Saturday 24 March 2018

Frontrunner still left behind in perverse system

With Norris consistently denied a nomination, Fianna Fail should step in and give him the nod, writes Eamon Delaney

So after a tough contest, Fine Gael has finally settled on Gay Mitchell as its presidential candidate, and will now do battle with Labour's Michael D Higgins, and Dragons' Den man, independent Sean Gallagher, and Mary Davis -- they both claim to be sure of nomination.

However, the real talking point of the presidential contest is the continuing exclusion of the frontrunner David Norris, who still hasn't been given the support of the four county councils necessary to get a nomination. It is a perversion of the system that Norris, the candidate who has been consistently ahead from the very start of the whole Presidency saga, is possibly going to be denied an actual candidacy.

This is lopsided and ridiculous and certainly doesn't reflect the wishes of the broader public. Once again, our political system shows itself to be elitist and unfair, and not the open, accessible world that it claims to be. And why is no one in the political classes protesting about this exclusion, or about the way the county councils are acting as gatekeepers to our Presidency, the people's Presidency? Because they are all wedded to the party system, and want to shut out an independent who might upset the apple cart.

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