Uachtarán na hÉireann – SF within a whisker of nominating a Presidential candidate?

With 14 TDs and now 3 Senators elect, SF are a mere 3 Oireachtas votes away from the magically twenty that permits nomination to the 26 county Presidential election.

I have no idea if SF would want to face a heavily tipped David Norris but two things do stand out;

-just how much some of those close run Dail contests SF missed out on can really matter (also losing former members like Thomas Pringle TD)
-just how far they’ve come in a decade where they are now within a whisker of being able to put up a direct Presidential nominee.

But surely SF could find 3 votes across both houses if they really fancied a run at the big house? Or with some of the others in the Dail they could easily force through a different kind of candidate – Joe Higgins for President 😉

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  • Blissett

    But surely SF could find 3 votes across both houses [i] if they really fancied [/i] a run at the big house?

    If being the operative word. Cant see any value in it, huge effort limited return. Difficult to think of any half decent candidate. Robert Ballagh maybe.

  • Henry94

    How is Norris going to get nominated? The big parties are freezing him out. Sinn Fein should run an anti-bailout candidate in consultation with others. The President has no power on the issue and the candidate would have to understand and respect that. But it would give the people the opportunity to put their opposition on the record.

  • Mark McGregor

    Henry,

    You were probably replying as I gave the post a final edit – I’ve suggested SF with some of the others forcing a new type of candidate.

    My suggestion was Higgins but of course SF won’t go for that as he’s part of a competitor party but other options must exist.

    SF + ULA = Presidential candidate.

  • Mr Crumlin

    The next President would be in place for the 1916 century commemorations. Be good to see someone take the position who appreciated the sacrifice made.

    Who that could be – I have no idea.

  • Cynic2

    As the President cant take an active part in Party Politics Gerry for president gets my vote.

    Another step on the road to political oblivion

  • pippakin

    Its yet to be seen if the increase votes for SF are anything more than a protest vote against the previous government. It might be an ambition too far to propose a candidate for the presidency at this stage.

  • roadnottaken

    They should definately go for it.. but to show that Gerry was serious about be a Dáil Eireann TD he should steer clear.

    Personally I think Bairbre de Brún is the perfect candidate.

  • John Ó Néill

    Hard to see SF and ULA finding and promoting an agreed candidate. Popular opinion seems to be with Norris and they could buy into him by nominating him over the heads of the other parties. (Ironically, if you insist on fretting over 2016 who else would be a better Casement clone?).

    There have been rumours on an agreed mainstream candidate (between at least FG and Lab to avoid an unseemly intra-governmental squabble) and mutterings that a financially bereft FF also want to avoid the cost of a value-less presidential election (and so will come on board for the right person).

    In that regard, promoting Norris as the non-mainstream candidate (to bloody the nose of FF, FG and Lab) has political value in its own right. The only stumbling block, whether one likes it or not, is obviously Norris’ own particular and prominent pecadillo – that Joycean nonsense. He’d have to promise to pack that in.

  • Henry94

    Mark,

    I think Higgins would dread winning and neither he nor Adams would not be suitable anti-bailout candidates because they are strongly identified with other issues.

    I’d be hoping for someone from outside active politics. Perhaps the artist Robert Ballagh could be prevailed upon to run.

  • Henry94

    Blissett

    I missed that you had already suggested Ballagh. I’m happy to second that.

  • Mark McGregor

    How bizarre that those claiming to promote an alternative to those that financially destroyed the masses of Ireland would seek to have another imcomprehensible elitist as President.

    Some of ‘you’ may love Ballagh – where is the real connection with the worker?

    Its another ‘Panel’ choosing a candidate/s not relevant to the masses.

    Hows about not having a ‘figure’ as your starting point?

  • hmmyes

    “The only stumbling block, whether one likes it or not, is obviously Norris’ own particular and prominent pecadillo – that Joycean nonsense. He’d have to promise to pack that in.”

    😮 I could not disagree more, an Irish statesman should be fluent in Joyce if you ask me

  • Henry94

    Mark,

    The nomination process is restrictive. For an anti-bailout candidate to have a chance they would have to appeal to people well beyond the base of SF and the ULA. The more names we can come up with the better so feel free to make other suggestions. It needs to be somebody willing to do the job capable of doing the job and that people can unite in support of.

    Some of ‘you’ may love Ballagh – where is the real connection with the worker?

    I am a worker.

  • sdelaneys

    roadnottaken. ‘Personally I think Bairbre de Brún is the perfect candidate’.
    The only reason I have to believe that Bairbre actually exists is that I met her once or twice. She seems to have discovered the secret of invisibility and silence.

    As for Ballagh, I smiled as he blustered away when Vincent brown tackled him about his availing of major tax breaks as an artist despite being a very wealthy man. Another socialist who beieve he shouldn’t pay taxes but other people should.

  • Alias

    It’s about time the Irish people elected a nationalist to lead the nation rather than dreadful post-nationalists like the two Marys or the likes of Norris who are only proffered by the D4 set because they promote the counterproductive concept of the de-politicised, non-sovereign Irish and cause least offence to those who don’t believe in Irish national self-determination.

  • Cynic2

    ” ……….. where is the real connection with the worker?”

    Good idea. He / she could also keep a pig as well to keep in touch with the rural worker. That should all go down well with the likes that Merkel woman and Sarkozy …set the right tone for Ireland’s place in Europe.

  • Alias

    Well, I laughed…

  • Fionn Og Mor McComhain

    sinn fein and the popular peoples front of the united left alliance could do worse than disagree over water rates and agree over who gets the nod in the ‘right’ direction for the presidency.it’s not the white house.it’s the house nearest to the zoo.

  • roadnottaken

    sdelaneys
    “The only reason I have to believe that Bairbre actually exists is that I met her once or twice. She seems to have discovered the secret of invisibility and silence.”
    Mary McAleese was virtually unknow prior to her 1997 run for the Aras… at least de Brún has a relatively good political background to call upon

  • roadnottaken

    I wouldn’t kid yourselves about agreed candidates.. Fine Gael may be worried about scrapping with Labour, but do not underestimate their desire to nail FF when their down. FG have never won a race for the Arás since the creation of the Presidency..they will determined not to let it allude them now. To cement their new found status as the largest party in the state, then they must win the highest post in the state.

  • No mention of a democratically elected second chamber, betsy’s over soon, having off loaded one of her brats today, why not go the whole hog and do away with that tammany hall back room deals crap and appoint her head of State.

    Sorry guys, could not resist it, 😉

  • AGlassOfHine

    Terry Wogan would get my vote………

  • Cynic2

    Bairbre?

    Are she and Ken still an item?

    But to be serioes, isnt Irish Politics strange. one day you are plain old Barbara Brown then you use the faux Gaelic version and bang – you are an MEP getting squillions on the EU Gravy Train.

    Is Barbie also on the average Industrial Wage?

  • Blissett

    Speaking for myself, i was thinking aloud when I suggested Robert Ballagh. He’d be ok, but perhaps a small bit temperamental.

    Really struggling to think of anyone half decent though. Its a pity Michael O Muircheartaigh ruled himself out, id gladly vote for him even on an FG ticket. Legend.

  • Henry94

    Blissett

    I thought of Sinead O’Connor who I adore. But I don’t think she could stand doing the job. David McWilliams could win and do the job but the left would not nominate him.

    There are a lot of boxes to be ticked. What about Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin?

  • Nordie Northsider

    Sinn Féin are in a bit of a quandry about Norris. On one hand they like to be thought of as supportive of the gay community and to be seen to reach out to Protestants, but on the other Norris has history as an anti-Nationalist commentator.

    As regards a united left candidate it shouldn’t be forgotten that SF, the Socialist Party, People Before Profit and others are all vying for the left, protest vote. There’s no way SF will cede ground by supporting Joe Higgins or that Boyd Barrett could bring himself to support a posturing bourgeois SF nationalist. Even Robert Ballagh would be too green for the United Left Alliance people. Other vaguely leftist commentators would be considered unsound on the national question by SF.

    To have any chance of success an anti-bailout candidate should be free of party connections and that is a very difficult thing indeed.

  • Blissett

    Caoimhghin, much as I like and respect him wouldnt go down all that well. Little enough national profile, and hasnt much to mark him out.

    also slightly pompous. I dont really, on balanace, think its something SF should get hung up about, plenty to be getting on with. Ideally a leading campaigner for/against something or other in local communities. But I cannot think of anyone with a profile high enough to be competitive.

  • Henry94

    NN

    I don’t think there is even a question about Norris. How could Sinn Fein nominate someone who described the 1916 leaders as terrorists to be President in 2016.

    To have any chance of success an anti-bailout candidate should be free of party connections and that is a very difficult thing indeed.

    Yes it will. But I hope there is at least an effort made.

  • SK

    Norris would be a far more sensible option. The election of a popular Anglo-Irish Protestant to the highest office in the land would go some way towards dispelling any lingering unionist prejudice towards the south.

  • Munsterview

    Time for a medical check up again, I agree with Alias 12:20am post!

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    An election for another squatter in the Viceregal Lodge? It’s at times like these that we miss the RIC and its ‘evicting’ battering-ram.

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    The choice of candidates running this time is very poor. So far, they are all male and very, very old and a bit decrepit …. David Norris, Michael D Higgins, Fergus Finlay etc.. who all qualify well academically…. but the very look of the candidate is important too. Norris is the front runner coz of his abundance of personality and wit.

    Have SF got someone with academia, culture, personality, youth, style etc… up their sleeve?

  • Nordie Northsider

    Have SF got someone with academia, culture, personality, youth, style etc… up their sleeve?

    Labhrás Ó Murchú – the Fianna Fáiler they voted for in the Senate. So much for principle.

  • Sean o Russell

    The senate will be abolished.-Labhrás Ó Murchús history as a Fianna Fáil democrat is second to none.Norris will most likely get the Labour Left vote and the Left will be
    divided further.Sinn Fein Left could take a lot of votes with the United Alliance Right wing coalition of Enda Kennys Green Party splitting the Socialist workers party into a progessive force in the referendum on the abolition of the bad friday disagreement.

  • Roncol

    There is a perfect SF nominee for the Presidential election – the painter Bobby Ballagh. He is also far more likely to pick up transfers than our Gay friend from Rhodesia.

    The only problem is whether he would be willing to stand against his good friend Michael D Higgins, if heis the Labour nominee. If Fergus Finlay wins the Labour nomination, then I see no problem with him standing.

    The position of the Socialist Party on the national question would leave just the DUP supporting Joe Higgins.

    However the more the merrier. If SFput up a candidate it creates major problems for Fianna Fáil. Five candidates would make it really interesting.

  • Nordie Northsider

    Sean O Russell wrote: Labhrás Ó Murchús history as a Fianna Fáil democrat is second to none

    What on earth does that mean?

  • gréagóir o frainclín

    Robert Ballagh is a bit old and decrepit. His left wing ideology is very dated now…as well as his uber realistic and kinda kitsch paintings!

  • Fionn Og Mor McComhain

    I’d give me vote to Dawn Purvis.A working-class girl.If she called for a withdrawl of British Troops From Ireland.