Power Failure

It’s two weeks until Election Day 2011 and the political pamphlets continue to pop through my letter box. The latest one comes from the alliterative Peter Power, who is not only working for Limerick but also, apparently, for me. Now, I’m well aware that politicians have a tendency to manipulate the truth, but I must say that, to the best of my knowledge, Mr Power is not in my employ. Not only that, but I also have it on good authority that he’s not working for Limerick, either. You might be forgiven for thinking that Power is running as an independent candidate in Limerick city. Not so. Power is, in fact, one of two Fianna Fáil contenders for the four seats in this constituency. Power was unsuccessful when he first ran for the party at the 1997 general election, but he managed to get elected in 2002 and again in 2007. He only received half a quota on each of these occasions, but managed to get elected each time thanks to transfers from his party colleagues

However, I think Mr Power will replicate his 1997 showing and here are four reasons why I think he’ll fail to get elected this time. First, boundary changes mean the Limerick constituency has lost a seat and is now a four seater. Second, Fianna Fáil is running just two candidates this time, so Power will not benefit from any transfers from colleagues eliminated below him. Third, Fianna Fáil’s share of the vote will be down on previous elections, which should reduce Willie O’Dea’s massive surplus from the last election. It was Power who benefitted from this surplus in 2007 and there’s no way he’s going to be as fortunate this time. Fourth, Power is not very effective as a politician. He has been part of a government that has messed up this country in so many ways and he just doesn’t deserve to get back in. Like all Fianna Fáilers, he’s doing his best to play down his party affiliation and is effectively running as an independent. He should get used to it. Here’s Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and the Barenaked Ladies singing about different kinds of power

Raw Power – Iggy & the Stooges

People Have the Power – Patti Smith

Fight The Power (Public Enemy cover) – Barenaked Ladies