January 31, 2000
A key phrase in the new Canadian Alliance party's Declaration of Policy is:
"Where an MP finds that a clear consensus has been reached on an issue; his or her responsibility is to represent that consensus over party or personal views."
While I see the merits of grass root power through referenda and recalls, I fail to see why it is so difficult for conservatives and reformers to differentiate between:
1. moral issues and questions of fundamental rights, and
2. economy, taxation, immigration, agriculture, environment, health care, constitutional matters and all other issues where there is no right and wrong, but only degrees of intervention, flexibility, compromise, amount of dollars spent, equally valid opinions, practical limits, etc.
In the first set of issues, what is right cannot be determined by polls or by majority opinion (if the majority condones rape, does it mean it is right?).
All other issues are rarely black and white. Here majority opinion is the best choice available in a democracy.