Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Voting Wisely

Korea and the United States are both preparing for  elections, and one of the columnists in the Peace Weekly introduces us to the words of  the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church at the beginning of his article. 

"Political parties have the task of fostering widespread participation and making public responsibilities accessible to all. Political parties are called to interpret the aspirations of civil society, orienting them towards the common good, offering citizens the effective possibility of contributing to the formulation of political choices. They must be democratic in their internal structure, and capable of political synthesis and planning" (# 413).

The columnist after careful reading of the document sighs, lamenting that our political parties are far from what is envisioned in the above paragraph.  We are just a few weeks away from election, still don't have all the candidates, and continual discord within both parties.

Where is the effort to "interpret the aspirations of civil society and working for the common good?" Where do we have "offering citizens the effective possibility of contributing to the formation of political choices, democratic in their internal structures and capable of political synthesis and planning?"

On second thought, the columnist brings to mind the possibility of the discord coming from efforts to pick the best candidate for the National Assembly and the good of the country.

Here we can't turn our back on what is going on but need to work for a better future, and that requires that we participate in the voting process, and it should not stop with the vote.

The candidate should be the ones who will  work with all their abilities for the common good. When it comes to voting, and in our opinion, we don't have the best candidate we have to vote for the one that is least harmful for the country. It is then that we are  truly participating.  

Plato pointed our clearly: "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up governed by someone worse if a man will not himself hold office and rule." This comes from 2300 years ago  but as valid today as it was in Plato's time. This is true not only in politics, but for all those we select to work in service to others.