Interview with Adam Douglas, Green Party Candidate for Fermoy

I recently did an email interview with Adam Douglas from the Green Party. Questions and answers below. I should have more of the younger candidates from a few other parties in the next while here too. Politics needs more younger people contributing by standing for election as well as voting for politicians. People under 30 appear to be invisble in real politics.

Adam Douglas Green Party Fermoy

Why politics? Isn’t it only for the anoraks? Or is that just the Youth and College Wings?

I think Politics has got a naturally bad perception, as reflected in a question like this, and this is understandably the case. But one must realise that Electoral Politics, the winning and not winning entailed in it, can be simplified to a Game. It just so happens that those worst suited to be effective Politicians often seem to be best at playing the Electoral Game of accruing public support to get seats in various Chambers. That’s Why I’m determined to buck that trend for the betterment of Politics, by meeting people and highlighting faults Whenever I can.

How much of a novelty factor has your age been? Do you get the respect you deserve from people in local politics that are double or even triple your age? How in tune with the younger population are these old fogeys? (My term not yours obviously)

I can’t deny it’s had some novelty value, however much I’d like to! The fact is that many of the radio and other appearances I’ve had (including this) would probably not have come About if it wasn’t for the level of attention the age factor’s Grabbed. But despite this I’m determined as ever that it doesn’t either become or overwhelm my campaign.

With regard to the respect issue, I’ve attended a number of local council meetings since my campaign started, and whatever disagreements I may Share with others on policy issues, I must thank them All for the level of seriousness they’ve treated me with.

On the third issue, I would argue that they are completetly out of touch, but I would like to state that this is not a fault of their ages in any way. There is nothing conceivably stopping an 80-year Old being completely in sync with an 18-year Old. Councillors will naturally look out for as many voters as they can, but as long as there isn’t an expectation that the 18-24 age group will even turnout to vote, then there isn’t Gonna be too much attention Paid to their concerns. If Apathy in my age group disappears, then the things I spend a lot of time fighting for, such as a new cinema for the town, will suddenly get more of a look in. That’s why voter registration will be a key issue for me in the weeks before the supplementary list is finalised

How does a youngfella from Fermoy, going to college in Dublin juggle campaigning to be a real world politician too? If you get in, how will you do it?

I’d imagine my traditional ‘I’ll deal with that if comes to it’ response won’t suffice in this instance! More seriously though, as I once told someone Else, it’s All About Good time management. I’m fortunate to have a mixture of facilitating factors. Firstly, a full-time course that is very light on lectures and second of All, the fact that I don’t seem to find long journeys as much of a Chore as others, in fact they give me a great opportunity to get on top of work outstanding. Ultimately, It’s easily Achievable in comparison to Mary Lou McDonald’s situation in running in a European and By-Election at the same time in June!

How much of a difference is there with local council politics and that of the Universities?

I think to even compare the two would be very harsh of upon local councils, as much as they are bereft of lots of the powers of comparable bodies on the continent. Uni Politics is a Powerless popularity contest at the end of the day.

Once Again it comes back to the Point that if Students (Predominantly 18-24 Age group) voted for the meaningful positions then their concerns would be Addressed in Dail Eireann, in City and County councils and Ultimately, through the Pressure that brings, by university management.

How do you get a win in local politics? What is classed as a win? Is there enough power or control in local councils to change the lives of people?

Politics in a PR System can’t be a zero-sum Game. A win for me will be taking a seat, even if that’s ninth out of nine. For certain candidates expectations will be a lot higher for historical reasons of Pride.

I certainly think there is considerable leverage to Change people’s lives for the better, whatever I may have said Above. Planning is a big one, and in Ireland there has been a fierce Shortage of it!

What are the important things people want addressed of late as you go door to door and what of them can be addressed on a local level?

Parking Charges in the town, the flood & traffic mgmt Plans for Fermoy, and rising unemployment in the area are the ones Absolutely central to people’s minds at the moment and understandably so. If councillors are smart About these, they can get things done, but they still need Govt help at the end of the day to be Allowed to Proceed fully.

We need Greater independence of funding mechanisms so that more decisions can be taken by Elected Local councillors. A lessened dependence on exchequer funding can be Achieved through motor tax, aswell as a levy on second properties. Water Charges will Also have to be looked at in the near future I’d imagine.

Is there an education process with the electorate to let them know where the local issues end and the national ones are addressed?

To some degree there Should be, but I wouldn’t underestimate people’s knowledge of where decisions are made. People are rightly confused when they vote for a local candidate and see his/her decisions hampered by national decision-makers, and by extension when they vote for national candidates and they see their decisions being usurped by directives from European Union institutions.

Do you think being a Green in more rural locations is tougher than maybe in more urban areas? Many Greens come from affluent urban areas than the rural locations or is that just a myth.

I’m afraid there’s no myth About it, we do have more success in cities. Although recent opinion Polls Show our support evening out more and more in terms of Dublin versus the rest of the country. It’s Also key for me to dispel the notion that the Policies of the party would be detrimental to rural Ireland. In fact, we have the strongest record in terms of any party in advocating sustainable rural development

Should there be more accountability and transparency when it comes to expenses?

Without a doubt. The money Claimed by so many TDs and councillors at a time when the country is near to Going under with debt is simply disgusting. But we need to be talking About more than just vouched receipts. The actual number and value of expenses must be Shrunk rapidly and All loopholes must be Closed. And don’t Get me started on committees & Ministers of State!

Should people 30 years out of synch with people under 25 be the ones to come up with ways of getting this demographic out to vote? How can this demographic be enthused or angered enough to X the spot on a ballot paper?

As I said Above, there’s nothing necessarily stopping them, Although I feel someone more their age would stand a better Chance of displaying the relation between Politics and everyday life that’s so badly missing. It’s a difficult question to answer, I suppose the end of the Celtic Tiger will focus young people’s minds on the question of why the Good times have come to an end and possibly encourage a bigger turnout

Is the Senate value for money, is it democratic since it’s populated with mates of whoever was the Taoiseach at the time?

It’s neither value for money, nor democratic, and Should be scrapped if anyone had any sense. New Zealand functions fine with just one Chamber. There’s only About half a dozen senators I have anytime for at All

The Internet really didn’t impact at the last general election, is it making any inroads at the locals this time around?

With every Election, the Internet Grabs a Greater role in Electioneering. The Problem for the medium, and as a consequence my own website, is that the Proportion continues to Grow at too Slow a pace to have a major impact. I hope I’m wrong though!

Tell us about a local politician not from your party that you admire/respect.

One of my own TDs in fact. Sean Sherlock of the Labour Party (Cork East). He seems to be every bit as hard working as his late father. Always happy to make a representation on any issue, and to work to a positive end on it. Also well on top of his portfolio where Agriculture’s concerned

16 Responses to “Interview with Adam Douglas, Green Party Candidate for Fermoy”

  1. Keith says:

    Interesting, but for Jaysus’ sake mind the unnecessary capitalisation!

  2. John says:

    The very peculiar capitalisation of random words is rather odd.

    To some degree there Should be, but I wouldn’t underestimate people’s knowledge of where decisions are made. People are rightly confused when they vote for a local candidate and see his/her decisions hampered by national decision-makers, and by extension when they vote for national candidates and they see their decisions being usurped by directives from European Union institutions.

    It would be interesting if Adam could expand on the last bit. What decisions by national legislators are “being usurped by directives from European Union institutions”.

  3. Mark says:

    Yeah, em, the interview is solid enough but that’s some of the randomest capitalisation I’ve ever seen, could do with some serious sub-editing.

    Good to see someone focusing on the youth in politics as opposed to youth politics or “young politicians” (25+ usually.)

    Interesting comment regards the senate. Wonder how Dan Boyle feels…

  4. Keith says:

    >People are rightly confused when they vote for a local candidate and see his/her decisions hampered by national decision-makers, and by extension when they vote for national candidates and they see their decisions being usurped by directives from European Union institutions.

    You mean when the TDs they vote for and the MEPs they vote for have different policies from the Councillors they vote for? The only confusing thing about that is the voter’s varying preference!

  5. I’m afraid I could Never vote for him, As that sort of Arbitrary capitalisation would drive me up The wall.

    Also, I hate and fear the Green Party, of course.

    Plus, giving any power whatsoever to local councils is asking for trouble. They should be happy with their tedious committees about nothing, damnit.

  6. People won’t appreciate how good this interview is until they see the competitor’s responses.

    Well done Adam. If all they can pick at is random capitalisation, you’re doing very well. also any time is two words n the context you used it in, I believe.

    and Dan Boyle, i think, believes in a higher house but done democratically and with more power.

  7. Dave says:

    Every time I see or hear Mary Lou McDonald I am always reminded of an interview with her and Michael McDowell on todayfm where he cut her off with a classic: “Hello Mary Lou, Goodbye jobs”.

    It did really pay off for him in the long run though as he had to say goodbye to his own job.

  8. Dave says:

    Anyway, is he running because he isnt old enough to vote?

  9. Jay says:

    The fundamental point to make is that I do not want a person with 19 years of planet-earth experience representing me. Go out and get out more life experience, get various jobs, and then come back to us.

  10. JK says:

    What a bright young chap. My faith in the future is somewhat restored

  11. Tipster says:

    People under 30 appear to be invisble in real politics.

    I disagree with the implicit definition of “real” politics in that assertion. People under 30 are to be found in a wide range of political activity which is very much real: on economic globalisation, fair trade, global warming, the death penalty, capitalism, Guatanamo, Israel, US military activity, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, global corporate corruption, Internet restrictions, open source software, privacy and data access, the location of Shell refineries, fur farming, … .

    Irish political parties are not the be all and end all of “real” politics.

  12. Andrew says:


    While I appreciate the sentiment. I think it usually tends more to go something more along the lines of, “Go out, get various jobs, become jaded and world weary, spend the remainder of your life watching Sky Sports.”
    I’m sure he’s getting plenty more life experience now than he would working in Tesco.

  13. Dear Pedantic cunts,

    oh hang on, I don’t need to finish my comment. I’ve said it all.

  14. Ian says:

    This is a very impressive interview.

    Just a couple of observations; He says that

    “Uni Politics is a Powerless popularity contest at the end of the day.”

    I have to say as someone who initially joined politics through college that I wouldn’t entirely agree with this .I believe that there is huge cyncism about student politics that can be wrongly misplaced – in some cases I would agree that it can be just a “powerless popularity contest” – I have witnessed this myself but my answer was to actually get involved and do something to change it for the better. Students Unions can have and do have power – for example while I was in office I managed to succesfully reverse the decision to unfairly evict 2 students, I managed to work with the college on removing an incompetent lecturer.

    Fair enough to Jay that he judges someone purely based on their age and therefore as incapable of being a public representative – However as far as I can see the guy is articulate, intelligent, motivated and from what I can see would be a good public representative.

  15. Adam Douglas says:

    I’d just like to thank everyone for their responses to the interview, even the serial moaners! I realise I’ll never be everyone’s cup of tea but Please have a go at my policies, if anything, not my grammar or age! I take Ian’s Point re student Politics, I may have been over critical but I’ll leave that to another day.
    With reference to the EU Point, ‘Intentions’ would have been a better word for me to use than ‘decisions’ but I stand over the bones of the statement

  16. John says:

    Adam, I am sure you stand over the bones of the statement about the EU point, but I would be interested for you to give examples of your points – because I think it is one of those reactionary points people make about the EU which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

    With regard to Damien’s point about people under 30 in ‘real politics’ while taking the argument about parliamentary politics not being the be all and end all, there are a few parliamentarians – particularly in Fine Gael – who fit that profile. However, in politics – like any job – it takes time for opportunities to arise, and apprenticeship of a sort have to be served. Getting to the forefront by age thirty of a political party by age thirty is a fairly significant task.