Thursday 8 December 2016

Today I will be voting for the best candidates, not for the 'best party'

Published 26/02/2016 | 02:30

When you are broadly Christian Democratic in outlook, it has become very hard to find a party in Ireland to vote for. Above: Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party, along with Fine Gael, is a member of the European People’s Party. Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/dpa via AP
When you are broadly Christian Democratic in outlook, it has become very hard to find a party in Ireland to vote for. Above: Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat party, along with Fine Gael, is a member of the European People’s Party. Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/dpa via AP

If I lived in, say, Germany, I would have a party to vote for. If I lived in northern Germany I would vote for Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, and if in the south most likely for the Christian Social Union.

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These parties are members of the European People's Party, the biggest bloc of parties in the European Parliament. Fine Gael belongs to that bloc. There are quite a few parties in the EPP that I could vote for. Fine Gael is not one of them because Fine Gael has not been a Christian Democratic party, or anything like it, for quite a while now, and under Enda Kenny has moved even further from its roots.

That is not to say I would not vote for a given Fine Gael candidate, but the vote would be for the candidate, not for the party. I won't be voting for any party, per se.

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