Yes I know its not a General Election but it is an election and one which, it seems the electorate are going to use as a means to deliver a clear message to the current Government.
As I have already stated, I believe that the Government has no mandate to govern under the current conditions. Not only that but, banking crisis aside, they are the ones who have ensured that the pain to be undergone by the Irish people is far greater than that of the citizens of any other country. We deserve our chance to send them a message and we deserve them to hear what the Irish people are saying. After all, there has been precious little listening being done by them up to now.
The arrogance with which they fritter away our money (another €50m on the Consultants contracts cock-up and yet again no-one is going to pay the price) is absolutelybreath-taking.
Other issues on the doorsteps are; Waterford Crystal and how the workers feel so let down (to put it mildly) that no-one saved their industry or their jobs; fixed rate mortgages while income levels are dropping faster than a bungee jumper - and set to drop even further in this months pay packets, while the banks are being 'saved' with our money; St Patricks hospital (closure of St. Bridgets Ward; total lack of investment in WRH and the cutbacks in front line nursing staff and others like that. None of which, it has to be said, are Local Authority issues. These are the most 'national' local elections certainly that I have experienced.
The Council members have certainly done what they can in the local media and politically but to say that we could solve any of these issues locally would be dishonest - and if anyone on the doorstep is telling you they can - ask them how? And then ask them why they haven't done it already.
All in all, the canvas is going very well, with a good reaction on the doorsteps. The next month will be hectic but hopefully it will be productive and I hope to keep representing the people of Waterford for at least anothe five years.