There is a growing view that keeping the current Government in office for a fixed anti-coronavirus period may be the best option for the nation. But that requires political action as this Government faces total paralysis inside the next two weeks, as Seanad elections conclude and the Taoiseach does not have the constitutional power to nominate his 11 senators.
So, the parliament will be incomplete and not have power to make new emergency anti-virus laws. Up to now, such laws have been passed by the new Dáil and the old Seanad.
But the upper house is now being replaced via long-winded election procedures that will elect 49 of the 60 Seanad members. The electorate for 43 of these, spread across the various panels, are the 941 city and county councillors, the 160 TDs and the outgoing 60 senators.
The electorate for the other six seats are the graduates of the National University of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin, which each return three senators. Elections in both cases will conclude early next week and the counting will be done over the ensuing days.
The final 11 Seanad members are nominated by the Taoiseach in a device put in place by Éamon de Valera's 1937 Constitution to ensure a government majority in the upper house. The problem here is that Article 18.3 of that Constitution stipulates that these 11 are named "by the Taoiseach who is appointed next after the reassembly of Dáil Éireann".
And that is not the case with Leo Varadkar, who was elected Taoiseach by the previous Dáil. Of course, it can be speculated, that lawyerly devices can be found to get around this crux.
But things are bad enough already in the political credibility stakes. A move to have a Taoiseach properly elected would really be preferable. We are now entering the seventh week without a new government since the election on February 8.
Talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are, at kindest estimate, ticking along very slowly. Since the Green Party's 12 TDs have opted not to join the 'big two', we are left looking at various Independent TDs to make up the necessary majority of 80-plus. It looks like a hard slog which cannot be achieved before this Seanad crux hits.
The Green Party has advocated a government of "national unity" as a temporary device to broach the current crisis. Precisely three weeks ago today, this writer mooted the same idea - while also noting that it was unlikely to happen.
There are three problems with the well-intentioned idea of a cross-party unity government. First is that it is almost impossible to put together. Second is that, even if you could put it together, its many disparate elements would make it very unlikely to give swift decisions to deal with coronavirus. Third is that now is not a good time to be conducting political experiments.
Since the coronavirus crisis utterly rules out another election, a more realistic approach would be to renew the mandate of the current 'care-taker government' by political agreement of the major parties. That would take a deal of courage from Fianna Fáil especially, as they would see leaving Mr Varadkar in situ as inimical to their goal of leading the next government.
It would have disadvantages for many of the other parties also. Yet it just might gain more political currency as the only real option over the coming days.
Over the weekend an intriguing political blog circulated - written under the pseudonym "Ms N Formed" - which outlined these ideas. It is well worth a look and it is headlined: "Press the pause button on government formation, wait, and then change government."
The article argues that the assumptions which surrounded the pre-February 8 general election have been blown away by the coronavirus. It rejects the idea of a national unity government as impracticable and notes the very slow pace of Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition talks.
"Meanwhile, the current government gets on with the job. It is proving to be the friend you like having around when things get rough," the writer argues.
Thus "Ms N Formed" argues for letting the current Fine Gael and Independents line-up continue. The ministers already know the ropes, know the civil service, and can make swift decisions as required.
The writer notes the Seanad crux as outlined above. The proposed solution is for as many TDs as possible from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, the Green Party, Labour, Social Democrats, Solidarity-PBP, and Independents to agree to renew the Government's mandate for a number of months. In return, the process of cross-party consultation, currently being practised, could be enhanced and expanded to help keep everyone in the loop.
There is no reference to what might happen to three ministers still in Government who lost their Dáil seats in the general election. But perhaps it might be possible to agree their appointment to the Seanad on a temporary basis to qualify them to continue in Cabinet.
The writer further suggests that the interim government's mandate could be for a number of months to be agreed by the parties underpinning it.
As an end to the crisis looms into sight, government-making talks between interested parties could begin in earnest and should be able to conclude successfully in a relatively short time.
After the coronavirus, the economy and people's confidence will have taken a hell of a battering. But the same problems of health, housing, Brexit and climate change will still confront us and we will have fewer resources.
Are our political parties ready to park their differences and doubts and put the country first? We shall see over the coming 10 days.