For whom do we vote?
On Thursday, 27 October, the Irish electorate will vote to elect a new President of Ireland, who will take office for the next seven years.
The Constitution of Ireland proclaims that the President ‘shall take precedence over all other persons in the State and … shall exercise and perform the powers and functions conferred on the President by this Constitution and by law.’ The Constitution further states that the President shall enter that office ‘by taking and subscribing publicly, in the presence of members of both Houses of the Oireachtas [parliament], of Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Court, and other public personages, the following declaration:
‘ “In the presence of Almighty God I …… do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfil my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities in the service and welfare of the people of Ireland. May God direct and sustain me.” ’
That’s a serious declaration for anyone to make.
There are seven people who have put themselves forward in the upcoming election as a possible president. But how do we decide who is the person most suitable to represent the Irish people and to guard the Constitution of Ireland? The Constitution deals with many aspects of life in a State but, in particular, it deals in detail with the rights of the citizens. These basic rights include the most fundamental of all human rights – the right to life, which, of course, includes the right to life of the unborn child. Another most important right is that recognition given by the Constitution to the family founded on marriage, and the pledge of the State to protect the family founded on marriage against attack. The State guarantees to protect the family in its constitution and authority as the necessary basis of social order, and as indispensable to the welfare of the Nation and the State.
Indeed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Note on the participation of Catholics in political life  warns that we cannot close our eyes to ‘the real dangers which certain tendencies in society are promoting through legislation, nor can one ignore the effects this will have on future generations.’
Now, who of all the seven candidates can truthfully (and the President must be truthful) say that he or she subscribes to the requirements of the presidency to uphold the Constitution? Only one person comes to mind, and that person is Dana. All of the others want to change it in various degrees.
A Number 1 vote for Dana on Thursday next will show that we still have a conscience, and that we still respect the important things in life.