Sunday 22 July 2018

Do we really need a presidential election?

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

During the past few days, two of the most hotly-tipped presidential election candidates - Miriam O'Callaghan and Bertie Ahern ruled themselves out of any potential race.

It seems, however that this isn't enough and there will be an election, despite the stark reality that there is an extremely slim chance of anyone knocking Michael D off his perch.

Miriam and Bertie are wise enough to know that despite their public profiles, they would have a massive challenge ahead of them to swoop in ahead of the current president, and that they might seem almost vain to take it away from him, while he wishes to continue, and is doing a rather good job.

There has been hardly any negativity towards Michael D's performance and most will agree that he has done the country proud during his first term.

Any concerns of poor health or of having an older president have dissipated as he continues to balance the workload and international travel with aplomb.

While Miriam O'Callaghan is a fine broadcaster, having someone who is also a celebrity in Ireland move into the Áras might not be the best move, and of course she has more class in her little finger than other international leaders - it would still propel us into the sphere of having a well-known personality rather than someone of political substance as the figurehead of our country.

Many will say that it would be undemocratic not to have an election, but others are just baffled at the calls for one and of candidates being suggested when in reality there will be no competition.

Nobody can say that an election should not go ahead, but will the whole thing just be a waste of money?

The last time around, we knew we were getting a new president - the stakes were high and the campaign was awfully dirty so anybody considering throwing their hat in the ring wouldn't want to have any skeletons in the closet.

Today, Michael D has a successful term without incident under his belt coupled with the experience of contesting and winning a presidential election previously.

It would take a very confident and self-assured candidate to go up against him. After all who wants to be the candidate simply running so that an election can take place?

Enniscorthy Guardian