Friday, May 8, 2009


I would like to know what is going on with our election campaign in the South.

Many Sinn Féin members have been out leafleting and knocking on doors for months now trying to build the Sinn Féin vote in our areas. We have done our best to get the message out locally, but I'm getting the feeling we have no real NATIONAL strategy for victory.

Sinn Féin are clearly not getting the national coverage our policies deserve. Since the beginning of this crisis we have known that the cut and tax policies of this government were a mistake. We knew what the solutions were and we released good documents on how it should be tackled and what the route forward is.

Documents like our Getting Ireland back to work one and our emergency budget submission were excellent.

I also feel we have excellent people standing for election. Mary Lou is working like crazy and the more I see of her the more I respect her hardwork, dedication and analysis. People such as Paul Donnelly, Larry O'Toole and Dessie Eillis are tireless in their work locally and are making progress. The efforts of these people are reflected across the country.

So in my opinion we are saying many of the right things and we have good people saying them.

So why are we not getting masses of people enthusiastically supporting our candidates?

To me the simple answer is;


Why is that?

Well, to me it is clear the media have decided that they will not give much coverage to Sinn Féin. I don't wish here to get into a debate on the reasons for this, but the southern media have never liked republican politics. This means that we will not get much media coverage between now and election day.

But this should be no surprise to anybody and 44 Parnell Square should have known this was going to happen and planned an election campaign accordingly. We need an election campaign that is better than other parties. It needs to be more adventurous, more dynamic and more relevant to real people's lives. We need a campaign that will get people talking about the issues and include Sinn Féin in those discussions.

Instead what have we done?

We've done what everybody else has done. We've got our candidates to smile at a camera and we've spent days sticking up bloody posters of them over over the place.

Don't get me wrong., I like Daithi. he's a great guy with a lovely smile, but come on can we not do better than this? This doesn't make us stand out from the others, it simply shows us to be just like the others.

We should not just conform to what the other parties are doing, we should be different. The media won't let us talk to the people, so let's use our posters. We must not be about smiles and shirts and ties, we must be about issues.

Why is Dublin not covered with posters such as

1) The govt must
Spend to save jobs
Not to keep people
on the dole
To save jobs
Vote Sinn Féin

We said no to Lisbon
We need an MEP who
Vote Mary Lou
Vote Sinn Féin


No to cuts in

Welfare benefit

Vote Sinn Féin


It's not too late for 44 Parnell Square to change the strategy, but it will be soon. If we don't start being more creative in our national campaign we will not make the gains we could have.

In the meantime though there is nothing to stop individual members taking things in their own hands and doing something creative. Go on, do it!


  1. I think you will see a sharper edge to the campaign as the election day gets closer. We don't want to peak too early. Have patience comrade.

  2. Starry Plough,

    reading Steve Collings on the IT. While normally he is the last of the PDs this article was about posters only. He mentioned how posters reflect the current political zeitgeist.
    So while in the 30s you had gimmicky "shadow of the gunman posters" etc now you had posters that were focussed on the candidate. From that point of view SF posters are at least in tune with current approaches.

    Maybe that means better reasonance maybe it means a missed opportunity to be different.

    Saw some voting data in a book that indicated of all the parties the SF voter is more likely to vote for the party rather than specifically the candidate. From that view point then maybe we dont need to emphasise our candidates as much.

    But if you look at areas where we do well you see that individual candidates are able to build the SF vote well above and beyond our national averages. So we are still caught by the need to promote our candidates.

    Also maybe its a question of which medium to use.

    Are posters the optimal place to either maximise voter association with a candidate or is it best used as a place to argue points.

    probably the first with brief, very brief, referenecs to the latter.


  3. Jer, I think the Libertas posters have been better. They havesome with just a messsage and some with a picture and a message.

    I also would have liked to see us doing some other more imaginative stuff as well.

  4. I think the campaign has been run well and we will see positive results