I‘ll admit outright, I’m not a Gallagher supporter. I believe him to be coasting by on his relatively clean image, a campaign which has nothing to do with the office he seeks and generally keeping his mouth shut. But given his climbing poll numbers, he must be taken seriously, which is why I emailed a few points to his campaign for clarification. I do not expect a response.
I am just wondering about a few central issues with Seán’s mandate.
Ignoring the issue of whether or not even the government can actually create jobs in the private sector or merely create the conditions for the same, how does Seán plan to focus on job creation? If it is merely about creating the atmosphere and culture for jobs, there is little in the way oratory can impact on culture, given the slow changes that occur within it over time.
More so, the last constitutional group found “The cabinet, led by the Taoiseach, exercises the
executive power of the State, in accordance with the Constitution, and is accountable to the people through the people’s representatives in the Dáil. The President has no executive powers apart from some discretionary ones that make the President the guardian of the Constitution.” This is in line with the constitutional provisions set down in Articles 12-14. In exercising what is effectively the role of minister for trade and/or enterprise if he were to take an active role in job creation, he would be over-stepping the remit of his constitutional role.
Articles 28.1.2 and 28.4.2 go on further to assess the collective role of ministers in the delivery of government portfolios and in the first instance, how executive power can only be exercised by the government or under the authority of the same. Considering the government is unlikely to abolish the post of minister for enterprise and cede the power to Seán if he were to take office, he would essentially be exercising powers outside of the approval of the government and violating multiple constitutional provisions in the prosess, not just the accepted responsibility of the president.
As symbolic leader of the state, by focusing centrally on such a concern, there is also the potential for an ideological deficit, one not of social and intellectual discourse but one ignoring the issues that were created during the Celtic Tiger period that led to the collapse that followed. How can two such conflicting ideas of money/returning us to what most economists will admit was an anomalous period in Irish history, (especially given most of that money came not from individual enterprise but FDI) and the greed and individualism it brought be balanced against each other fairly and justly?