I've given it a bit of thought and it seems that this is what I've become.
I don't know why, or how.
It just happened.
I'm not a knowledgeable, political hack by any means. But I do have my own thoughts, beliefs and a sense of justice for all.
For example and in no particular order - just as they tumble from my addled brain - I care about the following:
- The current and unforgivable level of homelessness....that includes some families (and individuals) whose parent(s) are IN employment.
- The continued disaster that is our Health Service.
- Crime. Under-resourced (and underpaid) Gardaí, closed stations and an apparently inefficient and outsourced 999 public service. As I've mentioned before.
- The continued under-resourcing of disability services and support. At all levels and ages.
- I continue to care about SEN education and properly supported inclusion, where appropriate.
- As a Public Sector family I care about how we are treated. And I make no apologies for that. And any party who can put Public Sector workers in the same category as Bankers and Developers, in one sweeping statement, is not for me. That's you ruled out so Renua Ireland and Eddie Hobbs.
- I care about a decent living wage for ALL workers, and deplore the created divide between Public and Private sector workers. Remember, it suits those in power that this be so.
- Proper fully-thought out work/life balance options for parents, that includes affordable childcare AND viable financial options for parents who chose to stay home. The minuscule 'Homecarer Tax Credit' would be laughable if it wasn't so insulting. This I've written about before too. Many times!
- Irish Water. 'Nuff said.
But somehow I seem to have stopped discussing and debating any of the above.
No tweets or facebook onslaught from me, in quite a while now.
And Ireland has a General Election on February 26th.
That's tomorrow, people.
I will vote, I must. To not do so would not be right, for me.
But who on earth to vote for?
And what's the point?
I have watched all three debates. To me Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin won both Leaders Debates - which doesn't really help me. And in the larger debate Richard Boyd Barrett and Stephen Donnelly were impressive - which helps a little.
Decision time: will one of the usual main parties with a smaller partner win again, or will it be a hotch-potch of Independents? They certainly talk the talk, but if finally in a position of power to walk the walk, will they?
I used to think that the worst result from a General Election was a 'Rainbow Government'. Which happened many years ago. Back when there were many more despondent voters and a decisive choice was not made by the public. That Government did not last long.
But now I fear a result like Spanish type deadlock .... i.e. no government at all.
And I shudder at talk of an agreement reached between Fianna Fáil (the party at the helm when the crisis hit and - in fairness - were bullied by The Troika and IMF) and the current major Government partner Fianna Gael (the party who promised us they'd stand up for us in Europe - as did their partner Labour - and then proceeded to implement most of Fianna Fáil's policies!)
And as we all now know 'Labour's way or Frankfurt's way' turned out to be Frankfurt's way....all the way. There's karma in the fact that Labour's way tomorrow could very well be in following the way of the Progressive Democrats and the Green Party before them.
Suddenly a 'Rainbow Government' is starting to look good, isn't it?! Imagine, all different minds and opinions sitting around a table discussing and negotiating with the best intentions on behalf of Ireland's worthy citizens? A utopia of dissenting agreement.
Yeah, dream on........
I think a picture is now forming of the whyfores and howfores of my levels of despondency?
For what it's worth this Despondent Voter has pretty much made her mind up. And it will be a bit like as that elderly gentleman said on the news last night: 'vote 1,2,3... and put the pen down.' Just not necessarily the party he was advocating!
Despondency aside I do hope everyone who can takes the time to vote tomorrow.
All we can do is think of what is important to us and vote accordingly.
What will be will be.
Ireland will get what we vote for...... and therefore what we deserve.
Could be worse I guess.
We could be voting on whether or not to let a 'Donald Trump' rule our little corner of the universe!