Advice To Catholic Voters
A long article by François de Lacoste Lareymondie at Liberté Politique offers counseling to Catholics on how to vote in tomorrow's first round of legislative elections. Here are a few excerpts:
(...) Once again we must face a renewed crisis with regard to the omnipresent culture of death. Again we must bring into harmony the voice of our conscience with the realism of the best possible choice. Again we must avoid the two contradictory but equally dangerous temptations of fatalistic resignation and withdrawal into sterile opposition.
(...) The objective of the current election is different from the preceding one... The President, at the summit of the State, symbolizes authority, represents all Frenchmen and puts on the government the stamp of its broad orientations. The deputy, on the other hand, is a parliamentarian whose first function, along with the vote on taxes and budget, is to pass laws.
Passing laws means giving a juridical framework to social behaviors, deciding on what society, at a given point in time, considers good or bad; an awesome task since society has arrogated to itself the right to laws on everything, including laws on its very foundations which, after all, ought to remain intangible.
Hence the importance that must be accorded to the positions and declarations of each candidate on the great issues dealing with the "non-negotiable" principles that form the basis of any society. These principles are not "categorical imperatives" of the Kantian sort, but finalities, in the moral sense (first in the order of intent, last in the order of execution).
Note: The above is a theological statement that refers to the six issues as being dependent on the judgment and choices of individuals acting voluntarily (order of intention). But they are not to be executed, hence they are last on the list of things to do (order of execution). Normally, the order of intention leads to the order of execution: having deliberated on the wisdom of a goal, one then acts upon it. A finality, in French and English, is a goal, an end, often synonymous with the Greek word telos.
If someone can add to or clarify the above, please do so. My knowledge of theological concepts is rudimentary..
He then discusses six questions that are "non-negotiable": abortion, euthanasia, bioethics, marriage and adoption by homosexuals, rights of parents to make decisions on their child's education, and religious freedom, i.e. the willingness of a candidate to accept the inclusion of religious authorities in discussions of a moral nature, thus their right to instruct.
In this case, it is not the proposals that appear in the party platforms that are the determining factor. Much more important is the personal position of each candidate, as it emerged, through past or present declarations, through votes cast in Parliament, through the ties established with one pressure group or another and commitments that may have ensued. These positions are what will condition the conduct of a deputy in the National Assembly.
Thus, insofar as it is possible, having realistically assessed their chances to be elected, one must favor the candidates whose strength of conviction and whose capacity to resist pressure from lobbies, is known. And one must systematically try to eliminate without hesitation all those, no matter what party they belong to, who would push for the adoption of bills that attack the "non-negotiable" principles, or who would vote such a bill into law. This may mean that we have to elect candidates who are far removed from our normal preference, but whose election would not have such dire impact: some unknown opposition candidate would be better than a candidate of the present majority who is known to favor destructive policies or who is active on behalf of the gay lobby. (...)
Essentially he's saying to Catholics that they are not voting for a party this time, but for individuals. If they listen to this advice, it might be good news for the Front National or the MPF. Philippe de Villiers has 500 candidates; surely a few could be elected by Catholic voters.
The term "non-negotiable" appears in quotes throughout the article because it is from an official Vatican text.