Archive for April, 2004
Politics, Governance and Competence
Tonight I spent some time setting up the network for the campaign office. Everything is hooked up and ready to go. When Chris and Ryan got back from a meeting I had an opportunity to chat with Chris about the recent health care flip flop. Although I’m still not convinced it was a technical flip flop but anyways. We had a great conversation about health care, the relationship of the federal government with the provinces, and the constitution. It’s one thing to sit and chat about this stuff with your buddies, it is quite another to talk with someone with so much real experience. It is absolutely fascinating and Chris is upfront and honest with me. There is truth to our campaign slogan – An MP who can get things done”. Chris Axworthy is the most experienced, respected and competent person running in this riding and it would be a shame if we lost.
There are two sides to any government. The political side and the governance side. Pierre Pettigrew was bluntly honest and precise about the need to allow the provinces to innovate in the area of health care while still abiding to the Canada health act. He was slammed for it because good governance is often bad politics. Canada is a lot like the Canuck fans who were the last to realize Kirk MacLean wasn’t a top notch goalie anymore. Our health care system is fundamnetally broken but we still think it is the best in the world. After watching a family member suffer for years wading through our public system I’ve become convinced that something is deeply wrong. Our health care system needs to change, and not all change leads us down the mythical slippery slope to a US system. The problem is changing health care is political suicide even though it is good governance.
Liberals back in majority territory in the polls!
Romance, infatuation, and chemistry
I’ve started to wonder if you get too old for infatuation or that special chemistry that turns guys in to absolute idiots when they are 22. It’s been a long time since I felt that way. I wonder if I’ve out grown such things. I’ve had some married friends say the feelings go and they are replaced with something better. It’s ok if you don’t feel them initially. I’ve had other people tell you that they hold on to the memory of those feelings in the difficult times.
“The federal government will not stand in the way of provinces that want to “experiment” with medicare by hiring for-profit private companies to deliver medical services within the publicly funded system, says Health Minister Pierre Pettigrew.”
I’m pretty sure the NDP will freak, but there needs to be some real leadership on this issue. The status quo system already eats up about 50% of government revenue in Saskatchewan. If a private company can deliver better services funded by the government why not let them. There is a clear need for innovation in this space and all the public system can do is ask for more money.
I’m Going to “Campaign College”
I think this is where I get thoroughly “Liberalized”.
Anti Sin or Pro Jesus
I believe there is a great contrast between Jesus and our natural tendency to insulate ourselves from people who do things we don’t like. Jesus called people to follow him. He made it clear what the cost of following him is, yet he didn’t shy away from those that were rejected by the religious establishment.
I’m helping a political party that holds a much different position than I do on certain issues. I have an opportunity to dialogue. I have an opportunity to engage with people on these issues. We share common ground on a lot of stuff. By being in the party I provide a notable example of an “non-extremist” evangelical. I believe there is a lot to be gained by accepting people where they are at and engaging with them. It really isn’t all that difficult when you find a lot of common ground.
Many Christians talk about hating the sin and loving the sinner. I question that as a frame for engaging the world. Is it the churches role to tell people to stop sinning and that they need forgiveness? As I consider the scriptures I see it is the church’s role to live lives of honesty, integrity and compassion, tell people that we follow Jesus, and they should follow Jesus as well. I should add that we should follow Jesus because he is who he is, and not because we get some sort of benefit out of it.
I believe the hate the sin/love the sinner comes from a paradigm that elevates “biblical values” over Christ himself. Jesus is curiously absent from the picture. It says this person is doing something I find offensive so I will love them and tell them to stop. The problem with this is that righteousness doesn’t come from the absence of offensive behaviour. We can be fully submitted to “biblical values” and not be a shred more righteous than anyone else. The pivotal issue isn’t the presence of sin which is universal, but the absence of Christ.
Jesus ate with the sinners and even went to their parties. By engaging with people on their turf we give ourselves and opportunity to the live the gospel. At the very least we can dispel many of the myths and misconceptions that come out because we insulate ourselves from the rest of the world.
Posted by LT in on April 22, 2004
Evangelicals taking over the Conservative Party?
This from Paul Wells.
“Liberal Party pollsters were in the field last week asking Ontarians whether they were ‘more or less likely to vote for the Conservative/Alliance if you knew they had been taken over by evangelical Christians.’
I really, really, really hope the Liberal Party doesn’t go there.
Posted by LT in on April 21, 2004
Theology Pub: The Church and Politics
Thursday night we will be meeting in the Saskatoon Inn at 7pm. Tomorrow’s topic is the church and politics. This is a difficult issue for me to sort out. Some discussion questions:
- How should the church respond to governments who adopt or legalize practices the church finds morally suspect?
- Should Christians involve themselves in the political process even though there are aspects of each political party which are inconsistent with their values?
- How should the church respond to shifts in the moral fabric of society?
- Should Canadians support Jordon Cooper as leader of the new Style over Substance party?
Linux on the desktop has come a long way
I needed to check some email. I was too lazy to boot up my laptop so I thought I’d setup an account with the Evolution” mail client that installed with Linux. Wow! It looks a lot like Outlook and seems to have the same base features. The only thing that really keeps MS Office on a lot of desktops is Outlook. For most people Open Office is great for word processing and spreadsheets but alternative Email/PIM software really sucks. I think Evolution could be the answer, but it only runs on Linux/Unix right now.
I think a case could be made to run a Linux network at the school. It does everything the students need it to plus I could maintain much more control over the systems. Plus most of them wouldn’t have a clue about how to change anything. I think I’m being converted.