Editorial: Stop all the bluster, talk about issues
The first leaders' debate tonight on TV3 has already generated much controversy with Fine Gael's Enda Kenny being a no-show for it. The debate, in which Fianna Fail's Micheal Martin will go head to head with Labour's Eamon Gilmore, will undoubtedly be entertaining, but the forum is unlikely to yield answers to the pressing questions for the electorate.
The absence of the country's potential Taoiseach-in-waiting from the fray means that comparisons of how the leaders fare on issues such as the economy and job creation must wait for another day.
Over the coming days and weeks, we really need to get down to brass tacks and away from all the bluster.
There are very serious issues at stake here and we need to be clear about what we are voting for.
Whether that is achieved through debates or other means remains to be seen.