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Personalities and Politics

Reader comment on item: [After Sharon:] Israeli Politics Will Revert to Its Past

Submitted by dds (Canada), Jan 5, 2006 at 11:37

It's one of the drawbacks of the British parliamentary system, the foundation of the governments of both Israel and Canada, in which the leader of the party which wins the most seats becomes the Head of Government. When a leader becomes such a personality figure that they are the party, their ego won't allow them to train-up anyone to take their place. "Apres moi, le deluge!" When they do go, be it through retirement or death, the party falls to pieces because the power hasn't been transferred properly. In Canada, there were major examples of this with Pierre Trudeau, WAC Bennett (in British Columbia) and Brian Mulroney, who controlled their parties with their own personalities that there was no one who could carry on once they'd bowed out.

An example of the opposite in Canada has been the Parti Quebecois. Their popularity has always had a solid core and they've formed governments in the past (and there's a risk they may do so again). But that's because the leader, while having a strong personality, has never become bigger than the ideal.

It's a little like running a church, come to think of it. A pastor friend of mine and I were talking about the delicate balance between the personality of the lead pastor and the emphasis on the Word of God in the church, and my friend offered a good "litmus test". "Ask yourself," he said, "what would happen to the church if the pastor, God forbid, died. Do you see anybody around who could continue the leadership?" A strong personality can attract adherents' attention, but the message is what keeps them around.

By the way, does anybody NOT see the hand of God in this, as He reminds us about His promise? With all condolences and sympathies to those who know and love Ariel Sharon the man, the incident in Acts 12:20-23 shows what can happen when a leader in Israel tries to become superior to God.

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