Politically speaking

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I noticed a lot of hits on my post “My Vote.” Some people agreed with me, others not – and that’s great. What a boring world it would be if we all had the same view.

Some people will vote against something and other for something.

My real concern is for those people who vote based on an ideology rather than ideals – and there’s a big difference. The top two definitions of ideology in the dictionary are:

1. the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group.

2.such a body of doctrine, myth, etc., with reference to some political and social plan, as that of fascism, along with the devices for putting it into operation.

An ideal is different. It is defined this way:

  1. a conception of something in its perfection.

2. a standard of perfection or excellence.

So – an ideology is a belief system. It can be a religion or a political system. An ideal is a standard one strives for. I doubt we will ever attain what we set out as ideals – the striving for is the key. We want to become better. My ideal may be world peace. Striving for it is what counts. (and I really do hope to get there – honestly, I do).

An ideology, on the other hand, strives to remain in stasis. It has a set of beliefs. And this is where cognitive dissonance comes in. Once you have a set of beliefs, you cannot hear or see anything that might contradict those beliefs. Even the clearest evidence that your ideology is wrong and that it won’t work. Somehow, you will make up a story about the evidence that makes your ideology right.

What I find interesting is that conservative beliefs tend to be more ideology based. As in, tax breaks for the rich are a good thing (trickle down economics), even thought it has long been proven to be untrue. (if trickle down worked, by now all us folks at the bottom here would be pretty darn well off). The more liberal among us, on the other hand, tend to be more open – looking for better ways to do things and embracing change.

Of course, this is one of the problems with liberals. Their minds tend to be more open, more willing to discuss ideas and compromise – and the more conservative folks just stick where they are, digging in their heels. So liberals tend to do all the compromising.

I don’t see that changing. It’s the nature of the two sides.

This is so evident right now with the economic issues in this current campaign. The Conservatives are asking us to stay the course – don’t change. We will all be safe and well off if we keep doing what we have been doing.

The liberals (small l, because three parties are pretty liberal) are asking for change because if you keep doing the same thing, you keep getting the same results and the results so far have not been stellar.

It’s all very interesting. I think those who are planning to vote Conservative will do that. I think nothing on earth will be able to shake them from their ideology.

On the other hand, I think there will be still be a good deal of ebb and flow amongst the other three parties.

One of the problems, as I see it, is that Canada does not have a democracy – only in name. Every four years, we elect a new dictator. In no democracy should a leader with less than 50 per cent of the vote be allowed to have a majority government. And then, to whip all his MPs to vote the way he tells them to. This is, by definition, not a democracy. This is not an expression of the wishes of the population.

No matter what happens in this election, I would hope that the outcome is that the three more liberal parties get together and, at the very least, bring in proportional representation legislation. That would be my fondest wish. That and world peace.

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