Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Saturday 12 May 2007

Elections & Decisions......

So we have a general election on our hands soon. Unfortunately I wasn't 18 fast enough to get on the register so I was a bit pissed off about that. But you know, as they say, it's better to be pissed off than pissed on.

Why then am I writing this? Well I do have an interest in politics, despite what others may think because I have this habit of declaring "I really don't care!", but politics...I do. The shear humour in politics was only really brought to my attention this year in college, simply because I picked up the two free newspapers every morning. A typical article would start:

"A new report into X services shows that there is a problem with Y, Z and W, and the number of Y's has increased/decreased significantly". Then in every article near the end you would have: "Opposition spokesperson B criticised the government for not solving the problem".

Well, let's face it. I don't think anyone expects the government to solve any problem the day after a report is issued, but you know, its obvious all the Opposition set out to do is ridicule the government. Realistically, the Opposition wouldn't be able to do any better. If Fine Gael and Labour were in government now, would we still have the nurses’ strike? Of course we would, nobody can solve the problem of people asking for more pay for less work. Or we have the issue of hospital beds and waiting numbers in A&E's? It's quite clear that if there was a realistic solution to the problem, then the current government would already have implemented it. We know this government isn't incompetent, as they've lead us through the 10 most prosperous years in the State's history. Looking at the election, all parties have promised 2,000 extra beds. Thanks to the panel, we have learned that this was always an issue. The population grows, people get ill, you're going to have a problem and there's nothing you can do.

Traffic. I believe the current government has set up a purchase of the Toll Gates, so that they can be eventually raised permanently, though not until 2012 I believe. Now the Opposition says they can have them raised next year. Like the hospital situation, I have no doubt that if it was feasible for the current government to raise the tolls, they would. The M50. Will always be a problem, no one is going to be able to solve it. As an aspiring engineer, I absolutely love driving by the Lucan Intersection so I can see the work that’s going on, and let me tell you, it is a real modern solution. Total removal of traffic lights, allowing for free flowing traffic, coupled with the removal of the toll gates (to the right), I do believe the solution will work. Already we have seen that both the Dublin Port Tunnel (ignoring the height mess up) and the LUAS are two other projects which stand to success for the current coalition. I can tell you that travelling on the quays in town in the mornings is really a more pleasant experience now than what it was. The Greens have promised a LUAS for Cork.....WHY??? I am sorry, but Cork with a population the quarter of Dublin is not in the need of any kind of mass transit system. I suppose they'd want a metro aswell.

I really could go on, but you just have to look at each manifesto and see that there is very little difference between any of them. Am I bothered whether Fine Gael and Labour take over? Not entirely, as I'm sure they will do as good a job as Fianna Fail and the PD's did. The only doubt I have with the alternate coalition is their attitude to Shannon. I discussed this issue with Ann Marie; I'm more of a 'be on America's side rather than just piss them off' kind of person. They've only done good things for our economy realistically speaking, and despite the fact that we are officially 'neutral' and all that, they're more our 'allies' than our 'enemies'. I'm also not a huge fan of Labour's pledge to lower voting age to 16...which is ridiculous if you ask me. However I do like their plan for Dublin, including the flat fee for Dublin bus. How much will that cost the state? Who knows? They'll find some other way to tax us anyway.

Do we want two men from Mayo running the country? Or should we stick with Bertie who's one of the ladz?

Time will tell...

~The Damo


Catherine said...

I was raised strictly Labour, so I truly hope the FG/Labour coalition are running the country soon. The Celtic Tiger was an amazing time period for the country, but that was nearly 10 years ago and I thnk it's time for a change. 15 years is too long for one man to be in power, and Bertie's a bit ridiculous anyway. Even though he played a part in the great job in Stormount earlier this week, the whole money issue is a bit dodgy.

I'm so pissed I'm only 17 though! :p I wouldn't mind the voting age being lowered. You could say that teenagers don't know anything about politics or aren't capable of deciding properly, but do you really believe you become enlightened the moment you turn 18? There are smart, informed people in any age demographic I suppose.

Ann Marie said...

Agreeing with Catherine. And I'll more than likely be voting Labour, and that's independent of life ling parental influences.
I really don't think it's a good idea to just vote for someone who appears to have done some good. This is an extreme example but Hitler did wonders for the German economy, doesn't mean he deserved to be in power.
Not to mention it is the oppositions job to discredit the government and try and take their place.
I don't think it's fair to say we would still have the same problems as you never really know how another government would have handled a situation such as the nurses strike.
A LUAS in Cork would be a good idea, not matter what the population it would help with the amount of cars on the road.
You know how I feel about Shannon. America doesn't run the American companies, I think they would stay, we give them too many tax break and plenty of knowledge workers. We are neutral, we shouldn't have to make the decision of being allies of enemies.
Answer me this, is it right for a government to continue on with something like Shannon when a good part of the population is against it?

Catherine said...

That question wasn't directed at me, but feck it.

I'm torn over the Shannon issue. I understand that disallowing the US to use Shannon as a stopover would screw up the economy, but I still disagree with it on moral terms. There's no way around the matter: we are participating in war crimes if we allow American planes flying into Iraq to stop in our country. It's only a small thing, sure, but it's still unethical. I think the goverment's afraid of what the US thinks of us, we just want to stay on their good side. But if you consider that the majority of Americans (except those in power) now oppose the war, and there's an election there next year, so...

Damien Kelly said...

True about the nurses strike, BUT if they get what they want, then the others such as Gardai, teachers, postmen etc will ask for more pay too! and thats fact, cos the gardai said they would.

Dublin is the hive of the country, by default it should get preference for any transport system that sets out to ease traffic. Cork isn't expanding in the same way, its bus service is much better than Dublin Bus, that's all they need. Look at this M3 route near Tara hill, thats been held up far too long, same happened with the M50, but now that its finished, the journey to wicklow that used to take me an hour and a half now only takes 25 mins!!! If it wasn't for all this messing we'd have motorways to all cities underway by now!

Staying on America's good side is the whole point. We dont know what theyll do if we piss them off, but we can be sure they'll do something. And Cass is right, it probably wont be a problem after their next election. We can't guarantee that pissing them off won't damage the economy, but we can guarantee that keeping them happy won't do any damage.