Niagara Gazette — “It would have been better,” he’d smile and chide, “had they moved together in the same direction, some pushing, some pulling, agreeing to disagree along the way.”
The same could be true in local politics based upon constructive, responsible and respectful disagreement bounded by loyalty to fundamental interests and principles. Well informed legislative debate and can become genuine “loyal opposition.”
The phrase, derived from John Hobhouse’s 1826 debate in the British parliament of the term, “His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition” was intended to demonstrate that Members of Parliament may oppose the policies of the incumbent government while maintaining deference to the larger framework within which democracy operates. The concept thus permits the dissent necessary for a functioning democracy without fear of being accused of crimes and high treason, terms which are not unheard of during the recent Washington as well as local political campaign banter.
In his, “The Principle of Loyal Opposition” author Jeremy Waldron, New York University School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 12-221 (Dec. 9, 2011) wrote:
“The Principle of Loyal Opposition is key to the way in which modern democracies organize themselves. It is bound up with the existence of political parties ... with the significance of reasonable disagreement in politics ... and should rather convey a sense that, as far as possible, opposition parties are always to be regarded as loyal, no matter what policies or constitutional changes they favor.”
What we are seeing lately is far too much destructive outrage, piss, and vinegar, turning otherwise good people into blind demolition experts, ineffective, humorless, angry opponents of progress or anyone and anything that they do not like instead of bright challengers with better ideas.
So, congratulations to yesterday’s winners, condolences to the rest; this election cycle now over, its time for everyone, including the Loyal Opposition to get down to the more difficult work ... governing in the best interests of all of the people, not just those who elected you, but everyone.
Happy Veterans Day!
Contact Bill Bradberry at firstname.lastname@example.orgContact Bill at email@example.com