Wednesday, 21st September 2011
They say that a week is a long time in politics but it appears that a weekend when it comes to the twists and turns of the Presidential race can totally change the political landscape. First of all there was the news, flagged by his appearance on The Late Late Show on Friday, that Senator David Norris was going to do a volte face and re-enter the race and try and achieve a nomination seemed like big enough news in and of itself. But then by Saturday that was superceded by the information that Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, would be running on the Sinn Fein ticket really blew the Norris news out of the water. With 17 Sinn Fein Senators and T.Ds available to them, leaving them with only three votes to secure a nomination, it looked as if Martin McGuinness is one of the front runners when the canvassing really gets under way later this month. With the news that Martin McGuinness was going to run for Sinn Fein came the news that Independent Kerry TD, Michael Healy Rae, was going to throw his weight behind the Sinn Fein, and would be one of his nominators. It's quite obvious why he is doing this, currying favour with his own electorate.
With such a heavy weight in Irish politics throwing his hat into the ring and saying that he was going to run for the Presidency it's clear that he is going to garner a large number of votes and will appeal to sections of the electorate that would not normally be supporters of Sinn Fein. While Sinn Fein consider themselves a left wing party and have consistently espoused those values, they are mainly viewed as a Republican party. Their success in the North has been reflected here in the South and, with a very weakened Fianna Fail, it is obvious that they will be one of the success stories of the election whether they win or lose. The position of Fianna Fail though is far from obvious. There were reports on Sunday in the media that Fianna Fail parliamentary members were being given a free hand to back Senator Norris in his attempt to secure a nomination. The whole area of the Presidential election has been a nightmare for Fianna Fail. They failed to put forward their own candidate even though they had Brian Crowley, MEP, saying that he would like to stand. Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú came forward and said that even though he was a Fianna Fail Senator he would run as an Independent so at least there would be someone on the ticket espousing traditional Fianna Fail values. Then there seems to have been a bust up at the very top of Fianna Fail with Eamonn Ó Cuiv allegedly saying he would withdraw from Fianna Fail and form a new party if Michael Martin didn't do something positive about the Presidential election and their participation in it. With their rankings in the polls now down to 10% it looks as if Fianna Fail can't do right for doing wrong. Also late-comer Dana is seeking a nomination. Whatever the final outcome will be, it is clear that the forthcoming Presidential election in October is going to be the most memorable for decades. Hold on, it's going to be a bumpy ride!
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Google AlertWhen a company which has it's European Headquarters here in Ireland is called 'evil' and 'immoral' by M.P.s in The House of Commons you tend to sit up and take notice. The particular company that was being referred to was Google and the reason it had enraged M.P.s in London was because even though it has a big operation there and conducts a lot of business there it pays no corporate tax. It does this by having all of its financial transactions finished here in Ireland. And the company here is …
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