I had heard some talk a few weeks back that there was a view within Fine Gael that the putative candidacy of Senator Norris was not going to be supported by the party. If this is the case, then it is a very short sighted and even damaging attitude to take.
Now I’m going to be very blunt about this, Fine Gael should seek to ensure he is on the ballot but not for the reasons that many others might advance. I don’t for a moment think that Fine Gael owe Senator Norris the opportunity to run for the Presidency, and given his own opinions that we couldn’t possibly consider an extension of the franchise for the Seanad unless there was complete reform of the Seanad I would not have him as my No.1 choice. Indeed, it is a tad rich to listen to people say that it is somehow Fine Gael’s fault that the consitution makes contesting the election so bloody awkward when we didn’t draft the current constitution and there is nothing to stop Labour, FF and like minded independents from 4 local authorities from nominating him. Or indeed for Labour and a couple of independent Oireachtas members to support him without impinging on Labour’s ability to nominate their own candidate.
However for all that, I think it makes sense for Fine Gael if anyone is thinking about it logically to facilitate his run and that is it would split the left leaning, luvvie vote that otherwise will be hoovered up by whoever is the Labour candidate. So it makes sense for FG to have that political ground occupied by two somewhat similar contestants in an election that may well feature Gerry Adams for SF and a FF stooge. Having Norris in the field actually aids not hinders Fine Gael’s chances of having their candidate elected, and for that reasons alone it is a slam dunk for me that Fine Gael should allow him to run.