Political parties form the core of democratic societies. They are not required. However, in order assure victory of ideals, principles, policies, and candidates, they are formed, nurtured, and perpetuated. Over time, sometimes measured in hours, the values shaping their purpose and existence change. The question for party members in these times is simple; do I represent my constituents or do I follow the party?
Examples of the conflict between loyalty and personal convictions are all around us. In England at the moment school tuition fees, honesty, and the role of government in transportation are all testing representatives. School fees is a particular issue that a sizable minority of the ruling party does not agree with, yet the prime minister presses on, dictating in a way where the party should go.
I wonder about my answers. What would I do? Could I muster the courage to take a stand for what I believed? Would I be honest with those around me?
I know if my answers were true then I would be siding with the back benchers who are rebelling against the university tuition top-up fee proposal. It is clearly a tax discriminating against those who can least afford education! It is also a poor solution to a real problem, providing affordable education to everyone in society that qualifies. Additionally it is as if we only take the solution offered to us; there must be more than one way to solve the problem.
In the midst of this I wonder about the questions that are not being asked. At the heart of every journey is a child looking for answers. When we get to the point where others can say, “Now they had a question of their own” (John 1.25), then we are at the beginning of a real quest! This is a journey that, if we hold onto the purpose, will lead us right to Divinity’s home. The requirement for you and me is simple; just be. Be yourself, be open, and be ready to respond. God will find you, in fact the Spirit already has.