Quandary about 2013 would put years on you

Sat, Dec 29, 2012, 00:00

That’s another year chalked off the list, but before we can purge ourselves of the grime of 2012 and enter 2013 afresh there are still some outstanding questions that need addressing.

Did we change car registrations because of superstition?In the most recent budget it was announced that 2013 car registrations will be broken into two halves of the year: 131 and 132. On the face of it this was presented as a way of incentivising new car sales, but there is a deep suspicion that it was done to appease the car industry’s fear of a superstitious public – given that this was exactly the compromise it suggested when putting forward ideas to appease a superstitious public. Plus, Michael Noonan’s horoscope had predicted it.

Following that lead, 2013 should instead be known as 2012A; and no official forms should carry a 13 as the year, but instead be referred to as, for example, the “1st January, in the year of our Lord, Wink Wink”.

It is important to acknowledge, however, that many people do have a genuine fear of a particular number printed on a piece of metal and attached to their vehicle. They would be reluctant to have such a thing on their car as they speed through the streets while texting their friends about how icy the roads are.

Meanwhile, there was also a fourfold increase in marriages on 12/12/12, so we’re as capable of being dumbly superstitious in a positive way as in a negative one.

It would be interesting to go back in 20 years’ time and see if those marriages have fewer break-ups. Unfortunately that would require a large study rather than the previous alternative, which was to just call TV3’s Psychic Readings Live.

Can we ever get enough of those referendums?While most people will remember the most recent children’s referendum – although most didn’t remember it in time to actually vote – who could forget the true superstar referendum of the year: the Fiscal Compact Treaty. Thankfully it in no way required a masters in European law and economics to understand it.

On the day the question was straightforward and simple, asking only that “The State may ratify the Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union done at Brussels on the 2nd day of March 2012. No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by the obligations of the State under that Treaty or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by bodies competent under that Treaty from having the force of law in the State.”

This replaced the original proposal, which read: “It doesn’t matter if your brain shut down every time it came on the radio, just tick a box so we can just get on with planning for another referendum.”

Should Micheál Martin hide in a cupboard for three more years?The most recent opinion poll placed the Fianna Fáil leader as the most popular party leader in the State, to which most people’s reaction was: “Oh yeah, Micheál Martin is leader of Fianna Fáil. I’d forgotten about those guys.”

His popularity appeared to be purely down to his complete absence from public view. Since that poll he’s been making a few more appearances, largely popping up to criticise the Government for its handling of the mess Fianna Fáil created. However, he should be cautious. To keep the upward trend going he needs to follow the original winning formula and disappear from sight. Only then can he one day hope to lead Fianna Fáil to a position where the party can again banjax the country on its own terms.

Will Labour have more dissident TDs than they’ll have real TDs come the next election?As recent history has taught us, junior coalition partners have a habit of arriving in the Dáil fatter than a turkey on Christmas Day, and leaving looking like a turkey on New Year’s Eve. Labour has been shedding TDs at an extraordinarily entertaining rate since early on, and at the current pace three more should lose the whip by the end of the year.

It will soon reach a point when, for future elections, its only hope of returning TDs will be to nominate candidates who will run for the Labour Party solely under the promise that they’ll leave as soon as they’re elected.

The next general election will happen by 2016 at the latest, so voters should start practising their response to Labour candidates now. “While I appreciate your pain, tough decisions have to be made in order to protect other candidates. Besides, cutting my vote for the Labour candidate should not be seen as a reduction of Labour TDs in real terms. It is simply a return to 2006 levels.”


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