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Why Do/ Should Irish People Cast Their Ballots In National And Local Elections?

Essay by   •  April 23, 2011  •  452 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,069 Views

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For many Irish people traditional family ties are the greatest influence on their decision to vote and for whom they vote for in national and local elections. The family unit is obviously an important factor in shaping a young person’s views and outlooks on life, and this naturally extends to political outlooks, whether this would be in the form of allegiance to a particular political party or just in the form of a general disenfranchisement from the political process.

The phrase “all politics are local politics” is often heard during election periods and there is strong evidence to show that for many people local issues are the most influential factor in an Irish person’s decision to vote. This is demonstrated by single issue independent candidates such Andy McSharry in the Sligo-North Leitrim constituency, who ran on a platform of farmers issues, and Paudge Connolly, who ran in the Cavan-Monaghan constituency campaigning for a hospital in Monaghan. The importance of this factor is not lost on the bigger parties however, and in almost all candidates will play up their involvement in local issues. Another way local issues influence national politics is through the importance of any local TD’s office where people can approach their representative for help in solving local issues such as potholes in road, social order issues or other problems particular to a region. This is particularly true of Sinn FÐ"©in who have been seen to get involved in the local issues of the working class to gain support in national elections.

For many people the main choice is between the personalities of the leaders. This was clearly demonstrated in the most recent general election where before the live broadcast of the leader’s debate between Bertie Ahern and Enda Kenny most opinion polls showed Kenny’s Fine Gael party slightly ahead of Ahern’s Fianna FÐ"ÐŽil. However

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