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The Voting Game – like doing a quick pick in the lottery

Writing.ie | Member Blog


Mary Campbell

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While writers should be careful when voicing political views, is it not the job of the writer to make social commentary on the times they are living in and the political struggles that impact on their day to day lives? Raising awareness and clarifying mind boggling issues at the forefront of the political agenda is our duty as interpreters, so we may lay out the facts in plain English for our fellow countrymen. Knowledge is power and we give back power to the people. Occasionally however there comes at time when a writer must take a stand on one side of the fence at least when it comes expressing outrage at social injustices.

I live in the countryside and politicians are like movie stars, only seen on TV. God forbid if a pothole became a hotbed of discussion in an election debate! So unlike our urban counterparts we rarely know who we are voting for unless they happen to be a neighbor. This is why the posters on poles littering the countryside is such a sore subject for me. Our beautiful regional roads become defiled at election time, with some monster sized effigys even causing safety hazards at crossroads, blocking all view of oncoming traffic on already dangerous roads. Never mind the fact that they never seem to come down again after elections are over. If the voters don’t know who to vote for, surely it’s up to them to do further research and not be distracted by competing posters on every other telephone pole. A stranger’s face on a pole does not explain what that person has done or can do for our community. The very fact that they are strangers to me doesn’t say a whole lot about them either.

Last week all of the corriboard posters on the main road leading to our village were vandalised and all of the heads removed. A spooky sight to see when you are driving along the road and you see these Hitchcock like images littered one atop the other on both sides of the road.

Faceless politicians, nothing new about that around here so I penned a few lines in tribute to them. Given the debacle of opening statements on the Climate Emergency in the Dáil this week where none of our over paid representatives showed up, I think it is an apt tribute!

The Horror of the Headless Henchmen

I looked on in disgust
When on my journey home
Countless faceless politicians
Littered the side of the road

For the upcoming elections
Their placards vandalised
Each candidate defaced
For reasons I must surmise

Indiscriminate of parties
Each head was cut out
Not so much a political statement
As an electorate shout

Though I could never condone
This vindictive crime
It gave me reason to pause
Touched a chord deep inside

For if their faces were restored
I’d not know them still
They’ve done nothing round here
And I’m certain never will

Surely they must earn their votes
Not leave us with this sham lottery
Only emerging from the woodwork
In the run up to election week

For lottery it surely is
A quick pick in the booth
Like choosing a racehorse
By its name or its look

These strangers want jobs
Governing our land
But none have ‘er been ‘round
To give locals a hand

So they are faceless to me
And this butchery remains
A truly victim-less crime
That none here could blame

-Mary Campbell 2019

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