Friday, 17th August 2018
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Race for the Presidency

This year is going to be a pretty busy one when it comes to politics. There is going to be a referendum at the end of May and also whether we like it or not there is bound to be a general election at some stage this year or early next year as well. If that wasn't enough to contend with then there is also the issue of the election of a new President, the date of which has yet to be decided.

The election of a new President is a bit of an open card because, although the majority of people who go forward for election are backed by political parties, there are always some who aren't that well known to the general public. Mary Robinson and Mary McAlese were not exactly household names before they went forward and ran for the position of President. They both had the backing of well-oiled political machines so in one sense they weren't exactly going into the elections blind but they still were somewhat of an unknown entity to the Irish electorate at the start of their respective campaigns.

Michael D. Higgins was a different kettle of fish considering the fact that he was well known in national politics before he stood as a candidate for President. Since being elected as President he has acquitted himself more than adequately and has been a great representative for Ireland on the international stage. He is eloquent and knows how to command a room and upholds the dignity of the office at all times. The one problem with Michael D. Higgins however is the fact that at the time of his election he did expressly state that he would only ever be a one term President. He would do his 7 years and then stand down. Now that the time has actually come for a new election it remains to be seen whether he will go back on that promise and look for another term as President. If he does then it will be less and less likely that there will be a presidential election and Michael D. Higgins will return unopposed as the next President of the country. If he doesn't then all bets are off and there will be a hasty scramble for candidates amongst the political parties.

As is the case in situations like this there have already been quite a number of names mooted and put forward amongst political commentators as well as politicians. Some of them are just ridiculous such as Bertie Ahern and Miriam O"Callaghan. One has too many skeletons in his cupboard and the other is nothing more than a glorified tv personality.

No doubt if the situation arises that our current President doesn't decide to run again more worthy candidates will emerge but as the old saying goes, if it ain't broke then don't fix it and here's hoping that Michael D. Higgins will stay on for another term.


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