Voting, Music and Memories

Today was General Election day here in Ireland and as I went to vote this morning, it brought back all those days of going to the polls ~ first as a hanger on with my parents and then as a voter in my own right.

I’m passionate about taking the trouble, not that I’d call it ‘trouble,’ to vote as it isn’t so long ago that many, many people were disenfranchised in countries, such as Ireland, and women have a lot to thank Suffragettes, like Emmeline Pankhurst for:

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)

This was a message that was well instilled into me by my mother who was born in 1921, just a year before full women’s suffrage was introduced in Ireland.

I must say that I’m not a person who votes for women just because they are women. It’s what a candidate stands for that matters to me and all things being equal on that score, I’ll vote for the woman as I feel that we need a much greater representation from women in politics and in all areas of key decision-making.

As I conclude this post, there are just a couple of minute to go before the polling booths close for this 2016 General Election. The pattern of the results will begin to emerge soon after counting starts at 9am tomorrow morning.

I once had the privilege of being one of the counters at a General Election in a Dublin Constituency in the early 1980s.  That experience taught me a huge amount about about our complex Proportional Representation System which is very far removed from the First Past the Post System.

The tension at the Count was incredible and the scrutiny under which we were counting was beyond intense.  It was a long, long day but one I will never forget.

Funny, the quote that has been bobbing around in my head all day today for some reason is this one that really resonates with me:

In memory, everything seems to happen to music.  ( Tennesse Williams)

The music that is with me from this Election period has to be this song which has been belting out in the car as Harry and I have been driving past election poster after election poster ~ colourful cardboard flowers that will have vanished over the weekend!











Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

18 thoughts on “Voting, Music and Memories”

        1. That sounds like a great idea and one that’s needed.
          I also think there may need to be options re coalition possibilities as one never knows in countries like Ireland if one’s chosen party is going to hook up with one which wouldn’t be to one’s liking. That all happens post election and the public doesn’t have a say.

    1. Hi George, I’m happy insofar as I’ve had the dogs at the beach and it was lovely.
      The election results will not be in until all hours due to our system which is very dramatic.
      In some cases, counting can go on for days.
      Yes, a real Bruce fan. Isn’t everyone? He crosses generations which is great. Funny how you seem surprised I would be a fan?

      1. I didn’t know it took so long for election results to be tabulated and announced.
        I should have known you were a fan..:) I know he’s played quite a bit in Ireland. Have you ever had a chance to see him in concert?
        In quite a few of my early blogs last year I used to do Springsteen Sunday’s and did a clip of a favorite song and a little history about but. I’m thinking I should resurrect it..:)

        1. George, yes it’s taking a long, long time to get the election results sorted. There are some total recounts starting tomorrow so we may not know the outcome until Tuesday for an election held on Friday!
          I haven’t seen Bruce in concert (yet!) He’s playing in Dublin in May so perhaps …..
          Those posts of yours sound great. I’ll have to have look back at them and hopefully you’ll start up again.
          You must be an out and out fan??

          1. I am and have been for many years. I’ve only seen him in concert 8-9 times, not nearly as much as others have but enough to keep bringing me back for more. I hope you have the chance to see him in Dublin. You won’t be disappointed…;)

    1. Tom, I can’t say I blame you, especially with the carry on over your way at the moment. Ireland has her political characters that run rings around people BUT they generally get their comeuppance, even if it takes a long time.

  1. Doesn’t it take an age to get the results? Here in Jersey it’s all declared before midnight the same day, though there’s a bit of a difference in population, and a simple system.

    1. It looks like it’s going to be a long weekend, Roy, and an even longer week or weeks ahead.
      Well I suppose the PR system and the fact that we do it all by hand makes the counts very long-drawn out compared to other places.

  2. Unfortunately our media hasn’t covered the Irish election – too fixated with celebrities and migrants amassing at Calais! Our Westminster system is FPTP, but our system for Holyrood is a mix of FPTP and a top-up list while local council elections have a proportional system. We are heading to Holyrood elections in May with a European referendum in June which should be interesting as Scotland at present is polling around two thirds to stay in the EU, while in England Brexit seems favoured, with Wales leaning to stay. Conflicting reports about N Ireland.

    And of course in Scotland we now have a female First Minister and a gender balanced Cabinet. Equality is a policy driver as is closing the attainment gap in schools between the well off and less well off. So interesting times.

    My father always used to say you had no right to complain about politics or politicians unless you voted. Maybe the reason why I’ve always placed my cross, or perhaps it’s the ghost of my grandmother with her suffragette beliefs that sits at my elbow.

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