Stand up and be counted

Halifax Courier - - Weekend Thought /Yoursay@ - By Frank Car­less

ALL an­gry writers of let­ters to the Courier com­plain­ing about the short­com­ings of coun­cil­lors have a choice on Thurs­day. It is vot­ing day. Ob­jec­tions about the cost of sort­ing out North­gate House, grum­bles over cuts to a favourite char­ity or even al­leged poor grit­ting of the roads in win­ter, call for bold stand up and be counted ac­tion.

The pen­cil in the booth may prove might­ier than the sword. Democ­racy de­mands it.

The com­pli­ca­tion this year is the two-fold bal­lot. Or rather the bal­lot and the ref­er­en­dum on the same day. This will be hard work. Se­lect­ing the best coun­cil­lors is one thing. Choos­ing how to elect MPs is an­other. Will polling staff steer puz­zled vot­ers through the mul­ti­ple choice? Im­par­tially, of course.

In Bi­ble times, the an­cient Greeks were good at democ­racy. Ev­ery civilised city had one. A demo­cratic sys­tem, that is. Lit­er­ally one man, one vote. The strong al­ways won.

Holy Scrip­ture is silent about po­lit­i­cal vot­ing in Judea when Je­sus was there. It seems mostly the Ro­mans did it. The one thing that mat­tered was choos­ing whether to fol­low Je­sus or not. At the time few chose to join his party. This is not supris­ing be­cause mem­ber­ship cost a lot. There were no perks. A spell in prison, per­haps or ston­ing like St. Stephen.

The Chris­tian man­i­festo was Christ’s Ser­mon on the Mount. The logo was “love God and love your neigh­bour” - a good guide for Thurs­day.

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