One of the arguments I got into during the social evening at YFG Summer School was where FG stood on the political spectrum. Now I consider my self to be centre-right. Economically and with regards to Law and Order I am definitely right of centre though with social issues (abortion, civil unions etc) I drift slightly past centre.
Fine Gael itself is a Christian Democratic Party being a member of the European Peoples Party at the European Level and the Centrist Democrat International (formerly Christian Democrat International) which are both part of a Christian Democrat tradition.
But what is a Christian Democracy?
Wikipedia defines it as thus:
It is a political philosophy focusing on the health of the community in all areas of community existence. This community orientation is often considered conservative (or right-leaning) in regard to moral and cultural issues and progressive (or left-leaning) in regard to social justice, labor and socio-economic issues. More specifically, Christian democratic parties generally claim a strong social conscience, in the sense of great respect for the dignity of the human person from conception to natural death (that is, a pro-life stance), emphasizing the alleviation of poverty, and maintenance of a basic level of societal protection (and a limited welfare state if necessary) keeping the weak from abandonment and destitution, and the incentivising of (and if necessary the restraint of) market forces for the common good. It may also be seen as liberal as it upholds human rights and individual initiative (read personal responsibility). It may be seen as federalistic and traditional in that it emphasizes sphere sovereignty and subsidiarity, and maintaining local and regional cultural distinctives, as well as upholding universal traditions.
I suppose that is the problem with Christian Democracy, it can be seen as both right and left. I still firmly believe that Fine Gael is right of centre due to its policies on law and order, its economic proposals and its stance on a number of issues.
Those who claimed that we were left of centre harked back to Garret (“The Good”) FitzGerald claiming he took us left of centre. I disagree with this. I don’t think he did, then again if he did, Dukes, Bruton, Noonan, and Kenny and have taken us back to being a party of the right.
What about me? Am I a Christian democrat? I suppose this is the conundrum i find myself in as a non-Christian supporting a Christian democratic party. Maybe that is why I find myself describing FG as Right of centre.
Whats the opinion of everyone else?