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Presidential Election: Anyone but Miggeldy!!!

The Presidential Election in Ireland is coming closer. On 26 October all Irish citizens in Ireland will be asked to vote for a new President. There are six candidates (including the current president) and the term is a very long 7 years.

The candidates are Sean Gallagher, Gavin Duffy, Peter Casey, Joan Freeman, Liadh Ní Riada and the current president Michael D. Higgins (a.k.a Miggeldy Higins, after a primary school’s child answer to the question “Who is the President of Ireland?”).

None of the candidates is any better than another, considering that the Irish President has virtually NO political power. But none of them is unsuitable either. So who should you vote for?

In my opinion you can’t do ANYTHING wrong, no matter who you vote for, so if  – for whatever reason – you feel passionate about one of them, go ahead and vote for him or her. But if you are not sure and care about my opinion, then I would suggest to vote for anyone but Michael D. Higgins!

Why so? There are two reasons: 1) Age and 2) Arrogance

We have a minimum age for a President. For some reason it has been decided that anybody that is younger than 35 years of age is not eligible to be voted as a President. In the same way, it also would make sense to have an upper age limit. It can’t make sense that an over 80 year old is the President of a country unless we are super desperate and absolutely can’t find anyone else! Higgins will be 84 when the next term ends and there is no good reason for that. Aras an Uachterain should NOT be a retirement home!

And the point about arrogance? I know he took part in the debate on Virgin Media One on Thursday, but his refusal to take part in previous debates is an arrogance that no candidate should be allowed to get away with. And Sean Gallagher, who also refused because Higgins refused, doesn’t get any stars for this from me either.

Speaking about debates: The Virgin Media One debate was really interesting, because it showed that Michael D. Higgins is not at all an impressive candidate, actually he is surprisingly weak, considering that he was in that position already for 7 years. (So don’t expect anything impressive from him in the next 7 years!) But it also showed, that there is no outstanding other candidate.

And finally, what would I do…if you care? The one that I would probably vote for is Gavin Duffy! Seven years ago, it would have been Sean Gallagher, but this time around I am not convinced about him.

For me, the biggest surprise of the evening was that Pat Kenny did a really good job in probing the candidates!

Nobody is allowed to check the President’s spend?

The job of the “Public Accounts Committee (PAC)” is to check the expenditure of all offices, departments and government agencies to make sure that they don’t waste money and that everything is done and accounted for properly.

They are meant to do that regularly, but oddly it seems that the expenditure of the President wasn’t checked for a much longer time.

Now they have decided to do that checking in the next week. But suddenly the “Secretary General to the Government and Accounting Officer for the Office of the President” has a big problem with that check. He thinks it is even unconstitutional because nobody is allowed to check the President. Interestingly the Taoiseach and the leader of the opposition both also are worried about that check.

Odd! If all is well, nobody should be worried and if things are not well, then we should definitely find out BEFORE the presidential election. Don’t you think?

RTE writes about it here.

Thank you Michael D. Higgins, but it is enough!

You might completely disagree with me, because for some reason Miggeldy Higens, as Irish President Michael D. Higgins is also known, found a large amount of fans in the last few years, but I think he should stick to his promise from 7 years ago, when he told the voters that he will only be available for ONE 7 year period.

I was never a big fan of Higgins and it all come from one chance encounter a good few years ago when he was in a queue to go to an event I also went to. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that he didn’t impress IN THE SLIGHTEST. Since then I encountered him at various events and he never managed to change my opinion.

7 years ago he promised that he wouldn’t be glued to the role and would leave after 7 years and while he hasn’t really done anything wrong in these 7 years, I would think that at 77 it is time for him to retire.

But when I thought about it more, I was reminded that the Queen is 92 or something like that and she has as much relevance in the day to day business of a country as Michael D Higgins. And the Pope is 81 and he is also still running his show. So maybe we should leave Higgins in Phoenix Park another 7 years? Also because we don’t really have someone other obvious candidate? You know what, the more I think about it, I don’t really care if it is him or not. But PLEASE no more of his own poems, they are awful! ;-)

One thing that still puzzles me though is how he justifies in his head what he is doing: When he was younger, he was a staunch Socialist/Marxist, now at 77 he is making EUR 250,000 per year plus about 80,000 in money to run the show. Shouldn’t this cause the biggest ideological conflict ever? Seemingly not enough to give the other 7 x EUR 250,000 a miss that he could pocket. :-O

President Higgins’ visual impairment!?

Visual impairment is no fun in most cases. It is certainly not a choice and impacts the life of every affected person in a HUGE way. “Normal” seeing people expect that they have a field of vision of a good bit more than 180 degrees (including peripheral vision). So, imagine how it would affect you if out of 180 degrees a massive piece of that semi circle was missing. Blacked out or so hazy that you can’t make out what is there.

No severe medical condition regarding his eyesight is known about Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland. But it seems that the piece of that semi circle that he can’t seen can easily hold between 10,000 and 100,000 people. Because that’s the number (10,000-100,000) that were killed by the state in Cuba. At least 78,000 are estimated to have died trying to flee Fidel Castro’s dictatorship. (see www.quora.com/How-many-deaths-was-Fidel-Castro-responsible-for )

Fidel Castro was a brutal dictator in Cuba! Yes, there are some good things that he did in the areas of medicine and education, for example. But any absolutist leader will achieve SOME positive things and wil help SOME people. Even Hitler and Stalin did some positive things.

But how can you completely ignore the oppression of the people of a whole country, the killing of up to 100,000 and the fact that in all Castro’s years in power, he didn’t allow a single free election? How can you be soo blind that you talk of Fidel Castro as a leader “whose view was not only one of freedom for his people but for all of the oppressed and excluded peoples on the planet”. Freedom of his people!?!?!?!? He killed 78,000 who were prepared to risk their lives to get away from that freedom! He did give his people so much freedom that they weren’t allowed to vote once in nearly 50 years? And Fidel Castro the dictator, the oppressor allegedly cared about “all of the oppressed ..on the planet”?

No big problem, if Mr Higgins (or Comrade Higgins) has that opinion. Still wrong, but who cares about his ideology. But it was an absolutely shocking statement by a president of a democratic European country.

The new Irishness??

Ireland’s new president Michael D Higgins started his new 7 year job last Friday and as it is custom (and protocol), he started with a speech that outlined his approach to the job at a celebration in Dublin Castle.

The full speech is here: www.rte.ie/news/2011/1111/higgins_speech.html

It wasn’t the most momentous speech, but I guess an inauguration speech like that can’t easily be momentous.

However there was one outstanding aspect: Michael D Higgins talked about a rebuilding of Irishness, he mentioned the Irish diaspora and emigration. But with no word he mentioned us ‘New Irish’, who are not Irish citizens, but who nevertheless contribute regularly and consistently to the economy and culture in Ireland. No reference to the multicultural Ireland. No reference to imigration. He totally ignored that Ireland is NOT just filled with Irish citizens anymore.

Sure, we were not allowed to contribute at the presidential election, but that’s not enough of a justification to exclude hundreds of thousand of people in this ‘new’ Ireland.

EXclusion was not what I had expected from Michael D Higgins!

 
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