I'm drawing down from two Golden sources of just this type of brilliance to explain my own current dilemma: the Simpsons and South park.
My dilemma is one I always face around election time; but as I occupy a similar political niche to the 'Dude' in 'The Big Lebowsky',(i.e.'Somebody the square community doesn't give a shit about'* )I normally wouldn't bother sharing it.
|*-and by that I just mean that no political stragetist worth his salt is going to advise his candidate to spend any of his precious campaign-time securing the 'penniless-single-failed-dramatist' vote.|
But this time it's different. First of all, this time I am half-way through an eighty-year olds' life-span, which is pretty grim when you think about it,(and I do). And, looking at the effect that all my previous votes have had upon politics in this country, it's hard not to feel that there isn't really any point in taking part in this charade any longer.
But, then again, this time is different for other reasons: this is one election where I feel that I share my dilemma with many more people than usual. And what dilemma is that?- Well this is where the Simpsons and South Park come in.
The Simpsons were probably specifically addressing the American two-party presidential race when they had their evil aliens both run as either the Democratic or the Republican candidate,- and thereby taking advantage of the fact that nobody ever considers a third option.
I'm sure that you get where we're going with this.
The Simpsons did it first, but, (to me,) South park did it better when the school had an election to choose a new Mascot for their team and Stan couldn't see the point in taking part in any democratic process which offered him the choice between a 'Giant Douche' or a 'Turd Sandwich'.
I have been dealing with this choice my whole democratic life. But I live in a country where people seem to inherit their election preferences genetically and politicians run 'Clinics' where they behave as if they have been personally responsible for everything their 'clients' receive by right as Irish Citizens.
As the Americans say: "It's the economy stupid" and any bunch of gangsters would continue to be the nations darlings so long as everyone had cash in their pockets. But this time 'round it's different. This time 'round, I'm not alone in thinking: "These are not the people we want making decisions that affect our future". My dilemma is, 'I'm just gosh darn it plum sick to ma teeth of havin' a vote that don't matter none and I'll vote for anybody halfway good who has a ghost's chance of getting in' but I cannot see that person on the ballot.
The Nordic countries seem to work fine to me. Who wants to do that to Ireland? Who wants a good balance between taxation and services? Who wants lower crime? More money for education and bottle-banks inside the shops that work like cash-machines and not only 'wash and return' ('instead of smash and remould') - but also pay you for doing it? Who wants broadband as a right? Who wants good libraries everywhere?
Who wants fines set not by amount but as a percentage of the guilty person's income?
Anybody who wants to do that to Ireland, you have my vote. I don't care what your Granda did in the Civil War, I don't care whether you can get me a medical card no questions asked, I don't care if you want to sell Leitrim to the Japanese or invade the Isle of Man: this is what I want for my home country. Make a commitment to that and I will vote for you.
And that's an election promise.