Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A cracking shell

"Democracy," according to Winston Churchill, "is the worst form of government . . . except for all the others."

Could it be that we're in the process of relegating democracy to a position alongside all those 'others' . . . it's an unexpected possibility.

I'm sure we'd all agree that the democratic system will only thrive under specific conditions.  The most important being that, for a given period of time, the parties who lose the vote are willing to accept the judgement and authority of the party who wins.
In order for this acceptance to exist, there's need for a co-operative common ground.

A combination of recent events has brought democracy into sharp focus.  For a start, there's the presidential contest in the United States.  This contest has highlighted the widely differing policies of the opposing sides, differences best demonstrated by two of the contenders, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders . . . both of whom topped their parties' votes in New Hampshire.

Then, as we all know, a referendum will soon take place.  We, in the UK, will be voting to either stay in or leave the European Union.
But where's the common ground when all the votes are counted?
Will those who want to come out be happy if we stay in?
Will those who want to stay in be reconciled if we come out?

In addition, a disturbing poll, undertaken by YouGov, suggests that the proportion of parents who'd be 'very upset' if their child married someone of a different voting persuasion has doubled in eight years.

The common ground, the place where politics are excluded and the mutual needs of the people are recognised, is disappearing . . . and it's disappearing fast. 

So, why this increase in contention . . . and, if democracy is under strain, what's the alternative?

Let's look at the bigger picture.  In the natural world, wouldn't you agree that pain and friction almost invariably precede breakthrough?

Look at the chick forcing its way out of the egg . . . look at the oak shoot pushing its way through the broken acorn . . . look at the pain of childbirth before the baby finally emerges from the womb.

The start of the twenty-first century has much in common with these natural processes . . .  a difficult and uncertain time of change and growth.  A time when many structures, not just those in politics, are showing signs of severe strain.

But you can't stick a plaster on a cracking eggshell.
Democracy, as we know it, might be failing us, but it could still be a question of choice.

What if it's not Democrats or Republicans, it's not Conservative or Labour . . . but, put simply, it's a choice between the outworn past or a collaborative, compassionate future?
Isn't that what we should be voting for . . . the restoration of balance and harmony?

And how will we feel if we cast that vote, and break out of our restrictive shells?
Click here . . .  and find out!