Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fine Gael’s approach to the presidential election brimming with vision

A brim is the upper edge of anything hollow.  The verb brimming describes something that is full to the brim – and Fine Gael are certainly not brimming with vision when the issue is the next presidential election.

A comment this morning on the Marian Finucane RTE 1 radio programme by Brian Hayes the Fine Gael TD to the effect that an agreed candidate’ might be an option for the next President of Ireland almost induced an episode of collective projectile vomiting in our household.  

Ireland has been afflicted with a Taoiseach who has no public mandate and the suggestion that a so called ‘agreed candidate’ is an appropriate means of determining the next President is an appalling, ugly vista that totally compromises our fundamental democratic rights and falls within the same retarded school of political thinking that advocates gender quotas.

The very least the nation should expect is that the major political parties are capable of sponsoring a viable candidate and if they are unable to do so their chances of governing effectively are correspondingly weakened.  Do  Fine Gael not have the balls to play this game on the electoral playing field?  That need not exclude Fine Gael sharing the endorsement of a candidate but the person nominated must be one of several candidate who must contest a presidential election.

A major weakness in the presentation of those who have tilted at the prospect of a nomination so far is their reluctance to state clearly at a high level at the outset what their credentials are to become head of state. 

Therefore, how can a voter deduce if someone from Kerry who was once president of the GAA is an attractive choice to become President of Ireland because he offers not an inkling as to how he would execute the office?  Does writing about agricultural issues in the media and representing subsidy-hunting farmers in the European Parliament constitute a satisfactory launching pad for the presidency, especially when nothing else is known about the person concerned?  Will the country, where the median age of the population is slightly under the age of 35 years embrace the concept of a candidate who would be 77 years of age at the end of the next presidential term excite voters? 

There will be a gap in each and every instance between the background and current activities of these individuals and their capacity to be a successful president.  There is no such thing as a ready-made presidential candidate.  That is why each one must address the central question as to why he, or she, is worthy of public trust in this supreme office.  Imagine if the nation is be afflicted with another ‘George Lee’ type whose credentials for office are ‘wonderful’ but whose capacity to serve in elected office was pathetic.

It is not for me, or any other commentator, to provide the ultimate answer and that is why there must be a presidential election which offers a choice of decent, attractive candidates.  I trust that Mr Hayes observation is the first and last occasion I hear talk of ‘an agreed candidate’. 

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