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 The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland

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PostSubject: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:34 pm

This has had me thinking since I binged on a West Wing box set over the Bank Holiday Weekend. I saw the President of the United States getting a budget agreed, actively directing military operations, appointing Supreme Court justices and putting a reform of Social Security into motion.

The President of the United States has a combined role of Head of State, Head of Government and Commander in Chief. They are the firm leaders of the executive branch of the US government and must co-operate especially with the legislative branch in order to see their policies implemented.

This is in stark contrast to our President, while she is our Head of State and Commander in Chief, her role is largely ceremonial and her position mostly titular.

Should this change? Is it right that our President is so constrained by Bunreacht na hÉireann? Should the President, for example, be given the authority to appoint Supreme Court justices so as to invest in the position some real executive power?

I'd be interested in other MNers views on expanding or even reducing the role of the President in the governance of our country.
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:41 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
This has had me thinking since I binged on a West Wing box set over the Bank Holiday Weekend. I saw the President of the United States getting a budget agreed, actively directing military operations, appointing Supreme Court justices and putting a reform of Social Security into motion.

The President of the United States has a combined role of Head of State, Head of Government and Commander in Chief. They are the firm leaders of the executive branch of the US government and must co-operate especially with the legislative branch in order to see their policies implemented.

This is in stark contrast to our President, while she is our Head of State and Commander in Chief, her role is largely ceremonial and her position mostly titular.

Should this change? Is it right that our President is so constrained by Bunreacht na hÉireann? Should the President, for example, be given the authority to appoint Supreme Court justices so as to invest in the position some real executive power?

I'd be interested in other MNers views on expanding or even reducing the role of the President in the governance of our country.

I believe that the role is fine as it is. While it is essentially confined to Article 26 referrals, it is mainly a ceremonial role and it should remain so. I wouldn't like to see any change.
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:44 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
This has had me thinking since I binged on a West Wing box set over the Bank Holiday Weekend. I saw the President of the United States getting a budget agreed, actively directing military operations, appointing Supreme Court justices and putting a reform of Social Security into motion.

The President of the United States has a combined role of Head of State, Head of Government and Commander in Chief. They are the firm leaders of the executive branch of the US government and must co-operate especially with the legislative branch in order to see their policies implemented.

This is in stark contrast to our President, while she is our Head of State and Commander in Chief, her role is largely ceremonial and her position mostly titular.

Should this change? Is it right that our President is so constrained by Bunreacht na hÉireann? Should the President, for example, be given the authority to appoint Supreme Court justices so as to invest in the position some real executive power?

I'd be interested in other MNers views on expanding or even reducing the role of the President in the governance of our country.

The short answer is No. I shudder to think what state the country would be in if Mary Robinson had the power to do more that nod and smile vacantly at visiting heads of state.

As for the West Wing, do you honestly think that George Bush formulated budgets, directed military operations or decided who to appoint to the Supreme Court? The man has the IQ of a rocking horse. Other people do these things, he rubber stamps them.
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:49 pm

Lestat wrote:


The short answer is No. I shudder to think what state the country would be in if Mary Robinson had the power to do more that nod and smile vacantly at visiting heads of state.

Yeah? You weren't a fan of hers?

Quote :
As for the West Wing, do you honestly think that George Bush formulated budgets, directed military operations or decided who to appoint to the Supreme Court? The man has the IQ of a rocking horse. Other people do these things, he rubber stamps them.

No, but it might be interesting and perhaps good to see our President approach the US equivalent in terms of scale of responsibilities.
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:01 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
This has had me thinking since I binged on a West Wing box set over the Bank Holiday Weekend. I saw the President of the United States getting a budget agreed, actively directing military operations, appointing Supreme Court justices and putting a reform of Social Security into motion.

The President of the United States has a combined role of Head of State, Head of Government and Commander in Chief. They are the firm leaders of the executive branch of the US government and must co-operate especially with the legislative branch in order to see their policies implemented.

This is in stark contrast to our President, while she is our Head of State and Commander in Chief, her role is largely ceremonial and her position mostly titular.

Should this change? Is it right that our President is so constrained by Bunreacht na hÉireann? Should the President, for example, be given the authority to appoint Supreme Court justices so as to invest in the position some real executive power?

I'd be interested in other MNers views on expanding or even reducing the role of the President in the governance of our country.

I've met both Mary's and to be honest found themselves both excessively full of themselves - perhaps an inevitable consequence of being endlessly kowtowed to (although on reflection I first met Mary 2 before her accession). The people who deeply impressed me far more were the Presidential spouses, who were endlessly smily, polite and supportive whilst following their wives a few paces behind.

Absolute dotes.
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:28 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Yeah? You weren't a fan of hers?

The very sight of her sets my teeth on edge and I start thinking bad words.


Quote :
No, but it might be interesting and perhaps good to see our President approach the US equivalent in terms of scale of responsibilities.

But he doesn't really have any responsibilities, he's just a talking head. Apart from Nixon, what US President has ever been held accountable for anything?
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:54 am

Lestat wrote:

But he doesn't really have any responsibilities, he's just a talking head. Apart from Nixon, what US President has ever been held accountable for anything?

The US public holds them to account every 4 years. They didn't like what Carter was doing so he was voted out. The didn't like what Bush Sr was doing and he was voted out. Reagan and Clinton were sufficiently popular in their policies that they served a full two terms.

The electoral cycle ensures that the Presidents of the United States are held accountable.
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:18 pm

I like our presidential system.
To me it seems correct that the highest office in the land should hold the least power.
Investing too much power in one person isn't a good idea, IMO.
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:32 am

eoinmn wrote:
I like our presidential system.
To me it seems correct that the highest office in the land should hold the least power.
Investing too much power in one person isn't a good idea, IMO.

That makes sense to me to eoinmn. How about this:

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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:41 am

Lestat wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Yeah? You weren't a fan of hers?

The very sight of her sets my teeth on edge and I start thinking bad words.
It's not just me then? I blame her for the bad weather, it'd be just like her to try and destroy the farmers.

The presidency should stay exactly as it is. I think it's the same with most presidents around the world. And it should be pointed out that The West Wing wasn't real.
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:47 am

I remember what someone on Today fm's Gift Grub said once about the Irish presidency - It's just like a Fiat Punto: no real power and perfect for women.
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:49 am

AfricanDave wrote:
I remember what someone on Today fm's Gift Grub said once about the Irish presidency - It's just like a Fiat Punto: no real power and perfect for women.
Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:29 pm

AfricanDave wrote:
I remember what someone on Today fm's Gift Grub said once about the Irish presidency - It's just like a Fiat Punto: no real power and perfect for women.

That's a beautiful line. I'm going to remember that. On the subject of the President. What about the President being able to make nominations to Seanad Éireann? What if we were to take some of the nominations(say 2) from an Taoiseach and give them to the President.

What do other posters think of that?
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:36 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
What about the President being able to make nominations to Seanad Éireann? What if we were to take some of the nominations(say 2) from an Taoiseach and give them to the President.

What do other posters think of that?
I like it.

Sounds familiar, was it suggested before on P.ie?
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:37 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
AfricanDave wrote:
I remember what someone on Today fm's Gift Grub said once about the Irish presidency - It's just like a Fiat Punto: no real power and perfect for women.

That's a beautiful line. I'm going to remember that. On the subject of the President. What about the President being able to make nominations to Seanad Éireann? What if we were to take some of the nominations(say 2) from an Taoiseach and give them to the President.

What do other posters think of that?

I don't think either of them should be nominating anybody. It should be a fully elected body
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PostSubject: Re: The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland   Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:42 pm

eoinmn wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
What about the President being able to make nominations to Seanad Éireann? What if we were to take some of the nominations(say 2) from an Taoiseach and give them to the President.

What do other posters think of that?
I like it.

Sounds familiar, was it suggested before on P.ie?

I dunno. It was just floating out in the ether and I put in here for discussion. It might be good for the President to be more integrated into the actual governance of the country. Most of the time she just seems to be like a giant ornamental fairy at the top of our constitutional Christmas Tree. It'd be nice for the President to do something other than mooch about the Áras, gladhand foreign dignitaries and shake hands at matches.
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The President's Role in the Governance of Ireland
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