Make your mind up time for Limerick electorate

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Limerick City Council Chamber, interior. Picture; Keith WisemanAND so, after years of politicking; months of positioning and weeks of canvassing, it’s finally down to the electorate.

With the 40 seats on the new Limerick Council set to be filled this week-end, the political futures of the current crop of political hopefuls will be determined over the next couple of days.

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You could probably power a small village with the nervous energy currently being exuded by the 85 candidates in Limerick’s six electoral wards.

And, while those running for Council have been eating, sleeping and pontificating local elections in recent weeks, it would seem that the average Limerick man and woman are not quite so enthused about the political landscape.

People are wary and cynical, determined not to be fooled once again by the smarmy charms of the politician.

Sure, everybody wants to see more jobs, less taxes and an end to austerity but people are feeling badly let down by the major political parties and their polished candidates have little sway on the doorsteps anymore.

Even to the most casual political pundit, it’s clear that local councillors are not national policymakers. They have little real power at local government level, never mind anywhere else.

Regardless of their limited influence, some of those aligned to the main parties could be badly hurt this weekend when the votes are counted.

Independents are getting a warmer response from a public left jaded by the cronyism and dupery of the old order, and the amalgamation of the City and County Council offers Limerick voters a fresh opportunity to put their best foot forward.

The Limerick Post asked candidates running in this Friday’s local election where they stand on a narrow range of issues including unemployment, water charges, animal cruelty and Regeneration.

Many toed the company line. Some had something new to say, while others proved out of touch or blasé.

This Friday’s election gives voters an opportunity to have their voice heard and choose the candidates that best represents their view of how Limerick should be governed.

But the 85 candidates should be warned, as the great German statesman Otto von Bismarck once opined, “People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election”.