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Monday, July 5, 2010

Pointless Presidency

Today will mark the ascension to power of  the next routinely elected Polish after the death of the country's last President in a plane crash on April 10th last. The winner with 95 percent of the votes counted is expected to be Bronislaw Komorowski,  the man who has acted as interim President for the past couple of months.
While reading the story it got me wondering about the nature of Presidency in some countries. The role of the Irish President and Polish President are similar in nature. There duty is to act as a representative of the State abroad but both importantly have the power to veto certain laws they find to be unconstitutional pending supreme court review. However, while this seems significant in the 13 years that our President Mary Mc Aleese has been in power she has done this just once. No Irish president has ever dissolved Government. It begs the question, what is the point?

Every time I see an a-political head of state I cant help wonder how our taxes are wasted paying for the red carpet they have to walk on, clothes they wear, giant house they live in and trips across the globe. Indeed, while Ireland may waste money it doesn't have the concept of the British monarchy and the enormous sums plunged into their estates all over the United Kingdom each year. Couldn't we simply have a Government Minister who would be responsible for the representation of our nations abroad.

Currently, in Ireland we are debating abolishing our second parliamentary house, the Senate, asserting it is an unnecessary waste of money. However, before such a drastic step as this is taken would we not see fit to abolish the blatant money squandering role of a ceremonial President. It would appear however, that in these matters I am in fact in the minority in my country.

What is your opinion? What are the benefits of a non partisan head of State? Leave a comment and I'll be sure to get back to you.

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