Electoral Apathy


Sir, - I can hazard a guess at why some 35 per cent of us are said to be disillusioned/apathetic/complacent when it comes to voting (The Irish Times, December 21st).

In many cases people shrug and say, "They're all the one". We are not all fooled by the pre-election charm and paper promises of various party members. We don't like to be patronised. We have had an ear to the ground for months before the razzmatazz begins. We have experienced the emptiness of pre-election promises. We can see the loopholes and the grey areas (as in the Nice Treaty). We keep an eye on Ireland's performance in the EU.

Those of us who value the personal integrity of our political representatives have viewed with interest the "brown envelopes", the tribunals and the moral values lived and unlived.

Many times I have heard people say that if they could choose a government composed of the TDs they feel they can trust, irrespective of party lines, they might be able to get what we need.

I vote to try to firmly exclude some candidates. Then I find myself left with a motley assortment. But if my vote helps to exclude one bad apple, I reckon it's worth it even if there is no sign of a Golden Delicious in the bag I'm offered.

As far as young people are concerned, we are teaching so many of them to be utterly self-centred and "comfortable" that unless they see personal gain from any action they can't be bothered participating. - Yours, etc.,

Angela Macnamara, Lower Kilmacud Road, Dublin 14.