independent

Monday 12 November 2018

Anyone else suffering from election fatigue?

Whoever is elected as President will have to park their political views at the door and represent all of the Irish people
Whoever is elected as President will have to park their political views at the door and represent all of the Irish people

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Is anyone else suffering from election fatigue?

We still have two weeks to go and it feels like being a hamster on a wheel listening to the same arguments from the candidates.

The incumbent Michael D Higgins continues to wipe the floor with his competition and yet the other five hopefuls are still slating him for deciding to seek re-election and for sympathising with the people of Cuba on the death of Fidel Castro.

If this is all that can be said of President Higgins's performance over the past seven years by his detractors, then it looks like he shouldn't start packing just yet. What comes up in every presidential race is a lot political debate which in reality Uachtarán na hÉireann is prohibited from discussing once elected.

Whoever is elected will have to park their political views at the door and represent all of the Irish people.

I haven't really heard much from any candidate about what they hope might be their lasting impact on the office and how they intend to serve the country.

I agree with Liadh Ní Ríada however, when she says that the President should have relevant political experience as, while they cannot share a view on any one issue, they must be au fait with the intricate workings of Government and have the necessary legal knowledge.

I still feel that money and business experience is not qualification enough for any president and that if we start to view it as such, we will end up with celebrity politicians being elected simply because they have a public profile.

The live media debates are a great way for candidates to flex their muscles and to remove the pre-existing opinions the public may have of them, especially if they are well known outside of the political sphere. It was disappointing that Sean Gallagher refused to partake in the first televised debate simply because Michael D was unavailable. By excluding himself on that basis, it suggests that he sees himself equal to the current President and even superior to his fellow candidates.

In fact, he has fact he has far more voters to win over than Michael D, and can use all the exposure and air time he can get. There are only a handful of group debates taking place in the coming weeks, and surely each candidate owes it to the electorate to take part in them all.

Corkman

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