Yesterday evening, I was canvassed by Mary Mitchell-O'Connor of Fine Gael for my vote in the Dún Laoghaire constituency - she was the first candidate to knock on my door. She was very pleasant and asked me for my vote. I was honest with her and told her she would be only a fourth preference for me. I had planned to challenge all candidates on their records and policies, but I went all polite and mannerly - I even thanked her for calling to my house!
|MMO'C in Dún Laoghaire.|
(Photo from www.marymitchelloconnor.com)
However, even though our doorstep conversation lasted less than two minutes - I was not too impressed. I saw her on RTÉ's Frontline programme a week or so ago and felt that she towed the party line too much and was in the shadow of fellow FG candidate Seán Barrett. First she told me that she only wanted to be elected for one 5-year term. While she is of course entitled to do this, I think she should think longer term than this - we need more women in politics. I also provoked her a bit by saying that a Fine Gael/Labour coalition would not last 5 years. Her answer - "I was in labour myself!". There's no answer to that.
I think she should step out of Seán Barrett's shadow, lose the "running-mate" tag, and be more ambitious & individual.
Anyway - as she is first off the mark in my area I have decided to elevate her from #4 to #3 preference (ahead of Seán Barrett). She might drop down again. A message to all candidates - canvas my vote, you might be lucky!