Fine Gael emerge as the winners on Ballotbox.ie

By Orla O Muiri

Courtesy of Google

Results of Ballotbox.ie are out, with Fine Gael dominating  the online poll, winning 63 seats. Ireland’s current government Fianna Fail obtain a mere 2 seats.

 

Ballotbox.ie is a new Irish website designed to allow Irish emigrants to cast a mock vote in last weekend’s parliamentary elections. The aim of the campaign is to alert the incoming government of the need for a system of postal, proxy or Internet voting system to be implemented. The results tally with that of the actual election, with Fine Gael and Labour emerging with the highest number of votes. Full results are posted here.

On the website Labour received the second highest amount of seats at 51, followed by a re-emerging Sinn Fein who took 23.

 

Ballotbox.ie said on their Facebook page, “thanks to everyone who got involved, took the time out to spread the word to the 6000 of us who voted at BallotBox.ie. We may have come together just to vote, but it shouldn’t end here and it won’t.”

 

Nearly 6,000 Irish emigrants in 124 different countries took part in the poll. Supporters hope this figure will place pressure on the new coalition government to pass a law allowing Irish citizens abroad to vote in Irelands parliamentary elections.. The top five country’s  in terms of voting numbers were the UK, the US, Australia, Canada and Germany.

David McWilliams,Irish economist and broadcaster said, “The Irish diaspora is one of our greatest assets and those of the tribe who are now living abroad should never be cut off from the nation. By allowing them to vote, we bring our policy into line with the rest of Europe and tie these people to home, making it more likely that they come back with their skills and experiences to contribute to the country.”

 

Shane Black(26) an electrician living in Australia said, “Results have came out the same this time  but that was a give in. Fine Gael was the only real option, as Fianna Fail is to blame for Ireland’s current situation. What matters is that the issue of emigrants vote is not forgotten about, that we continue to push it through. Because there will come a time that we need it, that it will make all the difference, especially now as more and more of the Irish pack up and leave the country.”

The results of both the ballotbox.ie votes and the parliamentary election is a turning point in Irish history, as Fine Gael win the majority of seats and look set to come to power for the first time in 14years.To date, Fianna Fail has ruled Ireland for 56 years out of the 77 that Ireland has had its own government.

 

Matthew P: Interview

by Sam Eastop

Suffolk-based singer-songwriter Matthew P brings a fresh, exciting light to the acoustic/folk genre. A haunting vocal brought to life by rich, soulful lyrics and accompanied by summery, uplifting guitar lines, Matthew is a musician that has to be heard to be truly appreciated.
His new EP, ‘The Breakfast EP’ will be out soon and will feature, ‘The Breakfast Song’ which is currently available as a free download on Matthew’s facebook and website, (link below.)
In an interview, Matthew P shares how he generates his music, his influences and his plans for the future.

How do you begin writing a song, lyrics or melody first? Or does it vary?

I start writing a song before I pick up a guitar or do any singing. It starts with an experience and then I go on to reflect on that using lyrics and melody. When i actually sit down to write I start with a clear idea of what I want to write about and then I put that to one side and start on the music. Once I am in a good place with the music I come back and start to weave words into the song. All I do after that is hope something good happens if it doesn’t then i put down the guitar and go and do some living.

Where do you tend to draw inspiration from the most?

Mostly from personal experience and the people who are closest to me.

What is your favourite song to perform and why?

My favourite live tune to play varies but one that I always enjoy without fail is Patti. I always try to get the crowd involved on that one. Its a song about a Portuguese girl I worked in a bar with. She was older than me and she used to get me drunk and make me dance. She was an amazing dancer.

Where do you think your musical style has originated from?

My style comes from many different influences such as Elliot Smith, Billy Bragg, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones. I grew up listening to all sorts of great music that has had a definite influence on me but I like to think that it has an honesty and a sound that comes from reflecting my simple observations of life around me.

Any particularly exciting plans for the near future? Is a big nationwide tour on the cards?

I have an E.P. coming out really soon and there is a free download that E.P. on my Facebook page called ‘The Breakfast Song‘. We shot a low-fi video for it in Asda Lowestoft when we were hung-over one Saturday morning. Was a lot of fun. I am playing lots of small dates at the mo around the country. I am really up for gigging at the mo so if anyone has any good nights they are organising get in touch via http://www.facebook.com/matthewpmusic

Lastly, if you had a ‘play list’ of five songs you are listening to a lot at the moment, what would the five be?

The five songs I am listening to at the moment are
Rinse Me Down – Bombay Bicycle Club
Angeles – Elliot Smith
One Day Like This – Elbow
California – Joni Mitchell
The New Pollution – Beck

Matthew P’s official website: http://matthewpmusic.com/
Matthew’s single ‘Gilly’ on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQze-wjcGVA

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