Much of the focus in the coming weeks will be on the characters and personalities who are set to fill the coveted Cabinet seats in our next Government.
And, of course, it will be fascinating to see how the various factions in Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and their willing accomplices get on when the big jobs are dished out by their party leaders.
But Cabinet formation is more than just an opportunity to reward loyal party members with titles and chauffeur-driven cars.
It presents political leaders with an opportunity to shape the direction of their Government. Each ministry is a cog in the wheel of an administration. When working properly, they turn independently but grind out the ultimate goal, which is a functioning society and economy.
Setting aside the housing crisis momentarily, it is a fair analysis to say the various Cabinets of the last four years achieved much of their goals.
Up until four weeks ago, the economy was in a good place, there were jobs for those who wanted them and the vast majority of people in this country had a decent quality of life.
This is not to undermine the harrowing impact of the housing crisis on various groups in society, from those wandering the streets in search of accommodation to those forced to live with their parents long after they should have moved out.
Covid-19 has presented new challenges for the next Government but many of the old challenges will remain.
Unlike the dark days of the financial crash, most people who lost their jobs during the crisis are not straddled with unmanageable financial debts thanks to lending restrictions introduced during the recovery.
The Government can still borrow on the international markets, so with a bit of luck the downturn will not be as bad as last time.
Once people are back in work the same issues around housing, health, traffic and cost of living will arise.
In Fine Gael, senior figures are examining how the next Cabinet can address these problems.
Central to these discussions are plans to create a new relationship between the Department of Housing and a new standalone Department of Transport.
The departments would not necessarily merge —
although this is being looked at — but rather they will work alongside each other in a similar vein to how the Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure operate.
The two departments would be responsible for transport-orientated development and work in tandem with the Land Development Agency (LDA) and National Transport Agency. The LDA is soon to be a hugely powerful State agency. The Fianna Fail and Fine Gael policy framework document published last week said as much.
A Fine Gael source involved in developing the idea said housing and transport will be “two sides of the same coin”.
“There will be a fusion of the role of transport infrastructure and housing infrastructure because you can’t do what we want to do in housing if it doesn’t coincide with what we are going to do in transport,” the source said.
This will allow for what they like to call ‘master planning’ which means building new homes in the right places — near amenities and public transport and so forth.
In the above scenario, a new Department of Tourism and Sport might also be created to address the serious issues both sectors are set to face during the Covid-19 recovery. There is also a debate over splitting the Department of Health.
Fine Gael says this is the last thing that should happen because the goal of Slaintecare is to create a more integrated health service.
But in Fianna Fail there is an argument for a separate Community and Social Care Department that focuses on issues facing older people and those with disabilities, while the Department of Health oversees acute medical and hospital care.
A new public health junior, or even super junior, ministry is being considered to ensure the country is prepared for the outbreak of any future pandemics.
There is also a debate around merging elements of the Department of Communications and Department of Culture. The new department could tackle the challenges facing all forms of media, while also addressing the issues posed by social media.
Again, the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael framework committed to addressing social media abuse if in Government.
Climate Change will almost certainly be a standalone department in the next Cabinet — especially if the Green Party decides to enter Government. If not, Hildegarde Naughton is well placed to take the reins of the department, given her role on the Oireachtas Climate Change Committee.
Micheal Martin is keen, or at least he was during the general election, on creating a Department of Higher Education and Research.
There is already a super-junior ministry for Higher Education so perhaps that could be beefed up.
But there is a long way to go before the leaders sit down and thrash all this out.