It's voting day in Ireland today. Not that this is anything near the scale of an American Presidential Election. I made my mind up on how I was going to vote a few weeks back, but something that didn't seem to happen a few weeks back was the more important aspect of the entire affair.
Not only do people get to decide who will be President today, but there are also two referenda to vote on. Which might come as a little bit of a surprise to some people as we've only really heard about one of them.
The first in on how much judges get paid in Ireland. As their wages are something that is controlled by the Constitution their needs to be a public vote on whether or not they can be reduced or changed in any way. Basically meaning that if the current Government wants to try and save a few euro by cutting the wages of the ruling figure in the courts they need to get the approval of the people.
This referendum we have heard a lot about. Judges have complained about it. The general masses have agreed it should be done. Financial "experts" have weighed in with their "expert" views on the matter. Basically a lot of information was present to give people enough knowledge to vote accordingly.
Oddly enough it's the second referendum that is the cause of this current rant. Now I am not entirely sure if this just an issue for people that live in my area, but I have received nothing in the post about this second topic of interest. Hell I never even received my voting card for anything taking place today.
Ever since I turned eighteen I have been registered to vote. Not only that but I have voted at every chance I get, hell an unused vote is basically a vote for the other guy at the end of the day. As I moved around Dublin I updated my address accordingly, to ensure that my polling cards always made their way to me.
Now, last time I ranted about voting was because I ended up receiving multiple polling cards. It appeared that when I "updated" my address using the appropriate Government website it just created a new entry for me. No bother, I still got my vote. Hell certain political parties would probably have loved to here that I could have done a Capone and voted more than once for them.
Not that I did.
But for some reason this time I got nothing. I went to check the register and I was still registered, although at a strange bastardised version of my address. Which for some reason means that I got no polling card. Thankfully you can still vote with a photo ID at the station.
That still doesn't explain the lack of information about the second referendum that was taking place today. The one that the Government appears to just have wanted to slip on through. To be honest there appears to be a huge lack of knowledge floating around about the second one.
It basically granted the Government extra powers to investigate people, clearly designed to allow them to catch the rotten ass developers that have cost the country so much money. No more running away to America or signing everything over to the wife. The Government could just walk into your house and take what they deemed as evidence against you.
All well and good, except for one small thing. The wording of this amendment.
It was a little too fuzzy. If you read it through it is the boys in Leinster House that can decide what matters this new power applies to.
The boys that can't fix a damn light bulb let alone a country.
The boys that are just as useless and headless as the boys they replaced.
It allowed them to sit down and decide that they were going to enter a persons house for whatever reason and use this amendment to justify it.
Meaning the average Joe on the street was just as likely a target as a millionaire developer who has run out of the country.
All because a politician said so.
The lack of debate on this topic was shocking. The lack of information spread about it was even worse. It reminds me of the Customs Bill that was passed in America a few years ago. A Bill that was definitely going to pass but had a strange little attachment to it. One that outlawed online poker sites in America.
Nobody questioned the second part because the first part made such good sense. Just as nobody was really questioning this second referendum as the judges pay being reduced made such good sense.
Some people even described it as a "no-brainer" vote, which could be seen as a bit of an oxymoron. Since the "no-brainer" part of voting yes to give the Government such easily abused powers in an indication that the brain wasn't really used to understand what the vote was about.
Even the few ads in newspapers and on the telly that I did see were very much one sided. Some nob-head oversimplying the topic and finishing off by saying "so vote yes".
It is almost a dictator-democracy. You have the right to vote, but you will vote "yes" because we have kept this one very quiet and under the radar so nobody really gets what they will be voting about.
If you give such power to people that repeatedly abuse the power they are entrusted with whose to say they won't abuse this new power.
I very rarely tell people how to vote, that's not my style, but when it comes to the second referendum on increasing the Government's power to investigate people you have to vote "No", it's the only logical choice. Further debate is really needed on it, more information supplied, and a lot less fuzzy description of who can and can't be targeted by these powers given.
When the enemies of the State become the people democracy has lost and allowing the Government these sorts of powers will only lead to abuse.As if they would use them correctly to investigate themselves.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? as the saying goes.