herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Why do voters think we're villains?

Martin Heydon, Fine Gael's young candidate for Kildare South, routinely finds himself speaking -- and just as often listening -- for ten minutes or longer to voters on the doorstep .

In general, the reaction personally is good, because "people want new blood in there". Yet, he concedes: "Sometimes people want to vent their anger and you just have to listen".

Then there are the thoroughly disillusioned citizens, so frustrated that they view all politicians as villains and don't even plan to vote this Friday.



INTEGRITY

"It'd drive you mad," admits Mr Heydon, "particularly because I firmly believe that we're not all the same".

A farmer by occupation, and the first of his family to enter politics, the 32-year-old says he was attracted to the Fine Gael party for its values of "honesty and integrity".

He's also a firm fan of party leader Enda Kenny, which comes in handy when a would-be voter tells him: "My problem with Fine Gael would be Enda Kenny. I don't think he's a good leader".

Mr Heydon swiftly responds: "As someone who knows him quite well, I know he'd make a fine strong leader. I think he has shown strong leadership on several occasions, particularly during the heave last year."

The woman on the doorstep isn't convinced, but then she's delighted to see a candidate of any political persuasion braving the voters, explaining: "I was just talking about politicians today, I was wondering where you all are."

-- AOIFE FINNERAN

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