In advance of the election the Socialist talked to Cian Prendiville, the youngest candidate in the country and a member of the Socialist Party. After the election, we caught up with him again.
How did you find the election campaign?
We did brilliantly. It was our first time ever standing in Limerick, yet we came ahead of all the small parties and independents, even the Greens, getting 721 first preferences. Most importantly, we put the left on the map in Limerick, got our ideas into every house and got new members too.
What do you think of the result over all?
Well, it’s a case of here come the new crowd, same as the old crowd. It was brilliant to see Fianna Fail decimated and the Greens wiped out. For the Socialist Party to be stronger in Dublin than Fianna Fail is huge. But unfortunately, I don’t believe Labour and Fine Gael will bring any real change. They are signed up to the IMF plan of savage. They are all puppets on the strings of big business
So, what is the point in fighting in elections, if they don’t change anything?
Changing tweedledum for tweedledee is pointless, and it just underlines that capitalism isn’t really democratic. The key power lies in the hands of the bankers, bondholders and markets. But the Socialist Party stands in elections as a challenge to the political establishment, and to raise our ideas.
We use elected positions as a platform from which to organise the campaigns, like with the Bin Tax where many of our councillors and Joe Higgins TD went to prison for protesting. Ultimately, it is people getting organised in work, school, college and on the dole queues that can really change things, but this can be assisted by having elected representatives. But now that the election is over, the struggle has just begun.