Would you vote for an atheist? My discussion on BBC Radio Ulster on launch of IHEU Report

On the launch of the IHEU Freedom of Thought Report 2014, I discussed whether people would vote for an atheist with Peter Lynas of the Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance, and Johnny McCarthy of NI21, on BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback with host William Crawley.

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4 Comments

  1. I have been elected a few times and I have never made a secret of the fact that I am an atheist. The first time was in the 1970’s when I was elected to the Students Council of Glasgow University.

    When I was asked back then why people should vote for me I replied that I was not beholden to any group, be it religious or anything else. I would represent my entire constituency to the best of my conscience.

    Although I was the only openly atheist person to be elected at that time, I did not think of atheism as a platform let alone my platform. I was also elected as an Independent and not a member of any of the established political groups.

    I was trusted. At that time I had a car and could stay late because I didn’t have a last bus or train to catch. People would give me their proxies to vote, even if I didn’t agree with them. Many times I would be given proxies by people because they didn’t trust their own party members to vote say an abstention

    It was a rule that everyone had to vote or have a proxy. This was to prevent the shenanigans of a group walking out to sabotage a vote. A few times I would hold more than half of the proxies of the meeting for a late night vote.

    I would not vote for an atheist just because he or she was an atheist if I didn’t trust them.

    I most certainly would not vote for an atheist that ran on a platform of gay rights or feminism. If gays think they should be represented then they should put up one of their own for election, likewise feminists.

    I would vote for someone like Michael Nugent, but a PZ Meyers could go and take a fuck to himself. I could trust Michael whereas PZ seems to be caught up in his own form of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

    No doubt Michael would give other minorities a fair hearing but at the end of the day the issues and their merits, and not minority special interests, should decide the vote.

  2. Quite a good discussion, spoiled as usual by the nonsense from the religious speaker who kept banging on about “a random collection of cells”. It’s very difficult to even start a meaningful discussion with someone who’s that wrong.

  3. I enjoyed the parts of the discussion which contained common sense — but only in your words.

    I am sure that I have voted for atheists, but it is not something that is mentioned in the political blurb here usually. I suppose I go with whatever decent policies are proposed, which is perhaps why I rarely vote for “main” party people.

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