And that’s just the election candidates and their teams; I’m on another level entirely after a crazy weekend spent in Cork City Hall.
Between us, and I uploaded 52 blogposts and countless (I tried, and failed to count them) tweets as we liveblogged and tweeted the count. It was a phenomenal experience and I’m so glad we did it, as we were the only ones to stick it out to the end on Saturday night and keep tweeting right to the end. We had some great support from other tweeters and have had a lot of positive feedback. Peter also did a cracking job presenting for Cork Community TV all weekend. I’m just glad I have booked a few days off over the next week or so.
The fallout after an election is incredible and the last couple of speeches on Sunday from Michael McGrath, Simon Coveney and Jerry Buttimer, who were elected in Cork South Central, really were very emotional. A long weekend after a long and harsh campaign and they were all very visibly emotional. Not as much, though, as the candidates who lost. Knowing some of them personally and others by reputation and press release only, it’s very hard not to feel for them.
Of course I have a personal affinity with those who lost out, himself having lost his job over the course of the weekend as a result of the election.
But I think it’s hard not to feel sympathetic to people who have given so much of their lives to something and see that lost. Hopefully some of the candidates who have lost out will return next time and won’t be discouraged by the loss – for some it may be a signal that they’ve given up enough of their lives to politics already.
The general public has a view of all politicians that they are in it for the money, that they’re in it for the glory, or for some kind of skewed power trip. In my experience, only a handful are in it for those reasons, and even they must be doing something right to continually get elected. People who are in it for power or money are exactly the wrong people, and the public does tend to see through them.
No normal person would blister their feet, get soaked to the bone night after night, answer phone calls morning noon and night and be accountable for everything from how they spend their money to the colour tie they wear, unless they had a good reason for doing so. So fair play to them.
What a weekend for democracy; I never believed FF would receive that kind of beating. Simple as. I overestimated the fickleness of an angry electorate and presumed that they would do as they had always done. Now that the electorate has signalled that the old ways are over, I hope the new Government respects that, and grows up a bit, as it appears the public has.