How true is Averil Power’s claim that Fianna Fail lacks vision, courage and leadership?
We can get a good idea by analysing how Sean Haughey replied to a very simple question – Did he vote Yes or No in the marriage referendum?
Like many people this has been a long journey, for this one I felt I couldn’t canvass with conviction. I wanted to listen to all the arguments and I listened to all the arguments right up to polling day. I discussed it with my family, I’m passionate about my country and our society and the how it should develop but at the end of the day it’s a secret ballot.
Fair enough, it is a secret ballot and everybody has the right to refuse to say how he or she voted. But Haughey is a public representative, he intends standing for election to parliament. He could become a powerful minister or even Taoiseach. At minimum citizens have a right to know where he stands on the main issues of the day.
They have a right to know, before voting, what kind of man they are being asked to support. For example, a liberal constituent will want to know if Haughey supports the repeal of the Eight Amendment of the Constitution regarding abortion. Similarly, a conservative will want to know if he’s pro life.
It’s cowardly to say, on the one hand, I’m passionate about my country and how our society develops but I’m keeping my opinions secret.
So you’re not answering that question but you are saying you didn’t go out canvassing on the issue?
I want to be perfectly honest about this. I feel if you’re going to people’s doors and ask them you need to have the conviction and for me I wanted the luxury of sitting back and listening to all the arguments and I listened passionately to every debate right up to polling day.
Honesty is the last thing we’re getting here.
Is Haughey saying he has no conviction on the issue one way or the other? Hardly, since he admits that he ‘passionately’ listened to every debate. As a private citizen Haughey has the ‘luxury’ of sitting back and listening to all the arguments before casting his secret vote. But as an aspiring public representative he has an obligation to be open and honest with those who may consider giving him a vote.
And the fact that your party was supporting the issue?
Well I don’t think I let my party down in any way.
Unwittingly, Haughey is being honest here. His cowardly double-speak, his failure to step up to the plate and openly say what he believes fits in seamlessly with the long established Fianna Fail gombeen mindset.
His corrupt father would be proud.