Thursday, September 4, 2008

Every great movement has faced the delicate balance of moral calibration. Every great fight fills us with fire and ambition that stir us on to victory. More than anything else, we need to realize that we cannot abandon who and what we are to achieve our objectives.

The believer in an ethic of ultimate ends feels 'responsible' only for seeing to it that the flame of pure intentions is not quenched: for example, the flame of protesting against the injustice of the social order. To rekindle the flame ever anew is the purpose of his quite irrational deeds, judged in view of their possible success. They are acts that can and shall have only exemplary value.
-Max Weber

In modern politics there are unfortunate facts. Perception dictates reality and whomever can best influence perception will control the political world. In many ways this is the poverty of democracy, for in a greater world our fate would be controlled by passionate individuals, and good solid reason being the defining factor of the discourse. I do not believe in political ideologies, to me they are simply a matter of mathematics. Liberalism is the logical choice for governance and builds the only real sensible social contract.

However, we need to realize that we are still fighting for perfection in our organization. Democracy is a work in progress that needs to be renewed with new thoughts and ideas. As the political discourse changes so does its structural realities. As technology changes so must the structure of democracy. There are many things that need to be done that are are either temporarily unfeasible or simply put: not sufficiently developed solutions for the constantly apparent political problems of our time. It is very easy to argue that our current organization can at times detract significantly from governmental efficiency. The sad reality of modern politics is that a logical, functional and efficient policy cannot survive on its own esteem. Political discourse in this country is not about adhering to logical fallacies. All too often I hear Stephen Harper using ad hominem arguments exposing the sad reality that such a baseless branding has a tangible effect on Canadian public opinion. Stephan Dion is not a leader is branding an association without common respect for the intellect of the Canadian people. In Manitoba I have heard that same insidious accusation parroted, consistently with no reason associated. What infuriates me the most is that I find myself reduced to talking points that end up being the most persuasive and effective means of countering this effect.

However, this is the reality and we cannot be the logical saints that we wish to be. So what is an honest, well intentioned politician to do?....Fight, and never forget why. Conflict can only be a means to an end. Yet it takes something strong to hold on to, to make sure that your very reason for conflict is not stripped away from you in the battle. This, more then anything, I need to remember. Politics is about duty and not the self, yet it is a realm so attractive to the ego that my fear is not unreasonable. Should I ever lose that fear, would then I know for certain that I had lost?