Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives,Cornell University Library.
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives,Cornell University Library.

Here’s a quick look at how to vote in an Irish Election. Tongue partly in cheek, but if you follow my steps, you genuinely won’t go wrong!

Step 1: Learn enough about your candidates to be able to rank them in order of preference.

You can do this by visiting smartvote.ie or whichcandidate.ie and seeing which candidates match your views. I recommend also visiting their websites or doing a quick google search to see how many of them are actually gobshites. Also rule out voting for anyone standing for a political party you think are gobshites. Basically, try not to vote for gobshites.

Step 2: Turn up.

Make sure you’re at the right polling station (it’ll be on your polling card) on the right day (Friday 26th Feb) at the right time (between 7am and 10pm, it’s a pretty decent window in fairness). Bring ID. If you’re from the country you probably won’t be asked for it because they’ll know your people (unless you’re a blow-in *spits*) but the folks at city stations are less likely to have been on the committee for the Tidy Towns with your mam.

Step 3: Vote.

Give your favourite candidate your 1st preference, even if they haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell of getting elected. (That means write a 1 beside their name in the box). If your candidate is eliminated, your vote will transfer to your next highest preference, so give your second favourite candidate your number 2 (heh, number 2. I’m five). Keep going down the list until the thought of voting for someone makes you get sick in your mouth. You have reached the Gobshite Zone. You can leave the rest of the boxes blank to save the paper from actually being puked on. (or if you have a strong stomach, continue the whole way down to make sure that the biggest gobshite has your lowest preference)

Step 4: Don’t fuck it up.

Don’t write anything else (names, doodles, political slogans, even devil horns and a hilarious moustache) on your ballot paper. Just numbers in the boxes please. You’ll spoil your vote otherwise. Save the selfie for the “polling station” sign outside the polling station. People will understand what’s going on. Well most of them will. Some people are just oblivious.

Step 5: Be insufferably smug that you voted.

Post your Polling Station selfie to snapchat, instagram, fb and twitter. Yik Yak mocking everyone who hasn’t voted. Tell everyone you meet you’ve done your civic duty. If you’re insufferable and smug enough, your friends will also vote just to shut you up.

Step 6: The feckin’ COUNTING

Wait for the results. Hopefully the rest of the country has the same idea of who the gobshites are that you do. Still, at least you voted. That means you can complain as loudly as you like when the country continues its journey to hell in a handcart. Tell them I said it was OK.