Saturday 18 November 2017

Seven reasons why some bloodletting is healthy

Unlike political elections, this presidential election allows for a good bout of national soul-searching, writes Brendan O'Connor

SCRATCH THE SURFACE: The candidature of David Norris saw contentious issues we thought we had sorted
out resurface. For example, officially the State has never been as gay-friendly but old-fashioned
homophobia still remains. Photo: David Conachy
SCRATCH THE SURFACE: The candidature of David Norris saw contentious issues we thought we had sorted out resurface. For example, officially the State has never been as gay-friendly but old-fashioned homophobia still remains. Photo: David Conachy

IT is fashionable for the pundits to tell us that presidential elections are a waste of time and money and do not matter, because presidential elections don't deal with the real issues.

The real issues, apparently, are the ones that get an outing in a general election, when parties face off over the detail on programmes for government that are generally works of fiction, if not fantasy. So how come then, that this presidential election campaign has become one of the most real, and most gripping, bouts of soul-searching this nation has had in years?

The last general election was a simplistic, anti-Fianna Fail, walk in the park next to the magnificent and broad-ranging complexity of this election. Having spoken about nothing except money for years, in the last couple of weeks we have suddenly started talking about everything, about who we are, where we've been, where we'd like to go next and how we would like to see ourselves.

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