An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Thursday, June 10, 2004  

Thoughts for the day

Reagan everywhere. When I start to feel sentimental and warm, 'cos he was a nice guy really, I just have to think: Iran/Contra and Star Wars - he never quite grasped it wouldn't work. Never let human rights get in the way of keepin Marxists out of government in Central America. And it was pretty obvious the Alzheimers had set in a lot earlier than '94. Still, watching old footage, you do realise what a gifted communicator he was and why he was so popular; the shots of Gorbachev arriving in Geneva being the most iconic for me. Gorbachev was so much younger, but in his grey coat and scarf he looked 20 years older than Reagan who bounced down the steps to greet him in a suit and tan. Also it makes you realise what a dundering fool is in the Oval Office now.

Polls close in the the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland today; ours open tomorrow. Reports of a dismal turnout in the North tally with my anecdotal evidence. Of my hubby's 10 immediate family members - 2 voted - the parents. And to think that 30 years ago the Stormont government was refusing housing for Catholics as only householders/owners could vote in elections. That's what 'the Troubles' was all about. Does affluence negate democracy? It would appear so. John Bruton did say throughout the 90's that people would continue to vote for Fianna Fail as they (the people) (and FF of course) had money in their pockets. People only get interested in politics and an opposition when they run out of cash. Perhaps a little recession would persuade the middle class Catholics to appreciate why 3,000 people died in our recent past.

Finally, the Labour government continue to defend postal voting. I'm firmly with the Australians when it comes to voting. Given the number of people who suffered and died throughout the world for the right to vote, it should be a crime NOT to vote. Instead Bliar tries to make it easier for people to do so by experimenting with the postal vote. The obvious happened. The post was delayed, people who don't care just throw the papers in the bin anyway and the way is clear for intimidation and fraud. There are several advantages to a polling booth. Identification of the voter is simple and the secrecy of the ballot is preserved. With the postal vote and nasties like the BNP around, its very easy to nick ballot papers or insist on watching someone fill their's out. I say, round them all up and frogmarch them to the polling stations. They are within 5 minutes of their homes and it takes maximum 10 minutes. Is that so hard? Isn't that why Reagan thought it was important to defeat the Evil Empire?

posted by Sarah | 22:49 0 comments
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