Where there is no vision, the people perish.
– Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
This quote happens to be inscribed on the Parliament Buildings of Canada, and it struck me the other day – it’s a pretty fitting quote for a government. A huge part of the apathy with politics is that people don’t believe politicians have a vision, or are willing to stand up for what’s right. Or, people believe politicians’ “vision” is to stay in power no matter what.
Of course, this being a proverb from the Bible, there’s a few more layers of meaning to the quote than that. The next bit emphasizes that to prevent perishing, you have to do what’s right. After all, if you follow the wrong visions, that’s not much use either. (See History for multiple examples…)
Proverbs can be quite thought-provoking…
Note: apologies to all whose blogs I haven’t visited recently… I’m entering the busy period again. I plan to have more time soon!
4 responses to “A Proverb From the Parliament”
Ah. Politics. You’re absolutely right when you say that people have lost faith in politicians. It’s definitely what is happening here. I think it’s pretty recent, I mean I remember people really believing François Mitterrand was going to change the country in 1981, you should see the archives, people were literally in the streets when he won, dancing, screaming their joy, swearing it was the end of an era… Of course it wasn’t. And now no one really believes in what politicians have to say. We all know they’ll say whatever it takes to win. It’s kind of sad, but not exactly a surprise. It’s their own fault if people don’t trust them. Anyway, as I may have told you before, politics are kind of a big deal in France. It’s everywhere, you can’t escape it. I think most people watch it like it’s a sport 🙂
Here is Canada politics is usually thought of as very dull, and not many people pay attention to it unless there is an election. But we get to hear every little thing about the states, so when Obama got in everyone was so excited because they thought he’d change everything. People actually believed in a politicians for a bit, and now they’ve all gone back to being cynical again. That was the most recent example I could think of.
It’s very frustrating for voters, though, if they don’t know who to believe when they vote.
Yes, you’re right, that’s how political accidents happen. A lot of people in France vote for the Front National (I’ve told you about it – far right nationalists), not necessarily because they believe in what the party has to say, but because they want to make a statement. It’s one way of protesting. That’s how their leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, qualified to the second round in 2002. It was a big shock. Now that his daughter took over, I’m not sure what is going to happen. Sarkozy is so low in the public opinion that he is trying to get the Front National voters to vote for him by promising stuff like anti-immigration laws or more referendums. But I don’t think it’s working very well. I mean, he already said that in 2007 and well, now we all know how full of it he really is. Right now there’s a debate that started because Marine Le Pen said that she was having trouble getting her 500 signatures. Every candidate has to gain 500 signatures from grands electors (mayors, for example), which seems like a really stupid system. Anyway, it’s a pretty hot topic right now. Personnally, I disagree with pretty much everything Marine Le Pen has to say, but I still think it’d be a scandal if she couldn’t run. Like it or not, she represents 15% to 30% of the population (depending on who ordered the survey) and you can’t just deny those people the right to vote for the party they chose.
I know to run for mayor in my city you have to have a certain number of signatures from citizens, but I have no idea what you have to do at the provincial and federal levels. I think the parties just pick people somehow. It would seem weird if someone with that level of support couldn’t run because of a technicality. Here in Canada, we argue instead about who gets to be in the televised debates. For a long time the Green Party couldn’t, because they didn’t have any seats in the House of Commons, but then they won a seat and there was a big uproar in the next election until the leader was allowed into the debate. And then in the next election the leader wasn’t allowed back in the debates, so it was all very confusing.
Politics is so difficult, because you always hope for someone to make a difference, but so often when you find someone to believe in they decide not to do what they said they’d do, and everyone becomes cynical again. Don’t know if there’s any way to fix that. At least it’s not a dictatorship, I guess!