For those non Afrikaans speaking web users that might stumble onto my blog, here is my first English blog entry.
I did not grow up in a house were politics was ever discussed or ever seemed to play into the decision making of my parents. Given our home atmosphere and my parents attitude towards other races (in apartheid era South Africa), I would say that we were conservative in our Christian beliefs but that we were liberal in our social believes. To put this in terms of two examples: I believe homosexuality is a sin which is equal to all other sin, i.e. lying, adultery, etc. I also believe that all men and women are created equal regardless of race, education, sexual orientation, gender, etc. Today, this is still my politic (and non political) view of the world.
Right, that frames me and my view point, but what does that have to do with the title. In recent years I have become more interested in politics as I have seen first hand what apathy from good people can do to the political system of a country, i.e. apartheid era South Africa. If more good people had spoken up, rather than just the few that were martyred, we could have avoided many years of social injustice and heartache. I don’t want to continue the rest of my life as a bystander allowing who ever is in power to do whatever they want.
With this in mind, I have lately been asking myself the same question over-and-over: When did the political systems of world cease to be “by the people, for the people”. I know that’s an American expression, but I believe it should be true of every democracy. In the current Canadian election campaign each politician and party are spending vast amounts of money and time to inform voters what their respective platforms are. I do believe that this is an upside down version of politics. Why should politicians tell us what they intend to do, if they were elected, an we have to decide which one to choose. What if I only like 50% of what the Conservatives want to do, but I also like 30% of what the Liberals want to do, 10% from the NPD and 10% from the Greens. What am I as a voter to do then. Even worse, what if I only like 25% of each party’s platform. Now I’m truly stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I believe true democracy should be about electing the best leader for the country. That person should then execute, to the best of their ability, the collective will of the people. If that is what democracy was all about, we could and would achieve so much more. Then we wouldn’t have to live with broken election promises nor policies that the majority don’t want. We as voters are stuck with a system where we have to vote for a group of people that address at least some of the issues we want addressed. We then have to live with everything they do which we don’t agree with, simply because they no have the power to govern.
Let’s give back the power of the country to the people: Elected by the people, for the people.