I took the end of last week for half term. That meant minimal social media, no newspapers and not watching or listening to the news.
It was a happy couple of days in a little bubble known as the real world. In that world, there is very little inkling that there is an election coming up. Imagine! Even when out and about, Lagan Valley is a poster-free zone so how normal voters who aren’t generally about to watch political programmes or read any Slugger blogs, are going to find out about #AE17 is looming is beyond me.
There is certainly no sign of any canvassers out in the sticks of Lagan Valley, so it’s lucky I wasn’t waiting in so that I can quiz my wannabe MLAs about their manifestos (obviously DUP will be avoiding all contact after their manifesto launch just in case anyone does try to ask any awkward questions to which the answer isn’t Gerry Adams).
Speaking of the DUP, I did get a letter from the former First Minister (Gerry mentioned three times from memory) but to be honest, her sectarian rhetoric really isn’t my thing. At least I read her letter before carefully recycling it.
An Alliance leaflet appeared through the door too. It was very yellow and had a lot of words. Unfortunately I didn’t get to read it as the nearly five year old spilt her milk over it. To be honest, I was more annoyed about the waste of milk.
And that’s been about it. Two leaflets, no posters (I’m not counting the sneaky picture of Edwin Poots on a trailer at Sprucefield) and not a canvasser to be had.
There may be some surprised people in Lagan Valley come 2 March if the parties don’t up their game and actually engage with the voters who they would like to represent. Of course they first have to listen, but that’s for another day.
Sara McCracken works in communications for an educational body. She previously worked for the Green Party for #AE16 and in the health sector.