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Thread: A presidential election like none we've ever had before?

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    Politics.ie Member QuizMaster's Avatar
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    Default A presidential election like none we've ever had before?

    ...hopefully.
    We've never taken presidential elections all that seriously before.
    But now we have reached some sort of crossroads, or dead end, or we've fallen over the cliff and on the way down, whatever.
    We need to have a very serious chat about what's wrong with our state (not just our government), what it means to be Irish, where we are going, where we want to go, etc.
    After the election, hopefully it will continue and the new President will not just lock themselves up in the big house.

    Looking at all the potential candidates so far, it's hard to find anyone who can lead such a debate, or inspire us, or make us feel good or give us hope or self-belief.

    Discuss.

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    Politics.ie Member Chrisco's Avatar
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    I would like to see our President more involved in the politics of the State, a bit like the Presidency in Finland: he/she should have the power to dissolve parliament, and should be responsible for the appointment of senior figures to the judiciary and central bank etc, having had to swear a constitutional oath to discharge their duties without fear or favour to party political allegiances.

    Our Presidency, as currently structured, is an elected version of the British monarchy but with even less power.

    We could get rid of the office in the morning and have the functions replaced by the Council of State and no-one would notice any difference.

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    Politics.ie Member President Bartlet's Avatar
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    I too hope that this presidential election will be taken seriously but for that to happen the political parties MUST take it seriously and put forward serious candidates who could lead any potentially reformed office. This means they put forward credible political candidates as it is a political office and not of the guise of the current pathetic and useless incubment, the utter tripe of candidates that were put forward in the 1997 election and certainly none of the bloody 'do-gooders' or celebrities being bandied about in some parts of the media.

    A serious office with a serious person - otherwise scrap it and absore its powers into the job of Taoiseach and make the Taoiseach' role akin to that of the American President.

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    a transfer of powers from the Taoiseach to the President is indeed necessary, as well as some other powers:

    1. The appointment of the Attourney-General (for too long have gov'ts said: well my neutral friend and member of my party over here agrees with my legal opinion)
    2. The appointments of Judges
    3. PERHAPS EVEN The appointment of the Ceann Comhairle and Seanad chair

    ok, not technically the Taoiseach's prerogative, but, de facto, it currently is. The President should be able to appoint from a list of retired members - on the condition that they never again run for office - the CC and SC, though these should still be accountable to the houses in terms of votes of no-confidence etc. This is unless the CC is elected by secret ballot and allowed to stay on until they so choose like in the house o' commonage.

    4. The power to defer a bill to the people in a referendum (bank bailouts would've been an interesting one, assuming that with a powerful presidency Mary Mac wouldn't been unopposed for re-election)

    I'm sure there are some others. Wishlist much...
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    Politics.ie Member QuizMaster's Avatar
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    Interesting points, but I wasn't intending this thread to be about reforming the office of president.
    What I'm trying to get at is that this campaign might just be about a huge national looking at ourselves and taking stock. Lord* knows it's needed.



    *Dave Lord, a bloke I knew in London. Sound man. Actually had no clue about Irish politics though.

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    Politics.ie Member The Caped Cod's Avatar
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    The only reason the parties care about the presidency is because they want to have one of their own signing bills into law. That's about all the president does anyway.
    I can see Fianna Fail tturning it into a media circus to distract the public from teh prospect of a GE and give them the impression to have had their say.
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    Politics.ie Member Libero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuizMaster
    Looking at all the potential candidates so far, it's hard to find anyone who can lead such a debate, or inspire us, or make us feel good or give us hope or self-belief.
    Looking at how our constitution designs the office, it's hard to see how having the President lead such a debate could be compatible with holding the office.

    For sure, it would be possible to have a President who speaks in uplifting but vague generalities, like Bill Clinton recently did on his visit to UCD.

    But for a national political debate that will involve conflict and disagreement and the questioning of others' character and motives? I think we either have to redesign the office or look elsewhere for that sort of leadership.

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    Politics.ie Member Chrisco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuizMaster View Post
    Interesting points, but I wasn't intending this thread to be about reforming the office of president.
    What I'm trying to get at is that this campaign might just be about a huge national looking at ourselves and taking stock. Lord* knows it's needed.



    *Dave Lord, a bloke I knew in London. Sound man. Actually had no clue about Irish politics though.
    I would argue that a discussion about what the Presidency is actually for would facilitate that.

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    Politics.ie Member johndodger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuizMaster View Post
    ...hopefully.
    We've never taken presidential elections all that seriously before.
    I think we've taken them as seriously as they merit.

    But now we have reached some sort of crossroads, or dead end, or we've fallen over the cliff and on the way down, whatever.
    We need to have a very serious chat about what's wrong with our state (not just our government), what it means to be Irish, where we are going, where we want to go, etc.
    Do we? and what's this got to do with the presidential election?

    After the election, hopefully it will continue and the new President will not just lock themselves up in the big house.
    Since when has a President done that?

    Looking at all the potential candidates so far, it's hard to find anyone who can lead such a debate, or inspire us, or make us feel good or give us hope or self-belief.

    Discuss.
    What presidential candidates have been announced so far?

    Of the possible candidates in the news, I think David Norris would make an excellent president.

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    Politics.ie Member QuizMaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndodger View Post
    I think we've taken them as seriously as they merit.



    Do we? and what's this got to do with the presidential election?



    Since when has a President done that?



    What presidential candidates have been announced so far?

    Of the possible candidates in the news, I think David Norris would make an excellent president.
    I thought so too until recently, provided he wears a top hat, monocle, and watch and chain. But now I'm not so sure, we need to take it a bit more seriously.

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