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I didn't choose, but I took the prettiest political party!
(John William Waterhouse. The Decameron. Source)
Life is beautiful, democratic life is beautiful too, and a really good Catholic democracy is the prettiest!
But in the Province of Quebec these days, there is no good Catholic political party. It's a disastrous shortcoming, which must be fixed! The Province of Quebec needs a new Catholic political party.
Actually, if I look at the other Canadian provinces, or Canada as a whole (federal level), or the United States of America, or Europe, etc., I don't really see the kind of political party that we greatly need. So it's not just the Province of Quebec that needs this, its the whole World!
2.1) What basic orientation should we give to this new party? Let's think about it. A good political party must propose the best solutions to the worst problems. But, what is currently the worst problem?
To find out, we must think about the nature of all societies. What is one of the corner stones of a civilized society? Human rights! Think about it: What's the use of having well-paved roads, without potholes, if the police can arrest you for no reason? What's the use of eliminating waiting lines in hospital emergency wards, if your neighbors can kidnap your children and steal your car? What's the use of eliminating greenhouse gases, if you have no rights?
Now, given human rights are fundamental, which is the most fundamental human right? For example, what is the first thing you need, if you want to have a citizen who has a right to education, a right to clean drinking water, and a right to freedom of expression? A citizen, of course! (If that citizen has been killed, there's not much use giving him all the other rights!) Therefore, the most fundamental right is the right to life. And since human rights are already the most fundamental things in any society, we can say that the right to life is doubly fundamental: it is fundamentally fundamental.
But currently in Canada (and therefore in Quebec), anybody can kill any pre-born child for any reason, from conception to childbirth. We live in a barbaric country where the right to life is violated. Now that is a problem that should have a good chance of winnning the "Worst Political Problem Of Our Times" contest!
2.2) Now, what is the fundamental solution? By and large, our political problems are not caused by a lack of information. We know polluting the environment is bad. We know accumulating debts for our grandchildren so we can live above our means is bad. We know killing babies in the mother's womb is bad. What is missing is the courage of enduring pain now, in order to reap huge improvements in the future. Another way of saying the same thing is the witty remark attributed to John Kenneth Galbraith: "Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable."
The fundamental solution must be something that will give us this courage to make the necessary sacrifices. And ultimately, that courage can only have one source: a Christian charity that won't back away from sacrifices, even martyrdom. Only a Catholic democracy can solve our worst problems.
Furthermore, the capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth
and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being
and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power
of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reign supreme. Truth and
justice must stand above my comfort and physical well-being, or else my life
itself becomes a lie.
[Spe salvi, #38]
To the basic orientation of life in Christ would be grafted life-giving policies in all other dimensions of life.
3.1) Pro spiritual life. Christ must reign, even in Politics!
3.2) Pro pre-born life. If babies, who are most beautiful, most innocent and most vulnerable of God's creatures, don't have a right to life, there is no hope for our society.
3.3) Pro family life. The family is the cradle of life, the sanctuary of love, the school of virtue and the fundamental cell of society. Moreover, the life-long and exclusive marriage between one heman and one woman is the foundation of the family. For the good of the country, we must repel all attacks against the family, whether it's divorce, unmarried cohabitation, the legal glorification of unnatural acts, work on Sundays, kennels for kids (State day-care centers), bad feminism, etc.
3.4) Pro intellectual life. Moral virtue is really nice, but we also need a bit of brains! To be peaceful and prosperous, a country needs citizens who seek wisdom, who know how to avoid the most popular errors these days, and who love to work intellectually, etc.
3.5) Pro civil life. Our nation has the right to exist and to make its language and culture live. Our basic civil rights must be defended against numerous attacks. First, a perverse notion of "multiculturalism" is killing our freedom to be ourselves. Second, the spread of Islam is killing the Western world. Third, our own governments are showing a disturbing desire to kill some of our basic civil liberties. (But keep in mind the many ills of suicidal "multiculturalism", islamisation, excessive government, the demographic decline, etc., are but illnesses which are contracted by a body that is already terribly sickened by its consumption of poisoned spiritual and moral teachings.)
3.6) Pro democratic life. Never in the history of mankind have we had so many material means to encourage democracy (e-mail, web sites, discussion forums, electronic votes, etc.). Nevertheless, so many things seem to get decided without us! Not surprizing that so many voters are cynical! I myself have been involved in several parties, and I've just about never been consulted on the development of the positions of those parties! But it would be so easy to set up a venue for political discussions, to organize real debates, to build a web site democratically, to set up an electronic voting system for policies, to make the parliamentary system more participative and representative, etc.!
3.7) Pro economic life. Money isn't God, but we need a minimum of economic prosperity. Citizens must be weaned from the welfare State. They must also learn that material wealth depends first of all on moral virtue. They must learn basic notions of Economics, they must also have the freedom of economic initiative, etc.
3.8) Pro environmental life. Fortunately, some themes are already accepted by all in our society, like the necessity of protecting the environment. On the other hand, citizens must learn to expose the vacuous green speeches which don't give results. Moreover, some right-wing Christians need to learn more about climate change, etc.
Etc., etc... (A good overview of all this can be found in the social doctrine of the Catholic Church).
Of course, this short article isn't the venue to have all the necessary debates for the development of a new electoral platform! On the other hand, we must discuss the objections which tend to prevent these necessary debates.
4.1) "Such a party already exists!" Great! Sign me up! Unfortunately, as far as I know (as of March 2016), such a party doesn't already exist. In the Province of Quebec, there used to be one, but it was blighted with shortcomings and unsalvageble. In Canada, the CHP continues to do wonderful work to bring Biblical principles into politics, and I'll remain a member until something better comes along. Finally and ideally, all parties would be Christian! So there is nothing wrong with having several!
4.2) "We don't have any money!" First, we do have money (volunteers donate time, and time is money! And many volunteers willing to donate lots of time is probably the most essential resource for success). Second, we don't need much to start. The Internet has changed many things. Members can communicate, read the Party's documents, vote on new policies, and all that almost for free and instantaneously. (Worst-case scenario is that an "All-Internet/Paperless" party will encourage people to learn how to work with a computer, which is an advantage!) Third, I've personally seen many projects fail miserably, not for lack of good intentions, but because of financial mis-management (greed, lack of transparency, accounting incompetence, etc.). I personally prefer starting out with no budget; it's a great way to filter out people with unrectified intentions.
4.3) "We don't have any members!" First, the need is there. If we build it, they will come. Second, objections of the type "We're too small few to have any influence" have already been answered, among others here: Surfing The Wave, Or Making One's Wave?.
4.4) "You're mixing politics and religion!" No, you're the one confusing Islam and Catholicism! The policies of this new political party can all be demonstrated rationally. See among others What is The "Social Kingship" Of Christ?
4.5) "I don't like the name of your new party!" First, we don't have an official name yet! So rest a bit before manning the barricades! Second, and seriously, when the time comes, we'll vote to chose the name. The result will probably not please everybody, but such is life in a democracy! Third, for whatever reason, many people seem to attach a disordinate amount of importance to a party's name, while simultaneously not worrying very much about its specific policies! Let's focus on the contents, and not the container!
4.6) "How come "Catholic"? I'm a Protestant, and it's out of the question for me to adore idols like the Virgin Mary!" First, relax. As explained in #4.4 here above, our policies are based on reason. Second, as mentioned in Immortale Dei, #7, the State must give due honor to God, in the way God Himself specifies. Third, if you really want to argue about the Virgin Mary, please see Mariolatry, Or Mariophobia?)
4.7) "Why not start by gathering people around a common concern, like the environment, instead of something controversial like abortion?" First, we have to respect the environment because we have to respect human dignity. If an innocent human person doesn't have the right to life, then nothing is forbidden. Even the word "environment" alludes to the central position of man! Second, we have a huge and serious problem in our society: some citizens can kill other innocent citizens if they feel like it. Now, if we say: "Hum, that problem is urgent and critical, but it causes negative feelings. So let us put reason aside, and instead focus on problems that give us positive feelings." If you start by abandoning reason, in order to pursue pleasant feelings, you've already ruined all hope of finding solutions. If you start by closing the light so you can't see a mess, you won't be able to see anything else!
What should we do now? I would think a reasonable next step would be to all collaborate to write a good electoral platform for this new provincial party in Quebec. And again in my opinion, such a platform should first of all be based on a good generic Catholic electoral platform. The next step would therefore be:
Why Not A "Generic" Catholic Election Platform?
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