I was asked two questions this weekend that buoyed and deflated my spirits.
One person asked my family how much more we are willing to spend on organic foods. We are in the luxurious position of being financially able to spend up to twice or three times the price for organics. This helps because we don’t shop at price-inflated, expensive supermarkets that typically employ false advertising to promote socially responsible eating.
This question demonstrates a rich community fabric with people sharing how they engage in improving society. It made me happy.
The other question I got made me very unhappy. It was an exasperated question about why political parties release their platforms/policies more than a few months before an election, that is a foolish move to let people know what you stand for years before people can mark a ballot.
I was shocked, but considering the state of talk radio these days and the behaviour and communication content of politicians, it is not surprising that people have such low expectations of politicians.
The idea is that if a party tells people what they intend to do in power, they can be attacked.
That is an all too common approach for political parties. It’s so easy in a state of fear, or a crippling lack of self-assuredness, or an utter absence of political vision to just say nothing until you absolutely have to.
Political parties ought to be proud of their policies. They should triumph them at every opportunity. They should post them everywhere they can and constantly refer to them when speaking or writing anything.
After all, if their ideas are any good, shouldn’t they be able to champion them for years while they are confronted by the public and opposing parties? How good is an idea if you are afraid to share it or let it define your organization?
Ultimately, for democracy to function and for people who wish to join a political movement, how would anyone know what party to join if the party refuses to share its principles and policies. The terrible truth is that political parties sometimes expect members to join without knowing what they are joining.
This is absurd. And it is destroying the political fabric of society.