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Thread: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

  1. #1
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    Default The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    MDH has only been in the job a wet week and already he's ruffling feathers. There are dark mutterings already that he is overstepping his role by calling for a Yes vote in the Children's Referendum.
    He has caused controversy by saying that if there was no referendum on the Fiscal Stability Treaty he could potentially refer any legislation on the issue to the Council of State.
    Now the Irish Post have published an apology to him after a critical report on his trip to London last week.
    Yesterday he snuck in a barbed reference to his critics during a speech in Kilkenny
    I have to be extremely careful about my departures form scripts given the sensitivity of not those who matter, but perhaps those who chatter."
    Off to a flying start by the looks of things
    Last edited by PaddyJoe; 06-03-2012 at 01:14 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    We made the right choice.
    His Kilkenny speech would have been in the pm and after Marian Finucane of course...

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. FIVE View Post
    We made the right choice.
    His Kilkenny speech would have been in the pm and after Marian Finucane of course...
    Yep, he got a bit of stick on #marian. Nice riposte

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    Like Canute I know that the tide will wash over me but I'll post this for the record anyway.

    Higgins did not threaten or hint that he would invoke Article 26 if the government attempted to legislate for the treaty rather than have a referendum.

    The facts of the affair are that he was asked by a foreigner if he would oppose the treaty and he explained the restrictions on him as president and sketched the legislative process here including a brief explanation of Art 26. The media, for their own reasons, hyped and distorted his entirely uncontroversial remarks and thus created the first myth of the Higgins presidency.

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    finally a politician behind bars

    Wheatfield Prison invited the President to see an in-house production of Oscar Wilde's short story The Happy Prince after an official visit there last December.

    The show was put together by 28 inmates - both crew and cast - as part of the west Dublin jail's education unit programme.

    They had been working on the production since October.

    After watching the play today, President Higgins said he has always been a strong advocate for rehabilitation and support of people on the margins, including those in penal institutions.

    "Such programmes not only help the individuals concerned but have a benefit for wider society," he said.

    "I am of course conscious and very sensitive to the fact that many people in our prisons have committed violent crimes and caused grave hurt and distress for so many people and I would not wish my support of rehabilitation to be in any way seen to be minimising the gravity of the crimes that have been committed."

    Mr Higgins said he had indicated in his inauguration speech that he would make a point of supporting the most excluded in society, including those in institutional care, during his term in office.

    "I do believe that all of society benefits from effective programmes of rehabilitation which my visit to Wheatfield today was supporting and I congratulate the prison authorities for their commitment to this constructive work," he added.

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron von Biffo View Post
    Like Canute I know that the tide will wash over me but I'll post this for the record anyway.

    Higgins did not threaten or hint that he would invoke Article 26 if the government attempted to legislate for the treaty rather than have a referendum.

    The facts of the affair are that he was asked by a foreigner if he would oppose the treaty and he explained the restrictions on him as president and sketched the legislative process here including a brief explanation of Art 26. The media, for their own reasons, hyped and distorted his entirely uncontroversial remarks and thus created the first myth of the Higgins presidency.
    Correct. It looks like FG was briefing against him:
    STEPHEN COLLINS, Political Editor
    REMARKS MADE by President Michael D Higgins during a visit to London during the week have caused alarm in the Government, The Irish Times has learned.
    The primary concern among Cabinet Ministers relates to the President’s comments about the possibility of summoning the Council of State if the Government proceeds to ratify the fiscal compact treaty by legislation rather than referendum.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...312378180.html

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    Our President is a nice man and harmless too.

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    Our President is a nice man and harmless too.
    Sadly, I fear you are right.

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Holly View Post
    Our President is a nice man and harmless too.
    I think that is what we need in contrast at the moment, someone to give a positive image!
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron von Biffo View Post
    Like Canute I know that the tide will wash over me but I'll post this for the record anyway.

    Higgins did not threaten or hint that he would invoke Article 26 if the government attempted to legislate for the treaty rather than have a referendum.

    The facts of the affair are that he was asked by a foreigner if he would oppose the treaty and he explained the restrictions on him as president and sketched the legislative process here including a brief explanation of Art 26. The media, for their own reasons, hyped and distorted his entirely uncontroversial remarks and thus created the first myth of the Higgins presidency.
    A useful clarification, thanks.

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    interesting passage from his interview today

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...XOiznU.twitter

    There I think that one needs to address . . . institutional inadequacy. I’ve seen advocacy groups work for 20 years on getting as far as a piece of legislation, but then the implementation of the legislation is frustrated by a whole set of bureaucratic blocks.

    And there is a very serious bureaucratic problem in this country, a very serious problem of hierarchy. It’s very fine to ask public servants to be flexible, but there is a hierarchical structure there. There are still many elements of patriarchy, and what I think is extraordinary to me, at this stage of my life, looking back on it after nearly a half a century as a sociologist: I find it shocking the ease with which authoritarianism emerges, and the expressions of authoritarianism. I spoke about it recently to a very senior person, about where people are almost waiting for their authoritarian moment.

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    The Presidency is largely a ceremonial role and Higgins so far has more or less complied with that criteria. He has 7 years in the job, maybe he will choose something to take a stand on in that time. I imagine he would have been more proactive in the role when he wanted to run for it 15 years ago, but he probably wouldn't have won back then.

    Enda Kenny appears to be using his tenure as Taoiseach as a dry run for a stint as President, turning up at awards ceremonies and the like. It feels like we have two Presidents performing rudimentary ceremonial roles at the minute. Higgins must feel like Kenny is stalking him at times.

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    jesus, a chilling thought. no bloody chance. We have presidential tv debates remember

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    Higgins refers to a point he raised during the campaign about the problems with Article 26 referrals.

    "Different Supreme Courts have behaved differently in the past. I know when President [Mary] Robinson referred a particular matter within a Bill, the Supreme Court chose to leave that matter intact but to change another part of the Bill. For me the one that is really difficult [is when] a matter, having been referred by the President, cannot then be challenged by a citizen."

    The problem isn't with the power of referral under Art. 26 itself but rather the provision in Article 34.3.3 which says that a bill upheld on referral may never again be challenged.

    This is provision has a bearing on current events. In 1987 Paddy Hillery referred the Adoption Bill and the Supreme Court held that it was not unconstitutional.

    One part of the constitution the bill was tested against was Art. 42.5. If the upcoming referendum is passed it means that Art. 42.5 will be deleted and replaced by a new article. This leads to an obvious anomaly in that we have a statute on the books that has been tested but the constitution has been amended in a way that directly impacts on it.

    The Constitution Review Group report says that while such a situation hasn't been authoritatively ruled on to date there's a presumption that Art. 34.3.3 would no longer apply. Time may tell if their presumption is well grounded but even if it is, it would lead to a very complex legal situation to do with those affected by the act up to now.

    One of the scarier aspects of the presidential campaign was that only Higgins and Mitchell appeared to fully understand the purpose and risks of Art. 26. Some of the others seemed to think it was a mechanism for signalling presidential disapproval.

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    Default Re: The Michael D Higgins Presidency

    Must be an attractive looking little paddock for any Taoiseach, the Presidency. It is the perfect political job- all the trappings, salary, travel, diplomatic kowtowing and not a hint of any responsibility for anything except not to get drunk and fall over in public.

    Cowen failed the entrance exam, though.
    Think National. Act Local. Oh- and superstition is just the dark matter of human history.

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