Sunday 30 April 2017

President needs right experience

MIRIAM O'Callaghan has done the right thing by ruling herself out of contention for the presidency when Mary McAleese's second term expires next year. Other celebrities would do well to acknowledge that the qualities required for the office are far removed from their own talents.

They are also far removed from the normal chatter to be found on social networking sites. But the electronic discussion has, wittingly or otherwise, rendered a service to the country. It has brought the question into the open and made it harder for politicians to exclude the people at large from debate on a major issue.

Since 1937 we have, by and large, been fortunate in our presidents. For that, little thanks is due to the members of the political establishment who have so often deprived us of our constitutional right to elect our head of state. Full credit, therefore, to the candidates who overcame hurdles placed in their way and obtained nominations -- even if they subsequently fought unsuccessful campaigns.

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