- Edition dated Tuesday, 1st May, 2007


Make sure you exercise your right to vote
SUCH has been the already arduous preparation by many candidates for the upcoming election that canvas teams were easy mobilised into action once Taoiseach Bertie Ahern went to the country on Sunday morning.
Indeed, the speed in which posters appeared on poles following the announcement was a wonder to behold.
Many readers waking up on Sunday morning in this constituency will undoubtedly have noticed all those smiling faces beaming down from on high.
Even Roscommon GAA supporters on their way to and from the Division 3 league final in Breffini Park, Cavan on Sunday had their appetites whetted, being exposed to the plentiful supply of political posters and boards decking every possible pole and piece of spare ground along the way.
Perhaps most intriguing was the sight of certain Roscommon candidates' posters sitting on telegraph poles clearly located in the Cavan/Monaghan constituency!
For sure, every conceivable opportunity of promotion between now and polling day on Thursday, May 24th will be hunted down - all part and parcel of election fever that will intensify as each day passes.
And compared to the damp squib in 2002, this year's election should have a lot more spice given that all the recent polls nationally suggest we are going to have a close contest on our hands.
The mood is expectant as we await the onslaught: the sound of canvassers on the driveway, the leaflets flying through the door, the heated exchanges, the professional and amateur pundits, the count, the victors, the vanquished. Yes, it all adds up to three weeks of utter madness.
Behind all the optics and the noise, however, there is the serious matter of electing a new Government. Locally, every voter will inform themselves of the policy platforms of each candidate - health, crime, the economy - to assist them in making their choices on the ballot paper.
Plenty of considerations for Roscommon voters who must also be fully cognisant of the fact that the county has been without either a senior or junior ministry for more than a decade.
A handful of votes can make a huge difference, particularly in marginal constituencies and by extension, be critical in deciding the formation of the next Government. To make a difference, to make your point, make sure between now and polling day, you are eligible to vote.
Don't say you haven't been warned and exercise that right.