No, seriously. Hear me out. This isn’t as mad as you think.
Firstly, FF want next year’s presidential election like a hole in the head. It means spending a fortune on a campaign for an office that does not really matter in the grand scheme of things, and this will come months after they will have spent a lot in the Dublin Mayoral election. By then they’ll be less than twelve months from a general election, in a climate that is a nightmare for raising campaign funds.
Secondly, FF do have stock-off-the-shelf party candidates like Brian Crowley, but the big fear is that if the opposition parties start to claim that an FF win will be seen as an endorsement of FF policies, and make it stick, FF will lose.
So why nominate Norris?
Firstly, FF can claim the high ground, and propose Norris as an agreed candidate. The Greens can get some kudos for the decision too (Don’t forget Mary McAleese sought and received the PD nomination too.) FF can make the argument that in these difficult times, a unity non-party candidate would be a good idea, as well as the small matter of saving them a hill of cash by running a discount campaign. The added bonus is that if there is a contested election, and Norris loses, FF does not take as much of the blame, for, eh, obvious reasons.
FG, I suspect, probably does not want a presidential election for the same financial reasons, and Labour would find themselves in a very awkward position running against David Norris, a man whom many of their urban voters would gravitate towards anyway.
Just a thought.