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59 Thoughts I Had Watching The Leaders Debate, Knowing Nothing About Politics

Apparently politicians like to yell at each other.

Will there be a “none of the above” option on the ballot?

If you use Twitter or Facebook, you've been a victim of the nonstop political posts storming your newsfeed. In between posts about sharing celebrity gossip, memes and cute pictures of dogs, articles, photos and way-too-long status updates inflicting very strong political views have been flooding my feed as of late. Now I'm sure you're already bored of this, and assuming I'm going to try and convince you that my views are more correct or better than yours, but here's the catch: I can't.

It's not because I'm ignorant, it's not because I don't care and it's not because 'it's cool not to like politics', I just don't get it. Everyone has mental blocks when it comes to certain subjects. For some it's maths or anything to do with numbers, for others it's trying to comprehend how someone as beautiful as Emily Ratajkowski exists, for me – it's politics.  Granted, it's a million years ago but I even studied politics for a year in college and still, I know nothing about politics.

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And even if I did think my political thoughts were of any importance, approximately half the country would mock what I say. On the other hand, the other half of the nation (who shares most of my political views) would think I was either naive or a moron. But the thing is, I care an awful lot about our country. And although I will forever have a fear of what people think, that personal problem is so minuscule by comparison to my fear of what is happening to Ireland right now. 

So in a bid to get educated, I decided that instead of bingeing Gilmore Girls for the millionth time last night, I would tune into RTÉ's Prime Time Leaders' Debate to try and figure out what on earth the #GE2020 is all about. Here are 59 thoughts I had while watching Prime Time leaders' debate. 


  1. Is the election this Saturday?

  2. This intro, sorry what is this?

  3. Okay, so are these all potential Taoiseachs or...?

  4. Who is that man in the pink tie? He could walk by me in the street and I wouldn't know a thing. 

  5. Okay, Twitter has since informed me that that man is in fact Micheál Martin, leader of Fianna Fáil.

  6. Miriam O'Callaghan out here proving velvet isn't just for Christmas, it's for life in that Zara blazer. 

  7. Leo Vardakar looks like an Aer Lingus cabin crew member in that suit and tie combination.

  8. Oh a Brexit mention from Leo, didn't see that coming. Yawn. 

  9. Leo says we want “change for the better”, not like Brexit or Trump, or Fianna Fáil or Sinn Féin. Okay, we're already throwing shade. Maybe politics is fun. 

  10. Micheál Martin says there are other parties not present who could form a coalition government with Fianna Fáil. Why is there no one from other parties here? 

  11. We're not even ten minutes in and I already don't believe a word any of these are spinning. 

  12. What is an SSIA scheme?

  13. Very harsh studio lights. They all look washed out.

  14. Okay, we're already shouting over each other. Terrific. 

  15. This is actually hurting my ears. Why do they just keep raising their voices?

  16. We’re on to housing and homelessness, this should be interesting. 

  17. Okay, I actually read that Daft report earlier, it said rent fell by 0.1% nationally and not in cities, where they rose. Want to try that comment again Leo?

  18. Mary Lou just made an excellent point to be fair to her "There is a lot of construction happening at the moment, it's just the wrong things are being built." Read: Stop. Building. Hotels.

  19. Mary Lou's necklace is from Newbridge Silverware, BTW.

  20. Can Leo not stop fidgeting for one second, he's constantly at it.

  21. Is someone hoovering in the studio? What is this humming in the background?

  22. Here's a question I'd like to see posed to Micheál Martin and Mary Lou McDonald: "If you were Taoiseach, what celebrity would you choose to send a letter on official state paper to?"
  23. Leo just claimed the rent freeze in Berlin has failed even though it was brought into law 5 days ago...

  24. Leo has attacked Mary Lou on the homelessness in the north. She says "Leo should be aware that the island is partitioned and the purse strings for the north are held in London." The gloves are off. 

  25. Finally, a break! 

  26. Okay, what on earth has David McCullagh got planned for his questions on health? That face!

  27. Sorry, Leo, you've had nine years you've just chosen not to use them wisely. 

  28. A ten-year plan?! China built a hospital IN TEN DAYS

  29. What is Sláinte care, and why am I only hearing about it now? 

  30. Also, doesn't Sláinte mean 'cheers' in Irish, who thought that was a good name for a healthcare system?

  31. I don't know whether I'm shocked more by Leo's plans to change the healthcare system or the fact he's a doctor? 

  32. Is it just me or is Micheál Martin yet to speak in this debate?

  33. Why don't they call each other by their names? 
  34. "Plain as the nose on your face." Some burn from Mary Lou there.

  35. How is a debate amongst the future leaders of our political government essentially a scrap with your siblings mediated by your Ma. 

  36. I've gone to the GP twice in my 24 years of life so I reckon I have a bit of catching up according to Mary Lou's stats.

  37. Oh, Mary Lou has dropped the mansplain, oh god.

  38. Much like politics, I don't understand pensions. 

  39. I wonder what they say to each other during the breaks.

  40. Was the debate going to be this long with just Leo and Micháel? This is tiring and I've already forgotten who I thought was doing better.

  41. Leo with the line of the night here in regards to Fianna Fáil having power again: "would be like asking John Delaney to take over the FAI again."

  42. Hang on, wasn't Leo the minister for transport, tourism AND SPORT when John Delaney and the FAI were ballooning its budget?

  43. Take a shot every time a candidate says "change."

  44. Would it kill them to ever just answer a question?

  45. Mary Lou not thinking carbon tax will make a difference has lost her this debate.

  46. Lovely, more lies.

  47. Will there be a “none of the above” option on the ballot?

  48. It's ver-bate-em, not ver-bat-m.
  49. Can they all please just stop yelling over one another?

  50. Micheál's answer to his 'biggest mistake' is essentially saying I'm just too hard-working in a job interview.

  51. Leo confirms he is indeed a human being.

  52. Leo's 'biggest mistake' is that he is too honest! Right, got that.

  53. Mary Lou's 'biggest mistake' is that she has made so many mistakes she can’t pick just one....oh dear.


  55. Should there not be some kind of closing comments from each candidate? A plea to vote for them like they did in Big Brother?

  56. Well, that was an absolute mess. 

  57. Thank christ that is over. 

  58. Is there an After Sun-esque after this? 

  59. If there's one true winner of this debate, it's Twitter. 

Final thoughts:

Micheál Martin said nothing. 

Leo Varadkar likes to tell his opponents to check their facts but fails to check his own. 

Mary Lou started extremely strong and sort of fell apart towards the end.

Despite how shambolic that attempt of a debate was, no one should ever base their decision on who to vote for on a Leader's Debate. Shouldn't we be reading up on their policies? Seeing if they've been involved in any nasty scandals? Discovering who are local candidates are and what they stand for? Or take this political quiz? 

Main image by RTÉ

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