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AV will give Catholics a stronger political voice

In Britain there is no such thing as ‘the Catholic vote’, but with the Alternative Vote there might well be

By on Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Labour leader Ed Miliband joins Business Secretary Vince Cable in support of the Yes campaign (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Labour leader Ed Miliband joins Business Secretary Vince Cable in support of the Yes campaign (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

There has been a lot of news about recently – the royal wedding, the beatification, and on a rather different note, the unlooked for end of Osama bin Laden – so you might be forgiven for forgetting that tomorrow is an election day here in the United Kingdom. The devolved assemblies in Cardiff, Stormont and Edinburgh are about to be renewed, and there are local elections in most of England; but the one vote that happens everywhere will be the referendum on AV, the Alternative Vote.

It is the duty of priests to remind their flocks that voting is a duty, and that not to vote (unless one has a serious reason that prevents one going to the polling station) is a sin. Just in case you did not hear that from your own priest, take it from me. Trust me, I am a doctor – of moral theology.

Of course the clergy, while directing people to vote, should never direct them on how to vote – though this has certainly been done in the past, it is certainly neither prudent or indeed morally justified. Every conscience must come to an informed but autonomous decision. So what follows is entirely personal opinion.

The Alternative Vote offers a good chance for Catholics to increase their political influence. Under the present system, elections are decided in a very few marginal constituencies. In most constituencies the result is a foregone conclusion, and campaigning, if it happens at all, is purely for form’s sake. AV will make more constituencies marginal, and thus make our candidates work harder. That must be good; it will improve the quality of political discourse.

The other factor is this: under AV candidates will have to solicit first preference votes as they do at present; but they will also have to make a play for second preferences. Someone standing for the Pro-Life Alliance may get a few hundred first preferences; under AV the way those people make their second preferences could be crucial. It will mean that the two leading candidates may well have to make themselves attractive to those who vote for the Pro-Life Alliance. AV also means that with a second string to their bow, voters for the Pro-Life Alliance cannot be dismissed as people who “waste” their votes. Thus single-issue parties may well do much better under AV.

AV allows a more nuanced vote. Let’s say I wish to vote Lib Dem; but how should I use my second preference? If one of the candidates of the major parties is stronger on pro-life matters, I would vote for her or him, surely. AV will mean that mainstream politicians will no longer be able safely to ignore the Catholic vote. Of course, in this country there is no such thing as “the Catholic vote”, but with AV there might well be. Other minorities may also get a voice.

While we are on the subject of voting, please make an effort to vote in the local elections. Everyone moans (myself included) about, let’s say, the failure of local councils to grit pavements during snowy weather. Well, now is our chance to do something more than moan.

  • B Taylor

    Surely AV also offers similarly marginalised groups (such as the BNP) a chance to increase their influence? As you point out, there is no ‘Catholic Vote’, therefore it seems likely that parties such as the BNP would do rather well out of AV.

  • Tom

    Why is the roman church of caeser getting involved in British politics?

    More to the point why does the roman church of the vicar of caeser think its is more wiser than J+sus becoming involved in the earthly politics of the day?

  • ms catholic state

    There is no Catholic vote…..but there should be. It’s odd that Catholics are now in the position where the 3 main parties offer everything that is anti-Christian…..and we are expected to vote for them. Otherwise the only alternative is the Christian party. A very good party…..but it only gets a handful of votes. They too might benefit from AV.

  • http://twitter.com/thirstygargoyle Thirsty Gargoyle

    The BNP almost certainly wouldn’t gain at all. I’m from Ireland, where we use AV in Presidential elections and some Parliamentary ones,* and where we use a broader form of prefential voting the rest of the time, and the Irish experience shows that parties such as BNP are what we now call ‘transfer-toxic’.

    What does this mean? Basically that BNP hardliners will vote BNP, as they do now, but given their extremist position, they’d be unlikely to pick up transfers from other parties. Most BNP candidates as it stands lose their deposits, getting less than 5% of the vote, and I can’t see this changing much. Only a handful break the 10% mark, so assuming the hardline vote doesn’t grow significantly, any BNP candidates would be eliminated early, without picking up any transfers at all.

    http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-would-av-help-or-hinder-the-bnp/6273

    On the other hand, it’s very conceivable that other minority parties — the Greens, UKIP, the Lib Dems, Plaid, the SNP, the various nationalist and unionist parties in Ulster, and the Conservatives in Scotland — could gain significantly. More importantly, the people who support them could gain immensely, as their votes could make a difference for once.

    * Yes, despite all the NO2AV claims that AV is only used in Australia, Fiji, and Papua – New Guinea.

  • Emma

    Explain to me- how is not voting a sin if you’ve really thought about it thoroughly? Does this mean we need to vote for the lesser evil? What if all candidates are pro-abortion, but some who are more so than others? I am in a dilemma as to who to vote for- all the 3 main parties are pro-death, UKIP aren’t much better as I don’t like their stance on immigration (since it goes against my conscience to vote for them) even though they are in favour of traditional marriage compared to the big 3 main parties. The only party I’d vote for is the Christian party but they’re not standing in our constinuency (I live in Leicester where we are voting for a local MP). So the dilemma is – do I vote for the lesser evil or not vote at all?

  • Emma

    Explain to me- how is not voting a sin if you’ve really thought about it thoroughly? Does this mean we need to vote for the lesser evil? What if all candidates are pro-abortion, but some who are more so than others? I am in a dilemma as to who to vote for- all the 3 main parties are pro-death, UKIP aren’t much better as I don’t like their stance on immigration (since it goes against my conscience to vote for them) even though they are in favour of traditional marriage compared to the big 3 main parties. The only party I’d vote for is the Christian party but they’re not standing in our constinuency (I live in Leicester where we are voting for a local MP). So the dilemma is – do I vote for the lesser evil or not vote at all?

  • Anonymous

    I’m stunned!

    Primarily Reverend Doctor I think you would agree that there are situations where one is morally obliged to NOT conspire in evil in any way shape or form – and the grave objective evil involved within a vote gives no option other than abstention and refusal to participate. The Sin is within the unjust system rather than the delusional democratic executive power which denies a moral choice.
    When in a position of moral dilemma [obverse double effect] one may only have recourse to an intrinsic moral disorder in the prevention of direct imminent objective evil; but we cannot commit objective evil itself – even if it is of a lesser gravity than the one we face. We may use any means possible which are not objectively evil in the prevention of evil – but when the only option in participation is evil itself one MUST withdraw from the process.
    Admittedly one must use all morally permissible means in the fight against evil [and this includes actions which if directed to their own end would be normatively sinful] but there are situations where we simply cannot fight it within the allegedly democratic process and must use other means to actuate and continue our fight. [Activism, Campaign groups, the courts etc]
    If you think I’m referring to mere hypotheticals – think about the actions of Bishops’ Conference in regard to Connexions, the Liverpool Care Pathway, the HFEA bill,HSE bill and Human Capacity act – in what way does your Doctorate in Moral Theology help you discern the [im]morality of such positions and the nature of the participation within it?

    Now frankly I believe your first argument to be specious – It is a Bishop’s and Priest’s moral duty to inform the conscience of the faithful – Remember when Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger ordered the US Bishops Conference to teach that Abortion was absolutely proscriptive and opposition to it was a moral imperative while voting [and other gravely sinful positions like the judicial murder of capital punishment and unjust war must take a secondary position in our opposition to the genocide of the unborn] – but Archbishop Weakland proceeded to lie to Conference about the content of the letter and Conference declared it was all a matter of personal conscience?!!!
    Suggesting that one has a potentially reckless autonomy to prioritise one’s personal morality within a seamless garment according to whim is a failure to evangelise – an informed conscience by its very nature makes certain options prohibitive. Informing that conscience makes one morally obliged to prevent evil from occurring – if that includes making a public declaration that a Catholic cannot and must not vote in a certain way is not a bullying suppression of the individual’s free-will – it is the ONLY prudent option – It is a spiritual work of mercy – and it is the utmost love of neighbour to convince or coerce them to not participate in an ignorant inadvertent commission of evil.
    I’m not saying you’re denying that a conscience should be informed – but you are being somewhat reluctant to concede the point that this has consequences which compel certain actions which are contrary to the aspirational indepedent ‘freedom of choice’ mantra.

    Now your conditional that this is merely your ‘personal opinion’ in regard to AV is somewhat loaded given your statement ‘trust me: I’m a doctor of moral theology’ – Hasn’t it possibly occurred to you that you say one thing in regard to a priest not intervening from a pulpit on a parishioner’s democratic freedom – become a little compromised when you go on to disprove it by acting in a way to show that it’s a priest’s moral duty to say something – otherwise – what are you doing now?

    You are doing the right thing: So why be so reticent to say so?

    Now you argue :

    The Alternative Vote offers a good chance for Catholics to increase their political influence. Under the present system, elections are decided in a very few marginal constituencies. In most constituencies the result is a foregone conclusion, and campaigning, if it happens at all, is purely for form’s sake. AV will make more constituencies marginal, and thus make our candidates work harder. That must be good; it will improve the quality of political discourse.

    Now I’m sorry but you’re arguing about an effect of a process – not the morality of the process itself – it’s like saying apples taste nice, they’re nutritious and once eaten their seeds can return to the earth and germinate to make more apples – when the issue is potentially about stealing apples!!

    Ditto your argument about a pro-Life vote – increasing the pro-Life effectivity of a vote might be a beneficial outcome – but if the price is too high? If it is counter-productive? sauce for the goose Fr Doctor…it’s like the aesop’s fable of the trees sacrificing the weak sapling to the human thinking it’ll make him go away – yes go away he did – and used the sapling to make a handle for his woodcutter’s axe!
    The planned parenthood brigade in the US are significantly more powerful, capable and have greater political and economic influence than the pro-Lifers in the US – do you truly want to hand over power to the whole wolf-pack because we might reap a few of the scraps on the periphery?

    Let’s face facts shall we: This is a system directly [and unjustly biassed- to the point of saying it was intrinsically morally disordered] intended to promote the candidate of whom is least disapproved. The middle men and women – and that generally refers to the Liberal Democrats [if AV had been applied at the last election the Lib Dem representation would have more than doubled]

    Hypothetical situation:
    Three party race Labour gain 39%, Tory 41% LibDem 20%
    Who wins under AV?
    The Liberal Democrat who accrues all the Labour and Tory second preferences.
    So axiomatically how do I have to vote to prevent this happening?
    If I don’t place a second preference I will allow the process to work against me – so I naturally place my other preference against the person who could win through those preferences – i.e. if minority parties are accessible I use those preferences against the party that could win on second preferences.
    i.e. I will place preferences for parties who could not possibly win in order to prevent the party which could possibly win on preferences.

    You will get to a situation where in three party races people will be utilising their second preferences to vote for the major party they do not wish to win in order to prevent a secondary party usurping one’s own party potentially winning? Tories will be second preference voting Labour and Labour second preferencing Tory to prevent the Lib Dems sneaking in.

    But nevertheless the well-intentioned [gullible] majority will not vote like this – they will vote according to actual preference and thus submit to the unjust system where the most approved candidate loses to the least disapproved.

    But the prudent person who wished their candidate to win – would be morally obliged to use every means within their remit of power to ensure a win for their candidate – and within this system that would include recourse to action contrary to the very nature and intention of the voting structure itself – using the system against the system – to paraphrase Bellarmine you might not be able to beat the system – but you can break it!

    i.e. a Farce where one is spoiling votes to aid one’s own party to win – and one deliberately DOES NOT VOTE ACCORDING TO PREFERENCE!! Which is ironically the purported aim of the system!

    Irrespective of this – it is a ridiculous scenario where one is compelled to resort to action contrary to the spirit of a system’s intentions – therefore this axiomatically makes a system morally disordered in itself – whereas first past the post is potentially circumstantially unjust – AV becomes intrinsically unjust when directed to its own intended end. Morality is congruently linked with purpose and efficacy – a house divided against itself – a self-defeating, self-denying entity can not be considered morally ordered?

    The least disfavoured are the Liberal Democrats – even after the fiasco of the coalition and their ostensible betrayal of principles and collaboration with that which they have determined as objectively detrimental to the country.

    Thus the Liberal Democrat share of power would rise geometrically – and who are the most anti-Life political party?
    Contrary to popular opinion it is NOT the Labour Party – their conspiracy with the culture of death is prevalent and endemic but they still retain a moral minority.

    But the Liberal Democratic Party have abortion on demand as one of their sworn objectives [ironically they voted in favour of this policy after they voted on a ban of the sale of goldfish at funfairs on grounds of animal cruelty] – ditto assisted suicide – ditto euthanasia , eugenic infanticide, the furtherance of embryonic experimentation , [environmental sustainability] population control and tying aid to it [sterilizations and the mobile abortion vans are the price for being fed ] – and when it comes to families they wish an extension of civic partnerhips – gay marriage – economic incentives to reduce family size [and punitive for larger families] ditto a relaxation of divorce law and the rights of the state to intervene in ‘dysfunctional’ families and even intervene on the ‘reproductive capacity’ of drug-users or those with learning difficulties [i.e. sterilising them or forcing abortions] – when it comes to religion they are on the record as being against conscience clauses and rights to religious freedom where it opposes state legislature [instead promoting a right to free worship which means NOTHING} – Faith Schools and institutions would be compromised and under jeopardy. There is an absolutist secularist agenda which will alienate,dissociate and disenfranchise ANY intervention on the state by one’s religious belief.

    Please do not think that people like Dr Evan Harris are a lunatic fringe within the party – the party’s main objectives are stated quite clearly in policy statements and documentation – the old Liberal party for all its accommodating passive ‘eco and humano-sensitive’ veneer is the most illiberal and lethal of the three parties – and it is the one enmeshed within the culture of death.

    …and AV will drastically, dramatically hand more power to these people.

    I’ll go so far as to say that irrespective of it doubling the power of our enemies – even if it didn’t it’s still gravely immoral. AV is an enemy of democracy in that it is a system which steals the democratic rights of the electorate to appoint the person they wish and steals the representational power of the person duly elected. If 40% of the people want one person and another 40% want another why should it ever be considered as moral that a person whom only 20% first approval gained power – ‘making do with the least worst’ is an enemy of democracy.

    To go back to an earlier analogy we can’t allow someone to steal an apple from its rightful owner merely because we’d get a bigger share of it from the thief.

    This is of course only my personal opinion – and I might have done nine years in Uni studying moral theology and ethics but I’m not a doctor in it so I can be excusingly understandably dismissed accordingly – but I’ll fight you on this one Father; because I believe you’re really wrong about it.

  • Anonymous

    I lived under the farcical irish system to realise that it’s a con – the PDs and labour bullying and blackmailing their way to the power table while FF & Fg became even more egoistically self-concerned.- you’ve just spent decades engaged in what we’ve only just begun to endure under the coalition – just because the Irish have become familiar and oblivious to the disintegration of their democratic rights doesn’t mean we don’t recognise it when we see it.

    The last thing we want is a situtation where we have the LibDems permanently in power as second members of a coalition for the next half century until they gain enough power to take the helm themselves!

  • Mr Grumpy

    I would think that if you have the opportunity of voting for a pro-life candidate you would not be justified in witholding your vote just because you dislike their policy on immigration. Not unless they are actually advocating killing immigrants.

  • Anonymous

    Which is why we should have a german electoral system [one vote for a specific candidate - one vote for a party] and a pro-Life political party would indeed gain democratic power and a voice at the debating table.

    And if the three main parties and three sub-parties do not provide and effective voice for Catholics ?
    WE MAKE OUR OWN PARTY WHICH DOES!

  • Anthony Ozimic

    My preferred form of electoral system is a variant of AV called AR (Ancient Regime), in which God elects ( = chooses) the best candidate, using a preferential list system called predestination. This usually results in political stability, and in Catholic states, the social reign of Christ the King.

  • ms catholic state

    I very much look forward to an unashamedely Catholic party…….the UK is going to need such a thing for the future……if the other parties are not to drag us to our doom…..and to Islamisation!

  • Anonymous

    Predestination is sometimes overwhelmed by the person with the biggest stick or possessing enough money to buy the favours of the person with the biggest stick ; or a group of the elect deciding to share the spoils in an oligarchy; or we can always feed the minorities to the mob and say that which is most popular is axiomatically right – n’est-ce pas? Any which way we tend to fall into the domineering tyranny of the Last man Standing fallacy or the besieged victimhood of the Martyr fallacy.

    St Paul’s address to authority ‘God allows you to wield that sword” doesn’t repudiate the fact that God’s divine mercy might have allowed them to exercise their free will and usurp the power to wield that sword.

  • Anonymous

    Sadly at present if a Catholic party were to arise most of the elitist professional ‘Catholics’ on the scene would usurp the top jobs and we’d be left with something very far from Catholic – could you imagine an Ivereigh in charge? God help us!

  • Annie

    “Trust me, I’m a doctor – of moral theology.”

    So is Hans Kung.

  • Benedict Carter

    VOTE NO, and make your second, third and fourth choices “NO” as well.

    ANYTHING that is presented to us by this joke Party the Libdumbs, who proudly display their “progressivism” as if they were wandering the streets with zip undone and tackle on view has got to be rejected out of hand.

    These are the buffoons who have happily gone along with the EU totalitarianism and wish more of the same unfettered immigration on us. They do NOT deserve to have their place cemented into an endless series of useless Coalitions.

    VOTE NO!

  • Benedict Carter

    You have no right to present yourself as a priest and “moral theologian” and then offer us your “personal opinion” without giving the anti-AV side as well – a comparison using ALL the arguments would be neutral.

    As it is, Father, your article is a partial LibDem diatribe.

  • Benedict Carter

    A question: if it is a sin not to vote, how would you advise a Catholic faced with a list of candidates every one of whom supports abortion?

    Some would say (I am one of them) that it would be a sin to vote for ANY of them.

    What kind of “moral theologian” are you?

  • Tiggy

    Well said that man.
    the good Father is clearly out of his depth.

  • DBMcGinnity

    The Ancient Regime has been tried and it failed Badly.

    Pope Pius XII tried that stunt of having complete authority and obedience when he attempted to set himself up as “The Holy Roman Emperor“. He tried to use Hitler and Mussolini to bring this about but failed to realise that he was dealing with psychopaths who would not keep their word.

    The Italian aristocratic Pacilli family (The Pius XII family) were deeply entrenched within the Vatican Legal Department. The Popes father was The Attorney General at the time of Pius IX, and he the most senior law officer in the Vatican. It was Giuseppe Pacilli, the Popes brother who wrote “The Lateran Treaty” with Mussolini (http//www.aloha.net/~mikesch/treaty.htm) ). and The “Reichskonkordat” with Hitler in 1933 both were signed by Cardinal Archbishop Pacilli, The Vatican Secretary of State. http://www.concordatwatch.eu/showtopic.php?kb_header_id=752

  • Emma

    I’ve certainly made my mind up! I won’t be voting for any of our candidates who are standing, as I feel that to do so would be supporting evil. It’s sad but that’s the reality; the most effective way is by campaigning and making peaceful protests against the wrongs of our society- especially abortion, euthanasia and lack of Christian tolerance.

  • Anonymous

    Is it a sin not to vote when one is entitled to do so, even if one is not a citizen of the juristiction?

  • Anonymous

    A vote for AV is a vote for the greater representation of the LibDems in Parliament. That will always be a bad result for the Catholics of the UK.

  • DBMcGinnity

    The Irish PR system is a good system because there is no pretence at truth or honesty,. When Charles Haughey was first elected he won by 11,000 votes more votes than the total votes cast. In my hometown several people registered their family dog to vote, which it did. The motto: “Vote Early, Vote Often” was liberally applied. Incidentally, all the political parties were good church going Catholics.

  • Adam C

    Fr Alexander’s point is valid, Catholics will have a slightly louder voice. However what Fr. fails to realise is is that our enemies, and there are lots of them, will also be given a far louder voice. Smaller, …anti Catholic parties’ supporters, such as those who vote Green and Lib Dem, will effectively have multiple votes whereby they can give their anti Catholic party a louder voice with their first preference and then vote for someone electable with their second preference.

    The best way to make the Catholic voice louder is not to vote for AV (which will actually exclude politicians who are, for example, pro life and would have given the anti Catholic Labour party far bigger majorities) but to use actually lobby bigger parties, the Tories especially, to adopt Catholic candidates and, within that party, create groups which identify Catholic talent and gives then the assistance necessary to be selected in safe/winnable seats. They could then join some of the already excellent Catholic parliamentarians such as Edward Leigh, Jacob Rees Mogg, etc.

  • Weary Convert

    And a rather good one too.

  • ms catholic state

    I’m not sure anyone in the Conservative party or any party is partial to Catholic teaching….except the tiny Christian and Pro-life parties. All main parties are for the moment travelling in a diametrically opposite direction to Christianity. But your point is still valid. We should have infiltrated both government and the establishment a long time ago. Maybe we tried….but the fact is we failed badly.

    However….since all parties are now avowedly secular and there is little difference between them….I believe the defining factor of 21st century Western politics will be pro-Islam or pro-Christian….not left or right….as secularism proves itself a fatal failure. And many would support a Catholic party as opposed to a pro-Islamic one.

  • Adam C

    You look up Edward Leigh, he’s been one of the finest Catholic Parliamentarians of this generation. Rees Mogg, has refered to the Catholic Church in debates as “Holy Mother Church” and has openly said that the Pope is one of two people who’s instructions he will always follow on moral issues. So it can be done. And of the big three parties the modern day Conservatives are the least anti Catholic.

    The most important thing that Catholic tories can do is group together, professionalise themself and lobby properly.

  • Philip

    Much as I normally agree with your blog posts, Fr Alexander, I disagree strongly with this. There will not be more marginal constituencies under AV, there will be different types of safe constituencies won by candidates who have both first and second preference votes (for illustration in some areas there might be very safe Labour seats with Lib Dem second preferences where the Conservative was previously close to the Labour candidate, in other areas other combinations – thus an AV safe seat can be created out of a first past the post marginal seat). Also, the second preference votes are given to the “least unattractive” candidate and this is likely to be somebody who does not stick their neck out on issues – including pro life issues. Furthermore, the Catholic vote for a pro-life candidate will no longer make that crucial difference in a marginal seat – the dynamics of how and when Catholic votes will and will not count will depend on the order in which candidates are knocked out: as such, it is much more difficult in advance to know what votes will be important in what circumstances. If the BNP gets knocked out first then it will be their votes that have the first opportunity to make the difference to the electoral outcome and the Catholic votes might not get a look in at all whereas in first past the post, voters might choose to vote for one of the likely winners if he or she were pro life. The scenario you paint regarding AV is a possible one but it is by no means the most likely one – the situation will be different in different constituencies. However, one thing for certain is that those candidates who are most likely to win will be less likely to stick their necks out.

  • InAllButName

    All good stuff, however, as this week’s The Economist explains, the AV referendum is only one of, and probably far from the most important of, several important constitutional changes that have recently occurred in Britain (if that’s still the right term) and might do so in the near future. There’s devolution of course. But also, consider the upcoming changes to the House of Lords, which could mean and end to hereditary peers, and appointed peers (only 20% of the total, the rest being elected) being chosen to be much more representative of the populace than they are at present — including religious leaders. Followed to its logical conclusion, it seems to me that arguably (based on attendance at Church) there should be more Catholic than Anglican peers!

  • Rusticus

    Agreed, Benedict. If the Green Party, Eddie Izzard, Benjamin Zephaniah and Stephen Fry are in favour of something, then – to quote Groucho Marx’s song – “Whatever it is, I’m against it!”

  • crouchback

    Eddie Lizard….can’t tell jokes and neither can Mucus Brigstocke….

  • crouchback
  • crouchback

    McGinty….have you been at the…. Para….finne……again…????

    Don’t swallow any sparks….at least until I get in to my Anderson Shelter…!!!!

  • DBMcGinnity

    Your lack of refinement and sophistication clearly shows that you are insightless and witless ass. Your scathing and sarcastic comment shows all the hallmarks of someone without finesse who has nothing significant to say. Your mocking comments and your disrespectful misspelling of my name denote a person of very poor character and a poor role model for Roman Catholicism and for the teachings of Jesus Christ.

  • Parasum

    No, no, no and no.

    On the (real) feast of St. Pius V, I shall be voting “No”.

    What this idiocy needs is Harry Enfield:

    Angry Frank: Oi, Clegg, NO. I admire your ability to flip-flop, but you will NOT mess with our voting system.

  • Parasum

    What’s the answer to this one – if any ?

  • Parasum

    In England, maybe – North of the Border: Tories are an endangered species as it is, never mind sub-sets of them.

    Conservatives are probably the best of a rather dicey bunch. Anything to do with Labour or independence or the Greens: no thanks. If UKIP were bigger – maybe. The trouble with the Conservatives is that they are not very conservative.

  • B Taylor

    Ireland uses The Single Transferable Vote (STV), which is different from AV.

  • ms catholic state

    I see your point…..but it is a mistake to identify Conservatives with Christian. They are not. In fact they are thoroughly post-Christian……and overall they are more pro-Islamic….than pro-Christ. Those good Catholic politicians you mention…fron whatever party…. might be wise to support a Catholic State party for the long term……as I think they are fighting a losing battle right now. They seem to be swamped in the traditional parties.

  • ms catholic state

    If you follow that line of thought…..how long before we have more Muslim peers than Catholic peers in the House of Lords. Not long now I should think.

  • David Lindsay

    Electoral reform offers the opportunity to get at least some of what we want as the price of other people getting at least some of what they want.

    The Right, at least, could never govern without a possibly small, but nevertheless permanent, body of patriotic, socially conservative MPs who favoured agriculture, manufacturing and small business over global capitalism. Among other people, but even so.

    The Left, at least, could never govern without a possibly small, but nevertheless permanent, body of patriotic, socially conservative, social democratic MPs. Among other people, but even so.

    The one with Tory roots would be a fairly or very Protestant affair. But the one with Labour roots would be largely, perhaps predominantly, Catholic.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    May I clarify? You make a none of the above choice by spoiling your ballot paper. This counts as a conscientious abstention, rather different from a could not be bothered abstention. Of course you coulod do your conscientious abstention from the comfort of your own home.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith

    I don’t think he is… was Systemmatics his speciality?

  • Benedict Carter

    Rubbish. The labour party long ago gave up any Catholic roots it might once have had and sold itself to the Marxists / militant atheists.

    Far, far too high a price to pay.

    We need an out-and-out Catholic Party, something I have been suggesting for years.

    If the modern Church had any sense at all (it hasn’t) this would have been put into effect long ago.

    But they themselves are mostly Modernists and Socialists. No hope from them at all, as the article we are commenting upon proves.

  • ms catholic state

    Benedict ……It is up to us the laity not the clergy to establish a Catholic Party (with the ultimate goal of a Catholic State of course)……God willing.

  • DBMcGinnity

    You have just dismissed David Lindsay’s valid opinion as “Rubbish” (not worthy of consideration). So I would like you to validate why Mr Lindsay opinion is rubbish, and I would further like to know what you propose instead.

    You have suggested that there be an all Catholic political party, then I assume you must have some idea of how many Catholics there are in United Kingdom and know the statistical breakdown for constituency and parliamentary purposes. I would like to see a simple synopsis of the manifesto that you would offer to Catholics.

    Judging by the confusion and acrimony and vicious venom expressed by different Catholic persuasions within the blogs, how will you define Catholic? Mr Lindsay put forward a valid point of view, now let us all see your valid point of view. If you do not present an abstract of your out-an-out Catholic manifesto, then I will assume that you have fallen asleep in your comfortable armchair.

  • DBMcGinnity

    “Sweet dreams, till Moonbeams find you”!!!, Why do you not call yourself “Mary Tudor II” and make a law that all Protestants must convert to the obedience of the Pope? With respect, very few Catholics actually believe or accept the pre-Vatican II Catholic Teaching about the Popes Authority, Infallibility, Contraception and Birth Control. In effect most Catholics make their own minds up in keeping with their conscience, rather than anything that the Church Teaches. England will never be a Catholic State, NEVER.
    Ireland once was a Catholic State (by law), and now according to the Justice Department statistics in Dublin Ireland it is a most lawless irreligious profane and greedy place to be, thanks to the antics of Roman Catholic Church

  • ms catholic state

    And that is why the West is in demographic death throes…..and why Islam will soon be the majority religion….ushering in the Caliphate. Ireland is no doubt lawless irreligious profane and greedy…..because they have enthusiastically thrown off Catholicism and its truth, common sense and civilising influence…..and become boringly secular and uncivilised. (or a non-people as the Pope calls a people without belief)

    Without its base in Catholicism and the Catholic State….the West is in premanent decline…and will be Islamised.
    .

  • The GF

    Get a life mate – you shouldn’t have the time to write comments which are longer than the article itself which, incidentally, hits the nail on the head.