Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

“In a Relationship (and it’s Complicated)”… with our Governements?

Posted on | April 12, 2011 | No Comments

Just like any old couple, as years go by you may take the other for granted. You can disinvest yourself from a relationship, feeling that in the end your involvement matters very little. And unknowingly your relationship dies out. One day, one of the partners, ready to do anything to enjoy some fresh air, to feel alive, or simply because opportunity arises, may go look elsewhere. And everything is put back in question… 

Married life? Not really : this is a description of our political landscape. We all are in a relationship with our governments. As in any relationship, both partners must involve themselves in order for it to work. Right now, the voters are distancing themselves slowly. They participate less and less in elections. Consequently, politicians pay more attention to those who recognize their importance: oil companies and other private interests. The voters lose what confidence they had left. Thus a vicious circle is created.

 It is always possible to kick our government out of the house if we find him in bed with another partner. But loss of confidence will have occurred. In all likelihood we will not be able to trust our future partner, preventing a relationship from bearing fruits.

 How can we win back this confidence? There are no miracle solutions. Both partners must involve themselves in constructive, honest and transparent conversation, helped by professionals if necessary. Our politics needs couple therapy. We must be able to express ourselves fully and freely, and have access to all the necessary information to do so.

We must all, individually and collectively, express ourselves in favour of our democracy. We must involve ourselves in it, participate, comment on it, criticize it, congratulate it, find it beautiful and love it. Our government must be a source of pride and its officials must be constantly reminded that they are first and foremost at the service of the people. This change of attitude must come simultaneously to both party, confidently, not waiting for reciprocity but boldly stepping forward – only then will our political system reach its full potential.

 Any other situation will only deepen the cynicism and disenchantment of both voters and public officials. Just like cheated spouses who tolerate each other with little love left, we could then sadly claim we have the government we deserve.

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