THERE is a widely held belief that the country’s problems won’t be solved for many years, a Clare Champion vox pop at Shannon town centre last Friday revealed.
One thing that was very clear is that almost no one expects that a change of Government will have any real impact.
Several people expressed the view that the country will be in the mire for years, indeed some said for generations, to come.
While Fianna Fáil may be held responsible for the dire state of the economy, people clearly weren’t inspired by the alternatives either.
Michael McNamara has offices in SkyCourt but some of the voters The ’Champion spoke to do not know who Labour’s candidate in Clare is.
While one or two expressed a preference for ‘local candidates’, there wasn’t a huge amount of obvious support for the Shannon Fine Gael candidate, Tony Mulcahy.
Had the Democracy Now confederation of independents opted to contest the election, Shannon might have been fertile ground for them, going by the considerable number of people who said they would like an independent voice.
Interestingly, when most of those who wanted an independent candidate were asked if they would vote for James Breen, many of them felt that he has been around too long and they wanted to see a new departure. No one at all mentioned Jim Connolly, who is also in the field.
Unemployment is a huge issue for all parties and several of those who The ’Champion spoke to on Friday were out of work, on short time or are facing joblessness in the near future.
There was also frustration about the universal social charge and a definite feeling that self-serving, out-of-touch politicians are raiding the incomes of their constituents.
Not one person The ’Champion encountered felt that Fianna Fáil has done a passable job or defended their performance since 2007. However, very rarely did this mean they wanted to endorse any other party or candidate.
Indeed, none of those questioned said they would be supporting Fine Gael, although there were one or two vague noises about Labour and, perhaps surprisingly given the antipathy towards Fianna Fáil, one lady said she may vote Green.
On balance, the most notable feature of The ’Champion’s vox pop, was the cynicism about politics and the widely held view that the problems the country faces won’t be solved for many years.