Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

13 March 2012

A new look at Conservatism

What a "Conservative" really IS and what one SHOULD BE is a hot topic these days.

On March 10th, the National Post's Andrew Coyne wrote a provoking article called "Question isn’t where conservatism is going, but where has it gone" giving an impassioned voice to a segment of the political right that wishes for even less spending, tax and regulation with more individual freedom. Some from the right shouted Amen while others balked at his notions (see today's National Post letters). I find this dialogue all SO interesting and delightful really as I think we SHOULD subscribe principally to a methodology/ideology and then work from within that... adding our voices to collectively massage the daily duties of governing depending on the needs of of the day. It's far from a perfect process (which is why many shy away from taking a stand) but hey... that's democracy! It's pretty good when it works and it only works when we respectfully participate.

February 4th in the Sun Media newspapers, Warren Kinsella wrote an editorial about our need to put faith, when it comes to societal revival, in Non-Governmental Organizations. Some excellent points were made! He noted that:

"Trust in banks and financial institutions has never been lower — and trust in government has gone into an “unprecedented” decline. Meanwhile, for the fifth year in a row, 'NGOs are the most trusted institution in the world.'"

Now... I DO think government and the population need to spend some time in relationship counseling to repair trust. AND I'm thankful that we HAVE managed our banking system prudently thus preventing widespread national economic hardship. And I think Kinsella is quite right about the high value of NGO's. But then he said something that bugged me. He said that Conservative partisans don't want to hear this because it "challenges their entire worldview." That's where I take issue with Warren regarding Conservatism. Let's break it down to it's bare bones and take away the pet issues of the day. Allow me to step up on my political soap box for a moment.

Conservatism's plan is people taking care of people.
Liberalism's plan is government taking money from people and taking care of people for us.

Both are well meaning. Both involve care for others. Both one resonates more completely for me.

Conservatism believes in government assuring the framework is there for business to be strong... so business can be generous. Conservatism believes in government assuring the freedoms of the individual... so individuals can be generous. Conservatism believes that people can take care of people more effectively (AND cost effectively) than government can. NGO's are simply groupings of passionate people with a heart to take care of one another! Which is great! That's the plan! It SHOULD be the ideal in ANY scenario.

The Left's strategy to paint "Conservatives" as uncaring is a misleading one. I actually believe it's WORSE than misleading. I find it to be an ideology that undercuts the empowerment of people. It says blatantly that they, as leaders, don't have trust in those they are leading. Politics aside... that's a textbook-poor leadership principle. In doing so, the habitual lack of trust and facilitation robs us of our own personal social responsibly that we all NEED to be complete people and effective members of a community.

This to me is SO important because it's this very responsibility that we seem to have abdicated as a society because of our assumptions that it's the government's job to do this and that FOR us. Even in well-meaning attempts at care, it minimizes and handicaps real people instead of empowering them. I look forward to seeing NGO's, churches, non-profits and groups of empowered Canadians revolutionizing this nation with kindness. This change in mindset could change our land for the better. PEOPLE taking care of PEOPLE? Think about the ripples economically, socially... even spiritually. Our Governor General David Johnson has some WONDERFUL things to say about how everyday philanthropy of regular Canadian's time, talent and treasure is a key to growing this nation.

I support the party(s) that best principally reflects how I believe principally about life. I don't support it because it (or anyone in it) is the savior. Neither do I find any party to be a perfect paradigm fully reflecting the full scope of my beliefs. This is why I reserve my hope for higher place than politics. But I believe people get into politics because they DO care... not because they don't. That's why I have friends who represent the whole political spectrum. I respect them for caring and I believe the feeling to be mutual. I think it's VERY important to be analytical and strategic about the best way to make sure our land is glorious and free... and be ready to work hard for it in every sphere that influences our society including politically.

"I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind."
John Diefenbaker

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