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How To Evaluate Candidates

The questions you should ask about a candidate before you cast your vote.

Airing on EWTN Thursday, October 18 at 11p.m.; re-airing on Saturday, October 20 at 2:30a.m.  Listen on EWTN radio Friday , October 19 at 1a.m., Saturday, October 20 at 6:30p.m. and Sunday, October 21 at 5a.m. (All times Eastern)

On Election Day, our country will make critical decisions about the types of leaders we will have for years to come. If you have not been doing so, it is time to begin looking more carefully at the candidates who will be running.

To make the right decision when deciding on the candidates whom you will support, it is essential that you look carefully at the positions of the candidates in the race. This step in the process is critical in fulfilling your responsibilities as a faithful citizen, as you must participate in the political process with a fully informed conscience. This includes knowing the positions of the candidates.

You can find this information in several places, such as newspapers, television news, voter guides, and on the internet.

Priests for Life has a voter guide and a comparison piece on the platforms of the two major parties. Both are in English and Spanish and both are legally qualified for use by Churches and other 501-c-3 organizations, and each has a legal letter explaining that fact. You can find both at www.politicalresponsibility.com. On that page there is also an instructional video for handing out these guides on the public sidewalks.
Remember that elections not only put candidates into power, but they put parties into power, too. In voting for a candidate, you should know the positions of the candidate and also the positions of the party to which he/she belongs.

You can also contact the candidate's campaign to make an inquiry about his or her position. If possible, this should be done well in advance of the election and should include a request for a response in writing. The reason for this is that, especially in local campaigns, phones can be answered by people who think they know more about the candidate than they actually do. Once you find sources of this information, be sure to review them carefully.

Frequently politicians make statements like, "I have always been personally pro-life," or, "I would never encourage a woman to have an abortion." Rather than offering comfort to pro-life voters, statements like these should raise red flags, as they are typically followed by, "but I would never impose my personal beliefs on anybody else," or some similar statement. Even in cases in which these words do not follow, they are often implied. In such cases, be sure to look for a clearer statement of the candidate's position, again, in writing if possible.

And remember, the key question is not simply what the candidate believes. Ask what the candidate will do to restore protection to the unborn.

• You should also look at a candidate's voting record. This is extremely easy with members of Congress as you can simply contact any one of a number of national organizations that track votes as part of their regular activity. They will be able to inform you how your Congressman and Senator voted on the bills that have come before them. You can often obtain similar information about state candidates from pro-life organizations within your state.
• Also, pay attention to what individuals or groups have endorsed, promoted, volunteered for or contributed to the campaign of a candidate. This says a lot about what the candidate stands for. You will know a person by his or her friends.

 

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org