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The Age of Presidential Candidates Referendum

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    The Age of Presidential Candidates Referendum

    This is of course the second referendum on which the people will decide on the 22nd of May.

    Frankly, I hadn’t given this a whole lot of thought before now and had a default position of yes until recently.

    After a bit of consideration however, I now have my reservations. The position of President of Ireland, as we all know, does not carry with it many great powers with the exception some specific ones. The President is the Commander in Chief of the Defense Forces and as such, is the defender of the constitution. The other significant power is that of referring legislation that has been passed by the Oireachtas to the Supreme Court or in certain circumstances to the people by way of referendum.
    One other significant power that the President holds is that they can refuse to dissolve the Oireachtas upon the request of the Taoiseach where the government of the day has lost the confidence of the House.

    The main role of the President is largely ceremonial and as such he or she acts as the representative of the nation when on official visits both at home and abroad.

    My reservations are as follows:

    A 21 year-old President would, for me, not have sufficient experience or possess the required gravitas to fulfill such a role. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that (horror of horrors) a Jedward type personality could capture the younger vote and win an election where there are many and diverse candidates for the position.

    A young President, especially one that is endorsed by the government of the day or the main opposition parties could easily be a very weak one, who could end up being putty in the hands of their endorsers.

    If the change were an attempt to follow the principle of ...if you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to serve... then why is the proposed age not 18?

    Ask yourself the question as to how a 21 year-old would react to a Brian Lenihan Sr. type figure calling the Áras to demand that the President refuse to dissolve the Dáil.

    Finally, do we really want to pay a 28 year-old a state pension for the rest of his/her life?
    Last edited by NiallGK; 14th-May-2015, 02:02.
    If your religion is worth killing for, please start with yourself.

    #2
    Actually it's the pension for life at 28 that will probably make me vote no to this proposal.
    Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

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      #3
      I don't think it's very important either way. A greenhorn won't win a Presidential election I'd suggest.
      Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue,
      Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!

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        #4
        I think Dustin the turkey out polled some candidates for the presidential election.
        I'm with McCloud on the No vote.
        Tic-Toc. POC and DOC. Stop the clock.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Boo-boo View Post
          I think Dustin the turkey out polled some candidates for the presidential election.
          I'm with McCloud on the No vote.
          €120k a year!
          Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

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            #6
            Good post Niall, but I'm voting Yes on this one. No strong feelings either way, but this referendum won't elect any president - the people will. I'd have enough confidence in the electorate to defeat a young candidate if they had any of the reservations that you raise - which are completely valid imo.

            In the end, I'm voting Yes because I don't want people under 35 discriminated against in any way.
            "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
            Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by blackwarrior View Post
              Good post Niall, but I'm voting Yes on this one. No strong feelings either way, but this referendum won't elect any president - the people will. I'd have enough confidence in the electorate to defeat a young candidate if they had any of the reservations that you raise - which are completely valid imo.

              In the end, I'm voting Yes because I don't want people under 35 discriminated against in any way.
              Unlike you BW having lived through the Haughey years and some other politicians being elected I have no confidence in the electorate.....
              Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

              Comment


                #8
                The Age of Presidential Candidates Referendum

                Originally posted by McCloud View Post
                Unlike you BW having lived through the Haughey years and some other politicians being elected I have no confidence in the electorate.....
                Well, I lived (and voted) through the Haughey years, but I don't see how denying candidacy to a huge chunk of the population is relevant ...
                "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
                Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by blackwarrior View Post
                  ...In the end, I'm voting Yes because I don't want people under 35 discriminated against in any way.
                  But the change would discriminate (as you term it) people between the ages of 18 and 20.
                  If your religion is worth killing for, please start with yourself.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by NiallGK View Post
                    But the change would discriminate (as you term it) people between the ages of 18 and 20.
                    Yes, but it's an improvement on the current situation, and that's the Yes/No choice we have at the moment.
                    "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
                    Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by blackwarrior View Post
                      Yes, but it's an improvement on the current situation, and that's the Yes/No choice we have at the moment.
                      There was a suggestion in the commission to drop the voting age to 16. Why just drop the age of possible presidents to 21 surely it should be 18 if your allowed to vote at that age?
                      Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by McCloud View Post
                        There was a suggestion in the commission to drop the voting age to 16. Why just drop the age of possible presidents to 21 surely it should be 18 if your allowed to vote at that age?
                        I've no idea. But the choice we're being given is 21+ or not ...
                        "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
                        Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The youngest Irish President was Mary Robinson - at age 46. This refendum is a sideshow. Wholly irrelevant imho.
                          Yorn desh born, der ritt de gitt der gue,
                          Orn desh, dee born desh, de umn bork! bork! bork!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by McCloud View Post
                            There was a suggestion in the commission to drop the voting age to 16. Why just drop the age of possible presidents to 21 surely it should be 18 if your allowed to vote at that age?
                            Because lawmaking can be capricious and arbitrary. Always has been. In the US you can enlist to "die for your country" at 18 but can't buy a beer until you're 21. I don't know if they ask soldiers for ID. I guess they could...so point established.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Miguel Sanchez View Post
                              The youngest Irish President was Mary Robinson - at age 46. This refendum is a sideshow. Wholly irrelevant imho.
                              When has relevance had anything to do with posting on this forum?
                              "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
                              Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015

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