Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why I'm voting for David Norris

I posted this elsewhere and people liked it, while not necessarily agreeing with it so I said I'd put it up here.

I can't tell people why they should vote for David Norris, but I can tell you why I'm voting for him.

I think that our last two presidents have shown how inclusive, welcoming and nurturing the role of president can be. Both those women reached out to marginalised communities from all corners of Ireland when no one else did and recognised them as full and equal citizens of Ireland.

I really believe that in an Ireland that is threatening to regress to a place where everyone is scrabbling to look after themselves, we need a leader who is committed to celebrating Ireland as a people, who has shown a history of speaking for the most excluded, a track record of passion, equality and inclusion.

That leaves me with Michael D. and David Norris. Both men are magnificent, passionate speakers that use their words to promote human rights and a notion that society is more than the individual. Both men would do me proud on a national and international stage. I've met both in person, in a professional and personal capacity. They are warm, friendly. They look you in the eye and shake your hand like they want to be in your company. They're interested in your life. They treat you as an equal.

David pips Michael D because only for him I would not be able to live or love as freely and openly as I do. The letter was silly, and handled badly. But when I heard him say on Pat Kenny that Nawi was the "love of my life", my heart ached for him and I knew why he wrote it, as abhorrent and disgusting as child abuse of any kind is. It was a stupid thing, but ultimately incredibly human - which probably is his major weakness. I can live with a president whose weakness is that his heart occasionally rules his head.

So that's why I'm voting for Norris. I can't ask you to do the same, for the same reasons - he's my hero, I don't expect him to be everyone's.

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