Saturday 19 August 2017

Presidential race farce has shaken faith in democracy

Politics is now seen as an irrelevant game played by tricksters and stroke merchants, writes John Crown

Although it can be argued that presidential contests are amongst the least consequential electoral exercises in our Republic, the current campaign will be particularly instructive for future students of Irish democracy and its dysfunctions.

In the first instance, the 2011 race is providing a stunning expose of all that is wrong with our party system, and is unmasking the utter ethical poverty of the two traditionally dominant parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.

It demonstrates, if demonstration was still needed, that for these ideologically indistinguishable behemoths, the retention of power and the frustration of the opponent take precedence over even a pretext of policy or public interest.

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