Canvassed very nicely today by Aontú.
I have already been canvassed by SDLP and Sinn Féin.
I have an odd relationship with canvassers. Most householders hide behind the couch when they see canvassers coming down the path. But my wife says that I run to the door. Seemingly today I ran so fast to open the door that I did not know that I had coleslaw on my chin.
I like Aontú. It is a genuine pity that they are not standing in more DEAs.
Let me be clear that I will be voting for the two SDLP candidates. My #3 will go to Aontú and #4 and #5 to Sinn Féin….#6 and #7 will go to the UUP (they say “please” in their literature and #8 and #9 will go to DUP. The only other candidate (Alliance) wont even get #10. This will come as no surprise to long-time readers of this Blog.
So why do I like Aontú? Well, the bottom line for me has always been the number of nationalist votes versus unionist votes. It really is that simple. When SDLP, Sinn Féin and Aontú percentages are added, they should exceed the 2014 total. Victory!
Secondly Aontú is an all-Ireland party. Sinn Féin apologists online will say that it is not big enough or organised well enough to be a “party”. It is of course a fledgling party (and SF would happily do all it can to marginalise it and play it down) but at least it takes away part of SFs unique selling point.
SDLP are now more or less all-Ireland. It is not just the Fianna Fáil link. More so it is the Waterfront Hall agenda and “think32”.
Thirdly…I like Peadar Toibín. He was always one of Sinn Féin’s more articulate spokespersons and his defection is a major blow to the party. But typically for SF, they re-write history, playing down his effect over a number of years.
For the record, I am pro-choice and Aontú is pro-life. I see no contradiction in my religious beliefs and public policy. The right to Choose is rightfully enshrined in the Constitution.
Sinn Féin would be foolish to claim that the rights of women are dear to their hearts. The Sinn Féin sisterhood were not overly supportive of Mairia Cahill and SF happily encourages its internet trolls to diminish and even demonise Mairia.
It has been a major tactical blunder for Sinn Féin to adopt the right to choose as party policy.
The Eighth Amendment Referendum showed 840,000 people supported the Right to Choose. And 410,000 voted against. Quite a lot of practising Christians supported the change in the Constitution. They reasonably thought that no citizen can impose his/her religious views on others.
But drilling down the figures is interesting. Quite a lot of our new voters (Polish, Czech, North African) are conservative in religious views and were in many cases Pro-Life. And of course, it is very reasonable. But SF with one side of their mouth welcome diversity, including (quite rightly) migration but with the other side of their mouth, they denounce the very diversity our very welcome new citizens bring.
Sinn Féin would be foolish to say that only the 840,000 people who voted to Repeal the Eighth are eligible to vote Sinn Féin and the 410,000 who voted against change are not eligible to vote for them.
That would be ridiculous. “Sorry, voter in Kildare North, you voted NO in the Referendum and as a candidate for Sinn Féin in the 2019 European Elections, I cannot in conscience accept your vote”.
Well that wont happen of course. SF would take any vote going.
But if those 410,000 voters are good enough to vote Sinn Féin, are they not good enough to join Sinn Féin? Can a “NO” voter be selected to stand for Sinn Féin? Can they be a SF TD…a good one like Peadar Toibín?
Clearly not. Sinn Féins commitment to Diversity…not to mention Womens Rights…only goes so far.
I hope Aontú has a future. I really do wish it well. But it does not have the number of candidates to really make an impact this time. This election…albeit the comparatively minor matter of local elections in the north rather than a Dáil or Assembly election …has just come six months or a year too soon.
Anyway, I have now given my opinion to SDLP, Sinn Féin and Aontú canvassers. I don’t suppose DUP and UUP will show up. But the one I really want is Alliance.
If any of you readers are lawyers, can you advise me if a person can be prosecuted for anything I say to a canvasser at my own front door. Asking for a friend.