Bermuda Fables

"I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." – Charles De Gaulle

Does The Government Necessarily Equal The Political Party? October 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — alsys @ 6:20 pm

*NOTE: This is not so much a commentary of Bermuda politics or even US politcs, simply a commentary.*

 

This is a question I have been mulling over quite a bit lately. I’m not sure how correct the conclusion I have come to and I really would like some input into this. But the answer I keep coming back to is this – No.

 

To me, a political party is more of a concept. It’s a group of people who identify with certain ideals and thusly band together to furthur promote said ideals in a manner of solidarity. Indeed, this is with the intention of being voted into the government which allows them to run the country in ways defined by those ideals.

The government, however, is led by these people, yes, but also includes many other people (the civil service, contractors, etc.) – possibly with opposing ideals, other priorities and other points of view. A gaint machine, if you will, with components and proponents whose main singular purpose is to enrich the lives on the citizen. By definition partisan but by application non-partisan.

 

Is this too simplistic a view point for reality, perhaps. It certainly does not take into account the people themselves. Nothing is ever so black and white, is it? it’s just… well, I hear a lot of people criticizing the PLP and the Government interchangeably. In one noted case, criticizing a certain PLP member as “what’s wrong with the government”. I don’t completely understand that. Being a member of PLP, even one who ran in the recent election, does not make you a member of the government by definition. One is not a sub-set of the other. They interlock, sure. And yeah, there are things that bleed over but they are not the same. If they were then the Opposition members who sit in parliament would be PLP members (and I’m sure they would love to know that! 🙂  ) Anyone, this is just me basically asking for opinions on this. Am I right or wrong? Way off base? Naive? (Sorry, SOOOOO could not resist that, ha).

As an example, I’m a pro-life supporter by definition but by application, pro-choice. They interlock but by no means are they interchangeable. I’m not sure if this makes any sort of sense but I’d welcome any ideas…

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9 Responses to “Does The Government Necessarily Equal The Political Party?”

  1. Mike Says:

    First of all, surely, the civil service is not the Govt. The service is there to carry out the Govt’s wishes of the day and – by definition – cannot be political.
    I say that because of the second point you make, i.e partisan but non-partisan. I don’t see a dichotomy here as I think you are suggesting.

    Secondly, neither am I sure that the Govt’s job is to enrich the lives of the citizen. If you were to suggest that their job was to decide “who gets what, why, when and how”, I would go along with that. Enrichment means different things to different people + I am not sold on the idea that Govt “enriches” per se.

    On the main proposition – does party equal Govt, the answer has to be “no”. The chasm between idealogical concepts of the party and the harsh realities of Govt on a day to day basis is vast on occasion. The day to day forces that play upon Govt, some external and others not, require a pragmatism that defeats the ideology frequently.

  2. alsys Says:

    Hi Mike. Can I ask if you mean that governments as a rule are not meant to enrich our lives or that this governemnt in particular does not? I mean, I always thought that the whole purposes of governments are to be a structure that creates a framework in which society can flourish. As compared to anarchy, wouldn’t that be enriching? Perhaps I am using the wrong word?

    Also, the civil service is part of the govrnment, is it not? The wheels of a car are just if not more important than the chassis. Yet it all makes up the car.

  3. Guilden M. Gilbert, Jr. Says:

    Hey Alsys,

    I, like Mike, do not agree that the role of the Government (political) is to enrich our lives. The role of a democratic Government (political) is to provide policies and a legislative framework so that each member of the society has the flexibility to enrich his/her own life. This enrichments comes from entrepreneurs and corporations actively pursuing free enterprise and hiring employees to help them achieve their goals. So the Government (political) does not assume the responsibility, in a democracy to enrich the lives of society.

    As for the Civil Service, yes, it is the Government (administrative) and its job is to implement and manage the political Government policies and write and maintain the legislation. The Civil Service SHOULD at all time operate independent of, and without political interference from the political Government especially since it is paid for by society through taxation.

  4. 32n64w Says:

    Guilden – I think your comments are spot on. Government’s role is to provide the electorate with a legal and transparent framework for willing and able bodied people to succeed (in whatever way the individual defines success). The government should neither be considered nor expected to contribute to our personal enrichment – it must simply provide a level playing field for everyone to live/thrive. People should not expect the government to be a “nanny” nor should they pro actively encourage a nanny state.

  5. Mike Says:

    Both Guilden and 32n, have it spot on, and have said it better than I have.

    Taking up Guilden’s correct point…”a framework such that each member of the society has the flexibility to enrich his/her own life”…is of course (imho) where politics of course becomes interesting.

    But – maybe that’s another thread!

  6. LaVerne Furbert Says:

    Alsys,

    You are correct, you have given a very “simplistic viewpoint for reality”.

  7. alsys Says:

    Which, funnily enough Ms. Furbert, is why I said that it was. I’m a analyrtical thinker and for me, the easiest way to understand something is to strip it to its bare bones and then add on layers of comprehension.

    As I said, this is not a comment on any particular political arena but more a plea to have people give me and many others some clarity. I don’t know a lot of this stuff but I really want to learn as much as I can.I would ask, for the sake of knowledge, we not turn this thread in particular into a slinging match.

  8. alsys31 Says:

    And I agree, I did indeed use the wrong word. I meant enrich in the sense of allowing citizens (as was noted above) a level playing field, rules and structure. Enriching as compared to utter lawlessness. Sorry 🙂

  9. Mike Says:

    I have to applaud Alsys’s approach to such matters.

    It is a more intelligent way of approaching life than those who simply accept something for what it is and without questioning. I call it going ‘back to basics’.

    There is absolutely no basis for apology. To be ignorant of something is not a problem as one can learn…but to not learn and simply assume is stupidity.


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