A figurehead, not a dickhead

This week my polling card for next week’s Presidential Election and Referendum arrived. I want to write today about the former, and will get to the latter in due course.

The Irish presidential term lasts for 7 years, with the option of running again for a second term. Our previous President, Mary McAleese, had two terms in office, and was rightly unopposed when she announced that she would be seeking a second term. Now, the incumbent, the irrepressible Michael D Higgins has done the same, declaring that he wishes to continue in office for another term. However, despite the man being the best figurehead imaginable for Ireland, he is not running unopposed. He does have an unassailable lead in the polls however, so it is pretty much a foregone conclusion. So who are the other candidates, and why did they choose to enter a fight they have no chance of winning?

The first of the candidates I’ll mention, Liadh NíRiada, does get a pass. It was not wholly expected that Michael D would decide to run again, so before he did announce it, Sinn Féin had already declared that they would run a candidate. It’s a pretty much a case of damned if they do, damned if they don’t now. If they had backtracked, they would look untrustworthy in the public eye, so they are running a candidate that perhaps will have a better chance seven years from now.

The other candidates have no excuse. No fewer than three of them are ‘entrepreneurs’, each enjoying some time in the public eye on the capitalism reality-show Dragons’ Den. Three, soulless automatons, that are probably only running to try to boost their public profile. How to distinguish them? Well, Sean Gallagher is the Lex Luther lookalike who ran and was defeated in the last presidential election, and has reemerged from his villain’s lair in a hollowed out volcano to run again. The second is the racist Peter Casey, who showed his true colours by making some vicious remarks about Travellers earlier this week. Among the bigotry, it was also interesting to note that part of his tirade against Travellers was his perception that their presence ‘lowers property values’, revealing that he views everything through the prism of money. Knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. Typical capitalist pig.

The third ‘Dragon’ is someone called Gavin Duffy. Seriously, I had to look up his name. All I could remember about him was that he used to be on a TV programme that I never watched, and that he has business links with Ireland’s biggest corrupt parasite Denis O’Brien. He would be a good ‘representative’ of Ireland, at least the avaricious, land- and resource-hoarding side of Ireland; Denis O’Brien and the likes. But not the rest of us.

The final candidate is Joan Freeman. Ok, she set up the mental health charity Pieta House, so she scores points for that. However, she’s also a pro-lifer and thinks that holy magic cures eczema, so she is certainly unfit for the office.

So, that leaves our magnificent incumbent. I’m glad that Michael D was actually based in my constituency, so I was able to vote for him in the General Elections, and of course voted for him in the Presidential Election in 2011. For readers outside of Ireland, I can assure you that the majority of us are very proud of our president. While the parliament remains largely the domain of charlatans and snakes, the office of president is occupied by a person a great integrity and moral fortitude. A true socialist, adhering to the principles of the Labour Party as outlined by its founders. Not the pathetic shell of a party that remains today. James Connolly must be spinning in his grave. But yes, Michael D has always been an ambassador for human rights, and has travelled and worked around the world in that regard. Not to mention being a great patron of the arts. He has more culture in his little finger than the above-mentioned three ‘businessmen’ and all their associates combined. He is also a firebrand when he wants to be, and I invite you to listen to these wonderful excerpts of him debating an American right-wing radio host. I think you’ll agree that he is a president we can be proud of.

As a friend of mine recently commented regarding the election, “we need a figurehead, not a dickhead.”

Michael D, he’s fucking brilliant. #1

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