As mentioned in my last post on the Presidential campaign, I was undecided about who to actually vote for, due to the deficiencies I could see in all of the candidates.
But, since then I have made a decision and I can tell you that NFB is giving its #1 preference to Labour candidate Michael D. Higgins.
I do think his age is an issue and I do think he could work on the way that he addresses people. I disagree with him fundamentally regards some foreign affairs issues and I feel that he has been, at times, condescending and misleading during the campaign.
But he has a large amount of experience in politics, as both a TD and Minister. He has spent time dealing and engaging with foreign affairs. He had good things to say about the military during the campaign. He’s been one of the more positive candidates in terms of outlook and seems ti be genuinely enthusiastic about what he can accomplish in the job.
I reject the assertion that a vote for Higgins is an endorsement of the current government and the austerity policies. The Presidency is not the Dail, and none of the candidates could have the slightest impact in stopping government policy in that regard.
To be clear, I am not a traditional Labour voter, but I feel that of the options available in this election, Higgins is the preferable choice.
Gallagher will get my second preference, again, the second best of a bad lot. I like his positivity and message on trade, and I still think him better than those that follow, despite the obvious questions about his business dealings.
It his continued claim to be an Independent candidate, when is so tied to Fianna Fail, that irks me most. I would have had no problem with Sean Gallagher, the FF candidate (I would likely have voted for Brian Crowley, if he had ran) but Gallagher has attempted to portray himself as something that he isn’t. His business dealings and the like all have some excuse or justification of some sort, his political leanings (and influences) do not.
For his honesty in the campaign and his opposition to the revisionist history of McGuinness, Mitchell will get #3. That leaves Davis with my #4, though I doubt that she will even be in a position to enjoy that preference.
None of the others will get preferences from me, but if pushed, I would go #5 Norris, #6 McGuinness and #7 Dana.
On The Frontline: Gallagher was ambushed, to a joint effort from McGuinness and Kenny. If it had just been the SF man, so be it, but Kenny disgraced himself pure and simple. Moreover, as with the negative campaigning towards McGuinness earlier in the campaign, the attack may have backfired somewhat, with a large amount of commenter’s the following day choosing to focus on the nature of the ambush and McG’s own ties to this Morgan fellow, rather then the actual substance of the attack itself, which Gallagher did a decent job of trying to clear up, if anyone was actually listening at that point. The main crux seems to be that he had previously denied soliciting donations to Fianna Fail, but was anyone (including those who have placed him streaks ahead in the polls) really unaware of his Fianna Fail past at this point?
On Dana, briefly: I will never be a fan, but she did something today that few have and that is call Today FM’s Ray D’arcy on his nonsense. After being the subject of his typically brash argumentative interviewing style, she spotted him ignoring positive text messages coming from listeners in favour of reading out negative ones. I like anything that makes that gutless whinger squirm and I would almost be tempted to make her my #5 for it.
A twist of fate means that I will have Friday off, so NFB will be able to cover the count in much the same manner that it covered the count of the General Election. And while I’m sure it will be nowhere near as frantic as that was, I’m sure it will still be interesting. Final predictions will come tomorrow night.