Friday, May 24, 2019

Community Improvements and Election Day

Some good things are happening in town. This building, which has been vacant for years, is going to be turned into a community hub.
Along with that, there will be other changes. When we lived here before, these picnic tables were not in the Diamond (town square). According to the site notice, there will be more improvements to this area and the car park will become a space for civic use.
These seem like good changes. Tourism is booming here and the building is in a perfect spot to become a hub. The current tourist info office is in a very small space. The digital hub will be helpful for tourists and for the ship crew members who come ashore. It will also be helpful for local people--we rarely need a printer, but when we do, we go to the tourist office or we wait until we go to the library.

These developments are the result of a lot of work from various community groups and from a local woman who is on Donegal County Council. She seems to do a lot for the communities in our district. Today is election day here and I was able to vote for the first time here. Bill voted on a referendum question, for Member of European Parliament (MEP) and we both voted in the local election for Donegal County Council. There were 19 candidates for 6 spots. It's a ranked-choice voting process here. My #1 went to the local woman and I hope she gets re-elected.
These kinds of signs are all over the place--and there are even bigger ones, too. There are all of these giant smiling faces everywhere. They'll start coming down tomorrow--they only have a couple of days after an election to get the posters down, or else the campaigns get fined. One guy decided not to go the usual poster route, but did sidewalk stencils instead. They've been slowly fading away as the weeks go by--that seems like a good idea.

I could not find information on all of the candidates--I assume that most people know who the candidates are already. Also, many will just vote by party affiliation. But there were 4 parties represented on the ballot (Solidarity/People Before Profit, Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail, and Fine Gael) and a whole bunch of independents, so I was looking for more information. If I couldn't find any, I simply didn't give that candidate a number. I made a list of who I wanted to vote for and in what order, based on the information I could find. In one case, going to the person's website showed me that I did not want to vote for them.

Anyway, I was excited to be voting in my first Irish election. Bill is used to it now, since he's done it a few times in various sorts of elections. Every time he goes to vote, I think of his grandmother, even though I never met her. When she left Ireland, it was still under British rule. She would not have been able to vote. It would have been some years before she would have been able to vote in her adopted country as well, since she was living in the US before 1920. It was through her that Bill got citizenship and because of that, we're here. I am grateful.

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Sounds like really good improvements! I hope those you voted for win!