Posted by: geoffoconnor | August 31, 2011

The Politics of Power/Redemption and the Irish Presidential Race: End in Sight

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan has moved the order for the Presidential election, RTE has reported earlier today. There is an end in sight, the deadline for nomination of candidates is now September 28th, with the vote to occur on October 27th. The story of the election, thus far, has been one of contrasting political narratives.

Fine Gael’s candidate has proved rather uninspiring and poor positions in the polls have been a hinderance to a party who should be riding the crest of a post-election wave. This, of course, is tempered by the fact that polls are regularly mundane processes which serve a good communicative purpose but little else. The temporality of politics is the thing that polls need to survive but also fear most.The politics of power, it seems, has its pitfalls.

The weekend also saw the growing divide within Fianna Fail over the decision whether or not to run a candidate. The pursuit of celebrity candidates over the past few weeks/months has perhaps lessened appetite for a candidate as some of the possible candidates ensured maximum exposure before politely declining. The division in the camp may be exposing more deep rooted issues than those pushed by the presidential race. The politics of redemption, it seems, is difficult and will cost.

Other candidates have struggled to capture the public imagination. There has been not so much a vacuum but a general resistance to the race to this point. The changing of the order will focus the mind. The merit of the race remains with the performance of the incumbent in the Park at the minute. Tough act to follow, we will soon see who is up for the fight.

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