Aras theatre of the absurd
To some, the presidential silliness is getting to the almost unbearable point where one might wonder why a president is needed at all in Ireland. Could Leo not do the presidential bit as well, sparing us the whole sorry pantomime and a few hundred grand in allowances? Perhaps, on reflection, those who drafted the constitution knew what they were doing, however. Trump, Brexit, and any number of Eastern European loony elections show that there is an appetite abroad (and probably at home) for political silliness at the moment. The genius of the presidential race is that it allows us to satisfy that appetite without any glaring consequences. The worst that can happen is a powerless conspiracy theorist, a powerless egotist or another seven years of Michael D. We get to bask in the theatre without having to pick up the pieces afterwards. A barking mad presidential race saves us from a barking bad general election. And for that, if nothing else, we should be grateful.