The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Majesty Of Democracy

(Being a short treatise on Local and European Elections in Ireland)

Bleak and winterish the weather was but it no way intruded upon my spirit as I ventured into the polling station at Kilcullen National School.
Democracy is a gift. Our ancestors bequeathed it to us. And we're lucky to have it.
While despising Ireland's supposedly mainstream political parties for legalising abortion, I still insist on admiring anyone who submits themselves to the electoral process by having the courage to stand before us at election time.
Question: Where would be if we had no leaders?
Answer: Somalia, Syria, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Russia, etc etc.
And we can be those if we really want to be.
Particularly etc etc.
So I insist on admiring the politicians even when I despise them.
It is a complex position but normally I can pull it off.
In the polling station the supervising officers Anne Flanagan and Geraldine O'Rourke provided me with two separate voting sheets, one for the local elections and one for the Europeans.
They seemed awfully amused about something.
Soon I was ensconced in the voting booth, toying with the fate of the nation.
Now let's see.
Start with the European parliament.
Who ya gonna call?
I held my camera at arms length to get a shot of myself voting.
"Ronan Mullen the Pro Lifer number one," I mused to myself, "then we'll have Independent number two, Independent number three, Independent number four, and I suppose I'd better give a number five to the Shinner even though they're abortionists too they're still not Fine Gael or Labour or Fianna Fail. And they kept their word after the peace process which I opposed but which the mainstream parties signed me up to. They kept their word in renouncing violence. So let's not let Enda Kenny or anyone else label them as killers."
By the way for those of you who've just arrived, Shinner is the colloquial Irish term for Sinn Fein the party which formerly represented the IRA terror army and its adherents.
"You better be careful," called out one of the lady polling officers. "If people see that photo they'll know who you voted for. You might have Ming the Merciless coming after you."
"He won't be coming after me," I shot back. "He has my vote. He got my Number Four. I don't like his drug use but I like the way he stood up for the turf cutters when Europe was trying to shut them down."
"Maybe he was smoking the turf," chimed in Polling Chief Maurice O'Mahoney who had entered the room unbeknownst to me.
I returned to the matter in hand.
Europe settled.
Time for the locals.
"Hmmm," I mused. "Number one Seamie Moore because he's Independent, number two Independent, number three Independent, number four Independent, and oh, there's another Shinner, let's give him a vote just because Enda Kenny is so sure I never will. There we go."
The job was done.
There was time to pose for some more photographs with the polling staff.
Then I headed out into the rainswept dusk of evening, sure in my heart that no matter how bad things are in Kilcullen, at least we're better off than in the South Kildare capital of Athy where there were a grand total of nought Independents standing for election.


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