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Thread: Presidential Election 2018

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Presidential Election 2018

    Regardless of how much of an actual contest it will end up being, Sinn Fein's Ard Comhairle's decision today means there will be a contest, probably on October 26th with the two proposed referenda.

    Higgins has announced he is running again and can nominate himself. Sinn Fein have the numbers in the Oireachtas for a nomination themselves, I would presume maybe O'Caolain or Boylan, or even Doherty?. Fine Gael and Labour will back Higgins. Fianna Fail don't have a set position yet I think, but Martin has indicated they will support Higgins.

    Independents seeking nominations right now include Senator Gerard Craughwell, Senator Padraig O'Cedigh, Sean Gallagher and Kevin Sharkey. They depend on Oireachtas nominations or councils, which is an iffy process without party backing. Wouldn't be surprised to see a few more come out of the woodwork.

    A sitting President hasn't faced an actual re-election campaign since Dev, who very nearly lost back in 66. But you would expect this to a be a cake-walk for Higgins who, barring some kind of unexpected scandal, might still be able to win without campaigning. The age thing is the only significant issue, and that didn't deflect from his popularity last time. Craughwell's made much of his pledge to only serve one term, but on the scale of political falsehoods its fairly minor. What else is there? The overly-praising Castro eulogy? Breaking the government pay cap for advisers? All insignificant really. None of the prospective candidates look anywhere on his level. How do you beat someone in Higgins' position?
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Seems like the people interested in running are doing so just because they feel there should be an election, rather than just confirming Higgins for another 7 years.

    I can't imagine that going down too well with the electorate.

    In SF's case, it's part of an overall plan to build themselves as a party I suppose.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    It's a good way to raise someone's profile for SF I suppose. They'll do well to break 10% though.

    Though expectations being so low I suppose there's no way to get beaten up. If they get crushed It's no more than was expected. Whoever the candidate ends up being must have a strong chance of taking a seat in the dail next time around.

    Or they could always put forward a unionist as a gesture of reconciliation.

    Whatever is going on they have something in mind other than actually taking the Aras. Or they have some incredible dirt on Higgins in an envelope in Connolly House.

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    Reserves D24Saint's Avatar
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    Don’t think an election is needed , Michael D is doing a great job and will win by landslide.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Possibly going to use the election to keep the government's feet to the fire on voting rights for Northerners.

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    No mention of Adams, has he said he's fully retired? I assumed he was retiring from everything else so he could run this year.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    McDonald said he wouldn't be their candidate. Under her they're presumably desperate to shed any Provo ties left.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dahamsta View Post
    No mention of Adams, has he said he's fully retired? I assumed he was retiring from everything else so he could run this year.
    I don't think he's a serious candidate. I could be proved wrong but SF are obviously trying to move on from that generation.

    John Finucane would be very interesting. Southerners may not know a lot about him but he is exceptionally bright and does well in front of the cameras. In addition his age and the assassination of his father makes it impossible to associate him with the provos in the way other parties usually attack SF.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Fianna Fail apparently won't impose a whip on supporting Higgins, which opens up the possibility of all sorts of people getting nominations. I don't know if the Soc Dems or Greens are planning to back anyone. Finucane and MEP Liadh Ni Riana the favourites for Sinn Fein: https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/201...fein-finucane/
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    How do you beat someone in Higgins' position?
    You announce a candidate, confident that this will encourage others to stand. MDH may then be rather less keen than if he were to be returned unopposed. As he is 77 age/ health is clearly a get-out for him in those circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Osarusan
    Seems like the people interested in running are doing so just because they feel there should be an election, rather than just confirming Higgins for another 7 years...I can't imagine that going down too well with the electorate
    If the electorate are annoyed that the head of state should face a contested election (as opposed to spending the cost of it on nurses' salaries, or traffic lights, or whatever) explain to them that it's not a zero-sum game.

    If on the other hand they're just apathetic, what's the problem? You'll just have a lower turnout. I suppose if that falls to derisory levels it would be embarrassing.

    Ultimately, MDH will either retire after or during his term, or die in office. There'll be a need for a new President at that stage, presumably.

    Quote Originally Posted by BttW
    Or they could always put forward a unionist as a gesture of reconciliation
    He isn't actually a unionist, but my party leader Steven Agnew was enthusing about the 12th the other day on RU. Said his kids really enjoyed it

    John Finucane would be very interesting. Southerners may not know a lot about him but he is exceptionally bright and does well in front of the cameras. In addition his age and the assassination of his father makes it impossible to associate him with the provos in the way other parties usually attack SF
    Finucane isn't that well known in the South (or to interested exiles, like me) because he isn't actually on TV that much- either in soundbite or longer detailed interview. From what I see and hear (View, Spotlight, Talkback, Nolan's various vehicles) SF rely more on O'Muilleoir, Murphy and O'Dowd to back up the leadership
    Last edited by Gather round; 19/07/2018 at 12:16 PM.

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    First Team backstothewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gather round View Post

    Finucane isn't that well known in the South (or to interested exiles, like me) because he isn't actually on TV that much- either in soundbite or longer detailed interview. From what I see and hear (View, Spotlight, Talkback, Nolan's various vehicles) SF rely more on O'Muilleoir, Murphy and O'Dowd to back up the leadership
    That's true, but he has a day job to attend to beyond politics.

    He was very impressive in the run up to the Westminster election when he challenge Dodds in North Belfast, and managed to add 7% on top of the vote Gerry Kelly had previously received.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Craughwell pulls out: https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/201...tial-election/

    Claims he's accomplished what he set out to do. Uh huh. More likely he's realised he can't get a nomination.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    I think he'd get a nomination without any difficulty. FF are playing a sneaky game (nothing new there) by publicly supporting Michael D, but seemingly not blocking councillors from nominating other candidates. They can't afford to leave the field to SF: a Michael D-SF head to head would give the Sinners far too much publicity and air time, so my reckoning is that FF will try to dilute that by facilitating a few more candidates in the field, perhaps - but not necessarily - FF gene-pool, and without having to contribute financially to their campaigns (important, with a general election somewhere in the not too distant future). Noel Whelan, ex-Party Secretary, and Sean Gallagher are both making noises in that respect, and should get the support needed.

    More likely Craughwell has looked at the finance: there wouldn't be much change out of €400,000 for a nationwide campaign and the more candidates there are the harder it is to raise those funds. I'd be thinking that 20% of the cost of a Presidential campaign would be better spent outside the restricted campaign limits on making a Dáil or Seanad campaign much more winnable.
    Last edited by Eminence Grise; 24/07/2018 at 10:05 AM.
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    I don't know who I'd vote for if it was between Higgins (with the totally affected accent), FF (never) or SF (never, never, never). Between a rock and a hard place.
    Forget about the performance or entertainment. It's only the result that matters.

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    Is it too reductionist to call that scenario the ultimate game of 5hag, marry, avoid?
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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    I will say I've never been either overly-impressed or unimpressed by Higgins, both in the 2011 campaign and after. I voted for him then based very much on an "Everyone else is terrible" sentiment, and I haven't regarded anything he's said or done in the last seven years as changing my general impression of him then as "Alright". I'd certainly consider someone else, even a SF candidate if it was from the more, shall we say, modern element of the party.

    Whether it matters a jot is something different. I'd be interested to see how the media treats the race once candidates are confirmed, if there would be en effort to manufacture (or at least manufacture a perception of) a tighter race.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Sinn Fein (seemingly unaware of the constitutional limits of the office) are in 'social justice warrior' mode -


    https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2018/0727/981433-presidential-election/


    The chairperson of the party's Presidential Election Committee, David Cullinane said..."they want a candidate who will address the changes seen in the abortion referendum and the same-sex marriage referendum and will address the issue of changing a patriarchal society."
    Last edited by The Fly; 27/07/2018 at 3:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fly View Post
    Sinn Fein (seemingly unaware of the constitutional limits of the office) are in 'social justice warrior' mode -


    https://www.rte.ie/news/politics/2018/0727/981433-presidential-election/


    The chairperson of the party's Presidential Election Committee, David Cullinane said..."they want a candidate who will address the changes seen in the abortion referendum and the same-sex marriage referendum and will address the issue of changing a patriarchal society"
    Aren't SF more likely to be pushing those limits, rather than blissfully ignorant of them? It may reflect recent Belfast mayors (from SF, SDLP and AP) looking to do more in the office than merely wear fancy dress and raise money for charity. In turn that's probably down to younger people with newer ideas, as well as the absence of Stormont

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    It'd be interesting to see a President that pushes the constitutional limits beyond what Higgins has done, regards speeches and what have you. You wouldn't expect any Oireachtas would have the balls to impeach.

    Regards misunderstanding of those powers, that's not all SF's fault, because too much of the electorate is ignorant of those restrictions and aren't helped by a media that isn't all that interested in educating them. In the last Presidential campaign, I watched a debate where the candidates were asked how they would fix hospitals. When, I think it was Gay Mitchell, had the temerity to imply the President couldn't really do anything about it, the moderator, Charlie Bird, gave out to him. I guess people don't want to know the answers to such scintillating questions as "Would you ever refuse to dissolve an Oireachtas?" when there are potholes to whinge about.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    George Gavan Duffy throws his hat in the ring and promises 'the most modern, dynamic, interactive election campaign possible'.
    https://www.independent.ie/irish-new...-37164551.html

    SF claim in retaliation that using three or more consecutive adjectives is emblematic of a bourgeois hegemony. They'd like to call it over-kill but the connotations there bombed with a focus group.

    And Miggeldy has decided he's very concerned about people who get caught up in gambling problems. 'One day they're fine. Next they're putting the House on the line, or their Aras on the block,' he didn't say, clearly concerned that a second majestic march toward the most meaningless prize in in Irish politics was now a gamble to be left in the hands of the people.
    https://www.independent.ie/irish-new...-37165065.html
    Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!
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