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
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
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
• 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