A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Warning Politics discussed

Saw an article today about the Province I spent most of my life in. The political party that has been voted in for over 40 years is considering changing how it’s party leader is chosen. In Canadian Politics if a party is chosen, then the leader occupies the highest office at that level of government. The current policy is that if on the first ballot, there is no person who achieves over 50% then the top 3 vote getters, face a run off. This means if you have 2 who hold strongly supported views, and their supporters absolutely will not support the other, then the third candidate might be elected because he is an acceptable compromise. This promotes a less narrowly defined party. It is not either A or C, but possibly C in the interest of maintaining unity.

For example I will use the issue of abortion which still hovers around 50% support. This is not an issue that is at the root of the review. However it is one that clearly has 2 opposing views, with very view compromise points that both will agree on. If A is pro-abortion and B is anti-abortion, their supporters will probably not agree to support the other if they know it will lead to a change in legislation. Instead C might say I have a personal belief or preference but if elected, I will not re-open the issue while in office. This allows supporters of both A & B to choose the other candidate C to be leader. It does not solve the issue, but it allows it to be set to the side for a few years, thus similar to the UN’s use of peace keeping forces to enforce a ceasefire.

I have my beliefs about taking a life. As a Buddhist I do not believe in abortion. However I also don’t believe I have the right to force anyone else to follow my choice. I can talk about it and try to convince them, to see that all life is to be cherished.

I truly hope they keep this top 3 face a second round, otherwise over time the party will be more rigidly defined. Compromise will fade, as views are hardened. Here is where a middle way, promotes peaceful co-existence if not a truce or lasting peace on an issue. When politics becomes a choice of absolutes, then peace and harmony will fade in society. Dissenting views will be frowned upon, and in some cases suppressed. The value of democracy has been it allows freedom of expressing ones opinions, to decide where to yield, and where to stand firm. It works best when, there is an ability to compromise.

For those who wish to read the article, here is the link:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/politics/Tories+consider+changing+rules+leader+selection+process/6834084/story.html

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