice of words” considering his conviction earlier this year for cruelty to animals “of the most appalling kind”.

    Meanwhile, someone’s been having fun with the world’s cheapest computer graphics programme and a Commodore 64. The results are, predictably, awful.

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  • A penny for your thoughts, Taoiseach

    June 1, 2009 @ 9:02 pm | by Kilian Doyle

    This is from a Fianna Fáil press conference in Dublin’s Burlington Hotel today. It features Taoiseach Brian Cowen and FF’s  two Dublin candidates  in the European elections, Lord Mayor Eibhlin Byrne and  Eoin  Ryan, MEP.

    What a happy trio they make.

    It would be remiss of us not to run a caption competition, given the material.  And the fact that every other website, blog and forum in Ireland is doing it. There’s no prizes, only the adulation of millions.   (Keep it clean, folks.) ffcaption.JPG

    Photo from Fianna Fáil Flickr account

  • It’s all Boyleing over

    @ 10:06 am | by Kilian Doyle

    As you are no doubt aware, Senator Dan Boyle, the Green party’s candidate in the European election South constituency, is a second cousin of singing sensation Susan Boyle.

    He was very impressed with her performance on hit TV show Britain’s Got Talent at the weekend.

    “She did very well and acquitted herself well,” he said of the relative he has never met. “If I get a fraction of the votes she got, I’ll be very happy.”

    Anyway, it’s well-known among political circles the Senator is no mean crooner himself.  Go here to hear Dan singing self-penned ditty The New Generation for the European Greens Green Vision song contest.

    Reports that Simon Cowell’s minions have been parked outside the Senator’s house for weeks, contract at the ready, have yet to be confirmed.

  • An example to the big boys (and girls)

    May 30, 2009 @ 11:52 am | by Kilian Doyle

    It’s probably a bit late for candidates to start thinking about campaign videos, but we were really struck by one we found on Irish Election from Lech Szczecinski, an Independent running for Dublin City council in the South-West Inner City ward.

    Using a simple yet engaging concept,  it is an example to all campaigners on limited budgets.  And those swimming in cash too. Lech admits he cannot doorstep 16,000 voters, so this is shot from the doorsteppees point of view.

    He comes across as personable, intelligent, likeable and trustworthy. We don’t know anything about his former life in Poland, but he reminds us of a geography teacher we had in school who managed to make karst, moraines and oxbow lakes sound like the most fascinating things on earth.

    The iffy Eurotrance soundtrack spoils it a bit, and Lech gets a tad carried away with  the cheesy graphics at the end, but you can’t have everything.

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    Lech makes the point that some 10 per cent of Ireland’s residents are non-nationals. As Ruadhán Mac Cormaic writes in The Irish Times today, immigrants are beginning to make their political mark on the Irish landscape. He notes that this year, more than 40 foreign candidates from some 13 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the US are standing, 30 of whom were selected by the main parties (only Sinn Féin has none).

    So, do you think immigrant voters could upset long-standing voting patterns? And have the main political parties done enough to address their concerns and tap into this demographic?

  • Arra, suren ev’ryting’s grand

    May 29, 2009 @ 6:06 pm | by Kilian Doyle

    There is a huge amount of smiling in this video. Has nobody told them this country’s going to hell in handcart? And do they not read polls?

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  • If you’ve got time on your hands

    @ 12:08 pm | by Kilian Doyle

    Ever wanted  to know what Poles/Czechs/Germans think of European issues in 140 characters or less? Well, now you can. is a nifty website where you can follow in real time what people are saying about the European elections on Twitter.

    If you want to take part, simply insert the #eu09 hashtag when tweeting, and your missive will appear almost instantly. Clever, eh?

  • Equality of the sexes

    May 28, 2009 @ 1:40 pm | by Kilian Doyle

    We’ve had a bit of grief over our previous post about the foxiest female election candidates.

    While it was clearly intended to be a light-hearted post highlighting the sad fact that many people vote with bits of their anatomy other than their brains, some readers failed to see it like this and asked would we treat men the same way.

    The answer, as you can see below, is yes.

    Others called for the balance to be redressed by the publication of a similar photomontage of handsome male candidates. Again, their wish is our command.

    Before any of these five fine things get too big for their boots, we must point out that this is most certainly not a definitive list. We just pestered a few female colleagues, one of whom, as you can tell, has a thing for the unshaven look.

    L-R John Lyons (Labour), Ross O’Mullane (Independent), Hugh Lewis (People Before Profit Alliance), Eoghan Murphy (Fine Gael), Ronan Callely (Fianna Fail)

    Everyone happy now?

  • Spin or substance

    @ 11:54 am | by Kilian Doyle

    Here’s a quote from Minister for Social Affairs Mary Hanafin yesterday on Fianna Fáil’s chances in the forthcoming elections.

    “I certainly don’t believe all the really dire and disastrous predictions that are there, it’s certainly not going to be as bad as that.”

    Spin or substance?

    Meanwhile, up in the North West constituency, Libertas leader Declan Ganley claims his party is on the rise. ”We have seen an almost incredible momentum shift. The West is waking. People are taking notice. The choice is becoming clear.”

    Same question.

  • Online campaigning: visionary or window-dressing? Discuss

    @ 10:16 am | by Kilian Doyle

    Labour candidate in the Tallaght ward for the South Dublin County Council election Dermot Looney has issued a brave boast. He claims that his online campaign is the “biggest and best” out of several thousand local election candidates in Ireland.

    Them’s fighting words, fella. Methinks the Greens, who seem to be on a mission to take over the whole Internet, may have a thing or two to say about that.

    To give Looney credit, he has been running his blog for years, with – he says – great success.  Not only that, but he has deftly cut the slaggers off at the pass by calling it the The Looney Left, which is a gesture of self-deprecation rarely seen among politicians.

    As anyone with even a passing interest in elections is aware, Irish political parties have embraced the Internet this year in a way never before seen, undoubtedly inspired by the success of the Obama campaign’s online mobilisation prior to last year’s US presidential elections, which changed politics forever.

    From MEPs with big budgets to lowly aspirant town council members, Irish candidates, like Obama’s team, are using every tool at their disposal, from websites to blogs to Facebook to Youtube to Twitter, in a bid to reach as many potential voters as possible. And, lest we forget, fundraise. 

    However, Ireland and the US are very different animals. The sheer scale of the US, which has a population nearly 75 times the size of ours and 140 times the land mass, means it is simply unfeasible for a US presidential candidate to knock on every door or even speak in every city. The internet was therefore quite simply the only possible way to reach everyone.

    While the same could be said for the large European election constituencies, most Irish politicians do not have the excuse of being unable to cover all the ground, particularly in the local elections, where candidates are vying to represent relatively small electorates. It could be argued that no matter how visible their online presence, there is still no substitute for politicians wearing out shoe leather and pressing the flesh.

    Or is there? What do you think? Is Politics 2.0  worthwhile, a waste of time or a bit of both?

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