Adam Dupuis's picture

Is The LGBT Politician Always The Right Choice? – Take Ireland, Serbia, and Maine.

Do you choose whom to vote for based on party lines?  Do you decided whom to vote for based on one issue in particular?  When it comes to electing someone to office, what is important? Do we blindly cheer and vote for the LGBTer?

GEORGIA

Recently, the nation was chewing its collective nails while awaiting the results of a special election to fill a vacated US House of Representatives seat rom Georgia vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

 

 

Was there just not enough Democrats to vote and push Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year old former congressional aide past Karen Handel, 55, the former Georgia secretary of state?  Does this failure to elect Ossoff provide any hope for the Democratic party? 

Maybe Ossoff wasn’t a strong enough candidate to sway Republicans from the dark side. There was another recent case of a candidate just not being strong enough. This time it was an LGBT Democratic candiate.

MAINE

I moved to Florida back in 2013, leaving Maine, a state that had a governor people now have named “Baby Trump.” mainly because of his backward policies, ignorance, and inability to speak above a 7th grade level.  He also flies off the handle at the drop of a hat, but we thank the stars that he doesn’t know how to use Twitter.  Governor Paul LePage was an embarrassment to the state of Maine, just like Trump is to the US, as I was reminded daily when on my trip to Israel.

There was some hope of getting LePage out of office when his first 4-year term was coming to a close.  Even though LePage was an embarrassment to the state, he had a strong backing from Republicans, Catholics, and those of French Canadian descent that needed to be surpassed.  Who did the Democrats put up to go against LePage?  A newly out gay former US Representative Michael Michaud whom had represented mill workers and agricultural northern Maine. Would he get the vote?  Would Maine have the first elected openly gay governor in the nation?

The election did not go well for Democrats. A third party candidate was involved, but in talking with friends still living in Maine, they said Michaud did lose some votes to a #3 and that did affect the election, but it was mainly that Michaud just wasn't ready.  He was gay as well as a Democrat, but that wasn't reason enough to promote him to the governorship. There are more reasons why Mike Michaud did not get the nod from constituents, but many said he needed to be a stronger candidate overall.

IRELAND

But when an LGBT candidate is elected to a high position, should we jump for joy?  Even our coverage (Ireland Elects Openly Gay Prime Minister) was short and overlooked some important aspects.

Leo Varadkar will take over the leadership of Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael Party. The next Prime Minister is not only gay and the son of an Indian immigrant, he’s also just 38 years old, the youngest Prime Minister in Irish history.

The stars have aligned and thanks to a recent election, Ireland is moving forward in a gay ol’ way!  Not so fast. There was no general election. Ireland is a parliamentary democracy, and when former prime minister Enda Kenny resigned the governing party, Fine Gael, chose Varadkar to replace him as party leader.  Election, not as we were thinking, more so an internal government decision.

Varadkar does have a history of saying that men and women should be the only people to be able to marry and to raise children and did not support same sex marriage or adoption.  Then again those statements were before his coming out during a radio interview in 2015.  “The right of a child to have a mother and father is much more important than the right of two men or two women to have a family” (salon.com). Many Irish politicians have flipped their stance on marriage equality especially since the nation voted and approved of same-sex marriages.  But many are still angry that he never apologized for those comments.

In 2010, accused of sexism by a female government minister, Varadkar defended himself by saying that, if anything, he “went easier” on her “because she was a woman” — which is probably not the greatest way to prove you understand what sexism is.

He's deeply right-wing on economic issues and even on non-gay rights social issues like abortion. We will have to see if Ireland’s newest and youngest prime minister will stick to his conservative ways.

SERBIA

Ana Brnabic, currently the head of Serbia’s Public Administration Ministry, is expected to be confirmed by parliament as the first openly gay women in Eastern Europe to be named prime minister.  Other resources are stating that she will be elected, but like Varadkar in Ireland, the process is out of the hands of constituents.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic nominated Brnabic for the position of Prime Minister, which many feel is a show of Vucic’s desire to push forward the country’s bid to join the European Union. But is he putting her into a position of power?  Some believe Vuvic was planning to use Brnabic to shift power from the premiership to the presidency so that he could control the country from behind the scenes. Put her into a position just to lessen her ability to make change? (nytimes.com)

Will Brnabic’s election appointment be mainly for show and help to shift power in Serbia away from the prime minister’s office and to the presidency, or will she be allowed to govern with the same power and influence like the male prime ministers before her? Only time will tell.


Do you vote along party lines?  Are they always the best choices? 

Are LGBT candidates the best ones for us to elect no matter what?