Christian Solidarity Party

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Christian Solidarity Party
Leader Cathal Loftus
Founded 1991
Dissolved 2014
Headquarters 14 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1
Ideology Social conservatism,
Communitarianism
Political position Right-wing
Colours Lemon yellow

The Christian Solidarity Party (Irish: Comhar Críostaí) was a minor political party in the Republic of Ireland. It had no representation at local or national level. Founded in 1991 as the Christian Principles Party, it stood candidates in the 1991 local elections, it was reformed as the Christian Centrist Party and ran candidates in the 1992 general election receiving 0.2% of first preference votes. It was renamed in 1994 to incorporate the word "Solidarity" following a mutual pledge of support between the party and the conservative advocacy group, Family Solidarity. Its first candidate was Catherine Kelly, contesting the Cork South–Central by-election, 1994,[1] who received 1,704 (4.0%) first preference votes. The CSP took part in the 1997 general election and has contested each General Election, and a number of other by-elections since then. It also fielded candidates in Local and European Parliament elections since its foundation.

In the 2013 Meath East by-election the CSP supported the Direct Democracy Ireland candidate Ben Gilroy taking out newspaper adverts to support him, previously some CSP candidates included DDI on their election literature.

In 2013 the party lobbied the Standards in Public Office to Committee against the mandatory requirement for political parties accounts to be audited by an external body, claiming this would be a very high expense for a small party,[2] where as parties represented in the Dail have access to public funds for this. In January 2014 the party's entry in the official register of political parties was cancelled,[3][4]

Ideology[edit]

It was orthodox to Christian teachings and principles, and its main proposals were based upon traditional, and unequivocal, pro-life natalism. The party promoted traditional family values and campaigns against marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.[5][6] The Party made written and oral submissions to various Oireachtas committees regarding proposed legislation on such family and social issues,[7] as well as on other issues such as Seanad reform.[8] The party described itself as follows:

The Christian Solidarity Party is dedicated to the causes of Life, the Family and the Community. The CSP promotes policies that safeguard the value of human life from conception to natural death, that support the position of the family as the fundamental unit group of society, and that allow human communities to flourish in a manner consistent with human dignity.

The party also campaigned against the announced closure of Ireland's embassy to the Vatican in 2011 and held a small demonstration outside of Leinster House.[9]

Prominent members[edit]

Richard Greene, its former leader, stepped down on 13 December 2012.[10] No longer active is Dr Gerard Casey, who was the founder and led the party initially. The Dublin Central candidate, Paul O'Loughlin, has been featured in the party's election broadcast.

Election history[edit]

2014 Local Elections[edit]

Although not on the official list of parties, the party leader Commandant Cathal Ashbourne Loftus is running listed as non-party in the 2014 local elections in the Ashbourne ward, using the Christian Solidarity logo on his election leaflets.[11]

2011 general election[edit]

The party nominated eight candidates in the 2011 general election five in Dublin and one each in Limerick, Meath and Cork.[12]

At the party's election launch news conference conducted by new leader, Richard Greene stated that the party will campaign on a pro-life and what it calls a 'Euro-Realist' platform and that it will oppose making the poor pay for the economic crisis.[21][22]

The party's Meath West candidate, Manus MacMeanmain (who polled 0.6% of first preference votes) was reportedly unhappy that the Christian Solidarity Party's logo was not present on the ballot paper, and claimed that the image that was used looked like "a bunch of nuts".[23][24]

The party polled 0.1% of the votes and no deposits were saved.

2009 local elections[edit]

For the 2009 local elections, they fielded candidates in 13 constituencies. They were:

None were elected, and none received their election expenses.

2007 general election[edit]

The CSP ran seven candidates - two women and five men - in the 2007 election. None were successful and all lost their deposits. Party leader Cathal Loftus received 210 votes in Dublin North, 0.38% of the votes and came last out of eight candidates. Paul O'Loughlin, the party's best-performing candidate, who had recently appeared on the party's party election broadcast, scored just 260 votes in Dublin Central, with 0.75% of the vote. The party as a whole scored 0.06% of the total national vote. The party candidates included:

None were elected.

2004 European Parliament election[edit]

In the 2004 European Parliament election, the CSP announced it had no plans to run, but later announced Barry Despard[30] as a candidate. He came ninth of twelve candidates in the Dublin constituency with 5,352 first-preference votes, or 1.3% of the valid poll.

2002 general election[edit]

In the 2002 general election, the CSP ran 19 candidates, between the ages of 22 and 82. Some ran in more than one constituency. They spent €12,284.71 on the campaign. The party polled 0.26% of the vote. No candidates were elected, all losing their deposits.

1999 European Parliament election[edit]

In the 1999 European Parliament election, party leader Gerard Casey[44] contested the Dublin constituency. He finished 10th out of 13 candidates with 9,425 first preference votes (3.36%). He lost his deposit.

1997 general election[edit]

In the 1997 General Election, the CSP fielded 8 candidates and polled 0.5% of the vote. No candidates were elected. All lost their deposits.

By-elections[edit]

Lisbon Treaty[edit]

The Christian Solidarity Party campaigned against the Lisbon Treaty referenda.[52] The party also made submissions to the Oireachtas committee on Ireland's future in Europe after the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the first vote. Some members participated in the Cóir campaign and in other anti-Lisbon treaty campaigns.

Children's Rights Referendum[edit]

The Christian Solidarity Party campaigned, along with a number of other conservative groupings and individuals, for a No vote in the November 2012 Children Referendum.[53]

The party claimed that the constitutional amendment would give too much power and responsibility to the State with regard to children, with Richard Greene stating that "[t]he real agenda is to dismantle parents’ authority to protect their children, especially teenagers, and to increase State control...it could see the law deciding, for example, how far parents may monitor text messages or internet use to protect their children from bullying".[54]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Catherine Kelly Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  2. ^ Draft Political Party Accounts Letter to the Standards in Public Office, 9 September 2013
  3. ^ "ELECTORAL ACTS 1992 AND 2012 Register of Political Parties". Iris Oifigiúil. 14 January 2014. p. 80. 
  4. ^ "Register of Political Parties in Ireland". Houses of the Oireachtas. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Radio Interview with Paul O'Loughlin of the Christian Solidarity Party www.tallyman.ie, 2010
  6. ^ Christian Solidarity Party Letter to TD's and Senators regarding the Civil Partnership Bill, Government Documents, 30 October 2009
  7. ^ Christian Solidarity Submission The All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, www.constitution.ie, 21 April 2005
  8. ^ REPORT on SEANAD REFORM - SEANAD ÉIREANN COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE AND PRIVILEGES SUB-COMMITTEE ON SEANAD REFORM, www.oireachtas.ie, 19 April 2004
  9. ^ "Group to protest closure of Ireland's embassy in Vatican". BreakingNews.ie. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Richard Greene Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  11. ^ Cathal Loftus Election Leaflet Local Elections 2014.
  12. ^ 2011 Candidates Christian Solidarity Party Website
  13. ^ a b c d e Paul O'Loughlin Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=4778
  14. ^ a b c Michael Larkin Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  15. ^ Jane Murphy Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  16. ^ a b c d Colm Callanan Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  17. ^ Daire Fitzgerald Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  18. ^ a b c d Conor O'Donoghue Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=4830
  19. ^ a b c Manus MacMeanmain Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  20. ^ Harry Rea Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  21. ^ RTE News Election tracker Thursday 17 February 2011.
  22. ^ Christian Solidarity : Campaign focuses on sovereignty by Marie O'Halloran Irish Times, Friday 19 February 2011.
  23. ^ Dervan, Cathal (26 February 2011). "Part 1:Election diary from Ireland". Irish Central. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  24. ^ "@RTEmeathWEST". RTÉ Live Election Tracker. RTÉ News. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Clare Flynn Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  26. ^ Irish Times: Local election candidates
  27. ^ Mary Doherty Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  28. ^ a b c d Michael Redmond Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  29. ^ Elections Ireland: 30th Dáil Candidates
  30. ^ Barry Despard Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  31. ^ Tony Smith Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  32. ^ Derek Whelan Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  33. ^ Patrick Manning Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  34. ^ a b Gerry Duffy Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  35. ^ David Walshe Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  36. ^ Darragh O'Reilly Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=4799
  37. ^ John Smyth Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  38. ^ Patrick O'Riordan Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=4833
  39. ^ Brian Lenehan Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  40. ^ Michael Maguire Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  41. ^ a b John Lacken Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  42. ^ Patrick Walsh Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  43. ^ Michael O'Connor Candidate History - http://www.electionsireland.org/candidate.cfm?ID=8793
  44. ^ a b c Gerard Casey Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  45. ^ Gene Flood Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  46. ^ Larry McGinn Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  47. ^ Joe Aston Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  48. ^ Eddie Mullins Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  49. ^ a b Angela Keaveney Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  50. ^ Brian Curran Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  51. ^ Mary Heaney Candidate History. electionsireland.org
  52. ^ Page 13, Advert We Say Vote No to Lisbon www.alive.ie, 20 September 2009.
  53. ^ "Group begins campaign against Children's Referendum". RTÉ News. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  54. ^ Minihan, Mary (7 November 2012). "'No' campaign warns on referendum". Irish Times. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 

External links[edit]