It’s an exciting time to be in Ireland – native, tourist, or foreigner. It’s a time of debate, a time of political discontent; it’s the second time the Lisbon Treaty has been offered to the Irish public. I’d read a bit about it in various blogs before arriving, but once I stepped out of the airport, the multitudes of Vote Yes! Vote Nil! signs threatened to block out the emerald green foliage. The same smug, black-and-white man and woman on the Yes! posters follow me home from City Centre every day, and I can’t help but overhear bits of arguments about it over dinners. Some are angry that it’s the same thing brought to the table again as though the “No” decision meant nothing. Some say, “Europe – why not?”
As a non-Irishperson, whether to vote Yes or Nil is none of my business: I’m more fascinated in the sociopolitical climate that sets the scene for my early days in Ireland. I’m interested in the movie preview ads stating just what the EU does for Ireland. I’m gazing at the fascinating crop of graffiti on the posters plastered all over town. Sean’s relatives – who he’s told me are non-political – discuss it freely over graduation dinners and I cock an ear, nosy to hear who thinks what.
It’s not my business, but I suppose I’m allowed to say that there seems to be a lot of hype and propaganda on both sides; buzz phrases aimed at the emotional but uninformed. Just when I thought the American political parties had the monopoly on that kind of thing.
Today is finally Voting Day. Sean has gone down to Cork to vote – his first time. I, a non-Irishperson, am very interested in knowing what happens.