Monday, 25 May 2009

Election Diary: T- 12: A Day of Clichés

I seem to be getting more and more tired at the times of posting on these election diary blogs. It's a pity because I see more and more incidents and happenings over the course of the daily campaign that I intend to blog, but have forgotten by the time 1am arrives. Those examples I can remember are detailed below.

First off, the most clichéd event in politics happened me first thing this morning. I went to put on my shoes (bought less than 6 weeks ago) only to find out that they had been worn out. The right heel to be precise. If that doesn't prove hard work I don't know what does. The cobbler in the Ashleaf was closed so I'll have to try get it done elsewhere tomorrow.

Another common event you hear about in politics is the church gate canvass. Today wasn't the first day we hit the church gates but it certainly was the most stereotypical. I have heard tales of "running the gauntlet" back when canvassers harrassed for votes right up to the polling booths, though they were before my time. This morning was a harking back to those days, or my own experiences in UCD politics where dozens of eager canvassers literally frogmarched voters into the booths with dozens of others shouting out for their own candidates. The gates of the Holy Spirit Church in Greenhills were well-marshalled; as well as myself and our team, Mick Murphy and his Socialist Party colleagues, as well as both FF camps (though neither FF candidates) and a two large posters from Pat Dunne made an appearance.

Fine Gael's Cllr Colm Brophy was accompanied by former candidate for the presidency, Mary Banotti. I am sorry to say that although I have had a keen interest in politics since I was very young, and hold a politics degree, and have about a decade's experience in the political field, I still didn't recognise her - at first. Thankfully, neither did she recognise me. Staring at my poster, as held by one of our canvassers, she remarked on the blueness of the eyes at some length. I was literally standing in front of her but the penny didn't drop. My hair is much longer than it is in the poster so I suppose, for recognition's sake, I'll have to combine my trip to the cobbler with one to the barber. Still though, the Blueshirt who admired the blue could be worse.

The reception at the church gate was excellent, as, in fairness, it would need to be for my own local area. We spent the afternoon and evening doing various political tasks including the sorting of leaflets, some register use and paperwork, and a planning meeting. Sunday is not a great time for canvassing door-to-door so we've got a chance to catch up on some other elements of the campaign.

I was particularly delighted to welcome my old friend and supporter Conor Fitz to the campaign this weekend. Despite moving to Galway he has been a huge support in every sense of the word and it was great to have him chatting to the voters and helping out with the other elements of the campaign. Conor is a fair man in more ways than one so he didn't react too well today to the gorgeous sunshine; he's gone back to Galway tonight with a face as red as the badge he wore. Hopefully the after-sun will heal him enough in time for the trip back on polling day, which begins in just 11 days time.