Monday, 3 December 2012

Politics v Religion

This blog, fairly short is my take on this article

Curiously it is a point nobody mentioned.

The thrust of the argument seems to be whether politicians should be allowed to influence their decisions, and therefore policy making, based on their religious beliefs.

This in my opinion is yet another instance of public figures blurring the distinction between private and personal life.  For example several politicians have been laid low by marital indiscretions, and while personally these events will affect them, the important question in my view is 'How will it, if at all, affect their ability to do their job?'  Yes, there are cases such as Profumo where private and professional life cross; Sleeping with a woman who also shares her bed - separately - with a Soviet Intelligence officer when you are Secretary of State for War will always end in tears.

However back to the main point.  I have no issue whatsoever with any politician who holds particular religious beliefs and practices them in their private life.  I do take issue if they then incorporate them in their professional life and allow those beliefs to colour how they vote on issues which affect me.

Members of Parliament are elected by the people to represent us and our views, not their own.  Party Politics is fundamentally flawed anyway as a democratic system; the Party Whip's job is to make sure MPs vote the way the leadership tell them, which may well not be the way their constituents want them to.  If you then add an element of MPs voting according to their religious beliefs, not the wishes of their constituents or the evidence in front of them, then the system has broken down completely and may as well not be there.

I want my MP to make all his decisions based on the evidence available, taking into account my wishes as he is my representative in Parliament, not preconceived notions based on religious - or any other factor - beliefs.  Naive?  Maybe, but that is how it's supposed to work.

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