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How should we participate in politics?

The people don't know their true power.

"The lay faithful are never to relinquish their participation in "public life" [...] every person has a right and duty to participate in public life [...]. Charges of careerism, idolatry of power, egoism and corruption that are oftentimes directed at persons in government, parliaments, the ruling classes, or political parties, as well as the common opinion that participating in politics is an absolute moral danger, does not in the least justify either skepticism or an absence on the part of Christians in public life"
[Christifideles Laici, #42].

I would really like to know how to correctly participate in politics! The best I can offer right now is a "common sense" approach:

1) Learn about the context. If you own a car, you should get to know how cars work. Not only will you be able to use your car more effectively, but you'll be able to detect malfunctions more quickly and precisely, and you'll also be able to choose a good mechanic to fix it. It's the same thing in politics: we should all make the effort of learning more about the society in which we live.

2) Understand the problems. Just like a mechanic who has to understand your car's problem before trying to fix it, we should first try to better understand our society's problems (financial, health, education, demography, pollution, etc.).

3) List the possible solutions. In a healthy democracy there are normally several parties, and each one proposes "repairs that should be made to your car", i.e. specific policies to be implemented.

4) Assess these suggestions with an objective benchmark. Just like in automotive maintenance there are some bad mechanics who propose pseudo-repairs, in politics there are some bad politicians. We therefore must set up an objective benchmark letting us assess these political parties and their platforms.

5) Choose the best solution and promote it, if it exists. If we discover a good political party, we not only have to vote for them come election day, but also promote this solution the rest of the time, given our means (time, money, etc.) and our state of life.

6) If a good solution doesn't exist, invent one. Let's imagine there wasn't a single good garage in our country. What would we do? We might take an automotive repair course, go into business and open a garage ourselves! It's apparently the same thing in politics: if all parties are unacceptable, we must unite to start up a good new party. Along the same line of reasoning, if a party is almost OK, we have to work to fix its shortcomings.

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