In Britain, the tradition is that if a party leader loses an election they lose their job. There's no ifs or buts about it, the electorate decides the fate of the politician charged with steering the direction of the party. Resigning as party leader in the aftermath of an election drubbing is the ultimate democratic sacrifice. The people speak and the politician listens.
In Ireland, our political leaders follow a different set of principles thanks to a benign belief in giving those who put their name forward a chance to prove their mettle, even if a significant number of voters have clearly shown they have no interest in being led by them.
If we were to apply the British standard to our own politicians, it would be very unlikely Micheál Martin would still be leader of Fianna Fáil - and Leo Varadkar would also be battling to hold on to his position in Fine Gael. Mary Lou McDonald would also have come under serious pressure following Sinn Féin's local election results last year.
If opinion polls are to be believed, Varadkar has made a comeback of sorts after a poor performance in the General Election.
McDonald is also holding her own, while her party sat back and let others work on government formation.
Martin, however, has seen his party's standing plummet, despite the efforts it has put into ensuring the country has a government as we try to crawl out of the economic hole caused by the coronavirus.
Today, we will know if the two men, along with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, are set to make history. Alternatively, months of work on a programme for government will have been a waste of time and all that will be left will be a hundred-odd pages of empty promises to right all of society's wrongs.
Even if they sign the deal, a large portion of the programme for government may very well be described in similar terms in years to come.
Either way, there is no certainty about how the Green Party will vote - or if it will achieve the two-thirds majority needed to endorse the agreement. It is not a large party by any stretch of the imagination. Little more than 2,000 people, including almost 200 from Northern Ireland, are making a decision which will affect a country of almost five million. Our destiny is in their hands. That is not to forget the almost 14,500 Fianna Fáil voters who will have their say on the deal.
However, it is confident it will get a majority vote in support of the three-party government arrangement.
Fine Gael has a weighted system of voting which ensures the 52 members of its parliamentary party decide if the deal will be supported or not. It is not expecting a No vote - despite a significant number of party members still being anxious to go into opposition.
So it is all eyes on the Green Party this afternoon. Both sides of the debate have been playing down expectations ahead of the vote which should be known by tea time.
If it does fail, what will it mean for the political leaders who have invested their careers in this supposed new green deal for Ireland? Will Micheál Martin give up the ghost, and step aside to allow a new Fianna Fáil leader trash out a deal with Sinn Féin?
After coming this far, it is hard to see him giving up. Earlier this week, he said he intended to lead Fianna Fáil into the next general election. He wasn't clear on whether he meant if the deal didn't pass, or in five years' time after Leo Varadkar's stint in the Taoiseach's Office.
Martin is hardly going to accept defeat today if he is planning to lead Fianna Fáíl into the next election. He has also softened his language on Sinn Féin in recent days, saying only he "does not have the mandate" when asked if he will speak to Mary Lou McDonald should the vote fail.
To get this mandate, he would have to return to his parliamentary party and seek permission to enter talks with Sinn Féin. If it does come to this, Martin knows that while it could be humiliating serving as McDonald's Tánaiste, it will be his only chance of holding on to some sort of power.
Leo Varadkar even opened the door to talking to Sinn Féin this week - but set out a list of conditions it would have to meet before he would consider sitting down with McDonald. On 'Prime Time', he referenced the 'Four Cs' which related to 1. The Constitution; will the party recognise the legitimacy of the State? 2. Cash; how the party is funded, 3. The Courts; will it support the Special Criminal Court? 4. Criminality; its view on some of the acts of terrorism during the Troubles. Thrashing out those issues would certainly make for an interesting set of negotiations.
In government or opposition, Varadkar's leadership appears to be safe - as despite Fine Gael's poor showing in the election, the TDs were happy with his performance. Interestingly, there is still some resentment towards Paschal Donohoe due to his role as director of election during the campaign.
No matter what happens, Eamon Ryan, who guided his party to a historic election victory, is facing a leadership election. Deal or no deal, he's going head to head with his deputy Catherine Martin next week. Martin also backed the programme for government so they will be on an equal playing field. But they both risk the electorate's wrath if the deal is not ratified.