First of all, there is no doubt that there are many political problems in this country that need addressing as regards how our political system works.
But the commentary, be it in the media or in online discussion, seems to focus on many of them as being distinctly Irish problems, whereas if you watch/read much foreign media you gradually see them complaining about exactly the same thing i.e.
- “We’re not a proper democracy/republic, but you know who is, country X is a beacon of what we should be!”
- “X% of our electorate are dumb and will vote for X party candidates no matter what.”
- “People complain about the politicians we have, yet re-elect the bulk of them everytime.”
- “Our population is so apathetic and don’t engage in the political process enough.”
- Various other complaints about the electorate (or a large section of them) being idiots or clueless in some shape or form.
We complain about parish-pump Irish politics, yet it was an American politician who coined the phrase “All politics is local”.
Another example that springs to mind is how commentators in Ireland love to say how boring the debate and nature of discussions in the Dáil is, then one day Paul Gogarty says the word ‘******************************’ in the chamber, it goes viral and the international media is all over Ireland saying “Wow, look at this, their parliament seems so much more lively and energetic than ours!”
So what do people think? Are we correct in thinking that all our political problems are distinctly ours alone?