- 23 Oct 18
Whether at local level or on the world stage, Michael D. Higgins has done a powerful job as President of Ireland over the past seven years. Without a shadow of doubt, he is the one to take us through the next seven too…
The closing date for nominations for the presidency has ushered in a month of torture, as candidates campaign and the media strive to entrench their view of themselves as the chief auditors of our political system. But at least it brought the pre-show entertainment to a merciful close. The usual words we use to describe such shenanigans, like farce, pantomime or circus, are woefully inadequate to capture the sheer skin-crawlingness of what went on.
The problem stems from the fact that candidates can be nominated by county councils. This was first spotted as an avenue by Dana’s advisers in 2004. It has opened the way for just about anyone to have a go. On one level that’s a very good thing. The election can’t simply be stitched up by the elected legislators in Dáil Éireann. But it’s a bad thing too, as a procession of people with little or no grasp of what the President is supposed to do – nor of the extent and limits of her or his power – presented themselves to one county council after another. It was wojious stuff.
There was an exception, of course, in the form of Norma Burke, who performed, and we think that’s the right word, before Dublin City Council as presidential candidate and PR executive Bunty Twuntingdon McFluff. She suggested burning dead people for fossil fuels and turning the Áras into a hunting lodge and spa. She proposed a new reality television show called ‘In Your Áras’ and said she would use the post to create “powerful contacts” for her own personal gain.