Vote early, vote often

That used to be the mantra in Northern Irish elections where the main parties were adept at getting the vote out.  That meant that the dead would vote with democratic zeal – and it was wise for the ordinary punter to get out and vote early before somebody else took your vote.  The voting process was interesting too – polling stations heavily guarded and heavily manned by representatives of the political parties.  ‘Use your vote well, dear’ Isobel on her crutch would say to me as I entered the polling station.  She knew perfectly well that, in her terms, I would do no such thing.  Indeed in all my long voting history I have never voted for the winning candidate in any election.

So it was strange to wander into the Village Hall in Burrelton – no security and no harassment from the political parties – and cast a vote on issues about which I feel peculiarly unpassionate.  One of those [increasingly rare] moments when I feel like a stranger in a strange land.


  1. On this side of the pond “Vote Early, Vote Often” is associated with Cook County, Illinois better known as Chicago and environs.

    In 1996 a current member of our House of Representatives with the first name of Earl was running in both the spring primary for his party’s nomination for the fall election for what is now his seat and in a special election to fill the then vacant seat for the remainder of the term. Since both elections were on the same day and ballot, his campaign slogan was “Vote Earl, Vote Often” and since I lived in his district at the time and belonged to the same party I got to vote for the same person for the same office twice in one day without having to move to Chicago.

  2. Just look on the bright side . An equine vet can get a good kicking from his customers. You are spared that. (Well mostly, I hope although it has been known!).

  3. Hi Gilbert – good to hear from you. I was having one of those periods when I was beginning to think that I was talking to myself. Not that that would trouble me at all! Equine vets are just fine – it’s the cat specialists that Poppy isn’t so keen on. Do give my regards to your parents

  4. Hi David, Gilbert Riley, a parishioner of Seagoe until 1985 before studies in Dublin and then moving to Staffordshire where I am now an Equine Vet in Lichfield (nice cathedral!)Great to see how you are getting on and your blog is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Keep up the good work!

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