Party style politics presents people with sets of beliefs. In most instances the parties involved have set these policies through a series of usually well-attended conventions and the entertaining of proposals. Political parties themselves run like miniature governments. They may well be working their words and actions in order to practice for the chance that they may be able to one day actually govern the nation, province or state they are seeking to guide.
Or in some cases, ruin.
When you look at municipal politics, you see the easiest example of what is supposed to be a consensus style of government. The problem though is that party politics has become so ingrained into the cultural fabric which envelops us that we could easily associate a particular individual as maybe having connections to one party or another. Instantly, we then identify that individual as possibly having socialist, liberal or conservative leaning ideas. All this may be just passing judgement, but if you see your local mayor attending a pep rally for a party candidate, chances are they probably support the ideas in the party and maybe not just the candidate.
Canada still is fortunate to have two Territories with consensus style governance. The Northwest Territories and Nunavut have thankfully yet to fall victim to the virus that political partisanship can breed. Sure, some of the people who sit in the legislatures may be identified more with their constituents as supporters of this party or a myriad of special interest groups. To an outside looking in, just seeing a consensus style government at such a high level would still be refreshing to someone used to partisanship.
When people go to the polls to vote, they are voting usually for the party that best represents their views. In some instances we will vote for the person if we like them enough. We may even support the policies they are backing. If partisanship were to come to an end in countries that have been dominated by it for so long, more independent thinkers may come out looking to seek office.
If most people really spent time in reading the platforms of the parties they voted for, they would find at least one thing that they would not necessarily agree with. Yet when it comes time to mark the X on paper they want to see the overwhelming number of good things proposed get a shot at getting through and becoming law.
A consensus style government would ultimately allow everyone to bring what they feel are their best ideas forward. Good ideas brought forward get introduced, get talked about and gain momentum. This is all in the hope and perhaps eventuality that the those ideas make their way onto the papers of law and proclamation.
For governments to possibly have a truly independent voice, they may need to realize the independent voices of people not carrying political membership cards.
Note : Carrying political membership cards has taught me very valuable lessons. So valuable that I never want to carry one again. I accept that I will still vote for the people and parties who still advocate for the kinds of things I would like to see. My hope for provincial and federal elections is that eventually more Independent candidates will step forward to the ballots. This would be in order to give people more of a choice in who they can elect. One day the number of Independents could be larger than those candidates with party allegiances.