Jim Cobabe wrote:

> It is further obvious to me that some onlookers to the political scene
> lack the discernment to note that good and honest people cannot in good
> conscience affiliate, without serious reservations, with either of the
> major political groups in this country.  I have every confidence that
> noted Church leaders who associate with the Democratic Party do not wish
> to have it understood that they support or promote evil practices or
> policies that contradict the spirit or letter of the law of the Gospel.

Pres. Jensen made that clear in his interview, in fact. He preferred to see LDS
act as leaven (my word, not his) in political parties wherever we live. For
instance, the only LDS MP in Britain that I know of is actually Labour (and yes,
he's an active LDS). There's also an LDS member of the new Scottish Parliament,
but I don't know which party he belongs to.  In Canada I think at present we only
have Dr. Grant Hill, from the riding of Macleod (he lives in Okotoks, an exurb of
Calgary), in southern Alberta, in federal Parliament. We do have a rising cabinet
minister whom I know well, in the provincial legislature, and that's Greg
Melchin, Minister of Revenue (90% of his job is managing our Heritage Trust Fund,
which is similar to Alaska's fund that JWR will know about). His brother used to
be our branch president when we were in University Branch in Calgary (a ward now
-- in those days all student units were branches, even though we were a
ward-sized branch at the time), and the family is wealthy and influential (his
father is a former 2Q70). The brother, Rick, is now the president of the Calgary
West stake.  Grant Hill is Canadian Alliance, which is right wing (they're the
official opposition in Ottawa but are frustratingly ineffectual these days with a
leader we never hear from unless it's to change feet in his mouth; Hill actually
made a run for the party leadership and is one of the more effective Alliance MPs
in my opinion). Melchin is Progressive Conservative, which is the dynasty here,
and has been since 1970 or so. They're kind of like the Republicans in the US --
broad-based right-of-centre. In fact, Alberta has no net debt, continually runs
surpluses, and is now working on working off all provincial debt. The province
hasn't had to issue bonds since the Depression. But we don't elect parties here,
we elect dynasties with very little opposition, which is unfortunate. We need a
stronger opposition, no matter how good the current government is.

We did have an inactive member, Ian McLelland, who was an Edmonton MP, but he's
retired from politics now. I believe he was Alliance, too, but am not sure. Mark?

In continental Europe I wouldn't know any more. The only political activist I
ever knew was the famous Sister Gertrud Specht, whose story is on my website
(http://www.members.shaw.ca/mschindler/C/Specht.htm  "Do We Know What We Have:
the Gertrud Specht Story"). She was SPD, which is the counterpart to a Democrat
in the US or a Liberal here. I asked her why once, and she grinned slyly and
said, "Ach, die Kirche hat schon genug CDU/CSUer" (Oh, the Church already has
enough [Republican counterparts]"). She was always a woman ahead of her time.

> Church members owe their allegience first and foremost to God, then to
> love their neighbors.  Loyalty to partisan political ideals is properly
> somewhere far down the list of priority.
> In my experience it is common to find "social" mormons with a misplaced
> sense of loyalty to such matters.  They identify more strongly with
> sociopolitical ideology than with their faith in Christ.

It shouldn't have to be either-or. As the 1P statement said, we ought to be
involved. We've been *commanded* to get involved.

Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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