With election day fast approaching, People Before Profit Galway are calling for voters to elect community activists instead of politicians.
“It makes sense to elect someone with a track record of work outside of the realm of traditional politics,” says Joe Loughnane, PBP’s candidate in Galway City Central.
“I am a founding member of the Galway Anti-Racism Network and Galway Pro Choice, and led canvasses of the entire east side of the city. It’s vital that the people we elect have shown commitment in the past to the issues they’re now talking about on the door. Otherwise, we run the risk of electing officials who will continue with ‘business-as-usual’ politics,” he said.
According to PBP Galway, continuing with the same style of politics Galway and Ireland have seen over the past ten years is the worst-case scenario.
“It’s clear from nearly every conversation we’re having on the door; mainstream politics in this country has failed everyone except the extremely wealthy. Low and middle-income earners alike have been hit by austerity in a variety of ways; unaffordable housing, long waiting lists for health care, extortionate insurance premiums and the general breakdown of our green-spaces and environment. These issues are a direct result of the policies implemented by Fine Gael and supported by Fianna Fáil.”
The solution, according to Mr Loughnane and PBP Galway, is to vote left for progressive activists who have very different ideas about who it is that politicians and government should serve.
“Is it really that radical to suggest things like increased funding for public services, more bus routes, better cycle lanes and affordable housing?” Loughnane asks, “These are very basic things that a government should be ready, willing and able to provide to its constituents. But, as it stands, our current politicians are unwilling to do anything meaningful about these problems. What Galway needs are officials who are genuinely committed to these things and willing to fight for them at every council meeting and debate. If elected, that’s exactly what I’ll do,” he concluded.