Ahhhh, please get back up on your soapbox - just for a couple of minutes.
LOL … Just thinking of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and Saddam’s Iraq. Maybe North Korea and Cuba too. But maybe these are just “exceptions that prove the rule”?
Despite the finality of your statement with the ‘Period.’ I’m still going to ask, just to make sure that I actually understand what you meant …
Does one not have the responsibility to not vote if that is the best course of action in their opinion?
What is your stance on the option of voting ‘none of the above’ if it is available? Is that an allowable option for you or not? What if that option is not available? What course should one take? What about spoiling your ballot paper? Is that allowable in your view?
Okay. Let’s try it. Perhaps you can help me out with the research? In the Brexit referendum I was asked to either vote to stay in or leave the European Union (EU). Several years after the vote I still don’t understand the question, let alone what the right course of action would be. I’m not alone, even the professionals can’t agree what the question means. Does it mean staying in or leaving the Customs Union? Does it mean staying in or leaving the Single Market? Does it mean the end of freedom of movement (for services, goods and people) between the EU27 (the rest of the countries in the EU) and the UK? These are just the highlights, they are the bigger questions (as far as I can make out). And still even after all this time (and this is years after the vote actually took place) I still have no clear idea what Brexit might actually look like.
So let’s just take one part of that (the easiest part), freedom of movement for goods. Is the ending of freedom of movement of goods a ‘good thing’? Well for the economy of the UK and the rest of Europe it is probably not, at least not in the short term, but maybe in the long term it could be a ‘good thing’ depending on various factors concerning the future. But what about the environment? Manufacturing different parts of a product in different countries in Europe and then shuttling them all over Europe may be cost effective for the manufacturer and produce cheaper goods for us (Hurrah!), but all that shuttling of goods has helped bring the world to the brink of environmental catastrophe. So freedom of movement of goods is a bad thing? Right I think we are getting there. But hang on a minute, the European project was designed to ensure that we don’t go to war with each other like the two world wars, which is a good thing right? That a car has parts made in lots of different countries and assembled in yet another is precisely what has helped to keep us free from war in Europe (or so they say). We depend too highly on integrated trade to go to war apparently. So what should we do? Remember this is just the tip of the iceberg when considering whether to vote ‘remain’ in or ‘leave’ the EU. And I haven’t even touched on the idea that over the next generation the world is going to change radically in ways that I can’t imagine. I would really need to predict how we are going to attempt to combat climate change over the next few decades. Maybe the climate impact would be better addressed by new, innovative technology, and agreements within the EU like the Green Party suggests rather than placing barriers and tariffs in the way of freedom of movement?
Honestly, I would be deceiving myself if I were to say that I, even with the hindsight of over two years of intensive news coverage of the issue since the vote, were to say that I felt even partially well informed. Perhaps I just haven’t got the mental capacity or the skill set to get myself well enough informed? Maybe it’s blindingly obvious to you? It certainly seems to be to the millions of people in the UK who are holding fast to their views ‘in’ or ‘out’.
I’ll try another one. Easier to understand this one. The last time I voted in a general (parliamentary) election it was for a candidate of the Labour Party in the UK which was at the time headed up by Tony Blair. On paper Tony Blair looked great. The policies were great and I agreed with many of the things that he had done in the past. I did my research and helped him to victory. The vast majority of what he did in power was fine. Little did I or any of my peers suspect that he would turn out to be a warmonger who would wholeheartedly supported the war waged by the USA in the wake of 9/11. Devastating to know that I had been a part of sending so many people to their deaths. I mean Tony Blair was once a fellow member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. What a radical change of direction. Should I have taken the other option and voted another way? It certainly seems so in hindsight, but who can tell?
I guess that we are in ‘Unbearable Lightness of Being’ territory here. You try to predict the future based on the past, but you can never know if you have made the right choice, even after the event. Why? Because you never have a ‘control’ world where you could conduct an experiment on the opposite choice to compare the outcomes.
But if you have a large tolerance for what is acceptable in the middle ground, then I would just be nitpicking. Should I waste the time getting so far into their respective manifestos (which experience tells me they renege on anyway) when I would be happy for any of them to take charge? Personally I would be happy to see any one of maybe four or five parties in the UK form a government after an initial cursory appraisal, and this includes the two that actually might be successful.
Having said all of that, I do pray that our leaders are guided by generosity, love and wisdom to make good choices and I always include them in my occasional outpourings of metta.