Like most Canadians, this weekend I spent a great deal of time reflecting on what happened in Ottawa last week. Pick any poll you like. The result of the coalition has been nothing short of a disaster for the Liberals. The most forgiving poll I saw pegged them at 22% popularity, a 2% drop from election day. Others put them at only 20%. The NDP suffered even worse, showing between a 4-8% drop in support. The Conservatives are largely up, showing anywhere between 44% to a staggering 51% of the population supporting them.
But, truth be told, I have spent less time thinking about polls and more time reflecting on a comment my mom made. The Prime Minister of Canada is literally the "First Servant." He is a servant first to God, then to Queen, then to country, that is we the people.
How much of what has happened this past week really makes one think of servanthood?
Now, let me be clear. I do actually think Harper had the right idea when he proposed to cut the $1.95 per vote tax subsidy. But, in terms of the entire situation, is one really able to look at Parliament and say "Yes, these people serve us?"
I suspect most people would say no.
There are, of course, individual MP's who work very hard for their constituents. They are people of good, upstanding moral character who want to do what is right. But let's be honest, these people are few and far between. Certainly, as a whole, there is no party which truly puts the concept of servanthood into practice. There is no one who esteems all others better than themselves. There is no one who will give way, for the good of the whole.
Certainly, the concept of servanthood was nowhere to be found in Dion's disgraceful address to the nation, which was late, of poor quality and quite literally featured "Hot Air."
This week past, not one person offered a soft answer to turn away anger. (Proverbs 15:1) Instead, everyone preferred to quarrel, showing their love for sin (Proverbs 17:19). Not one person had the wits, or rather the Spirit, to recognize that it is a man's honour to avoid arguments and only fools stir up dissent. (Proverbs 20:3)
After his meeting with the Governor General, Harper invited the Opposition parties to meet with him and submit their suggestions for the upcoming budget. My hope is that this offer is sincere, and that the leaders of the Opposition Parties will take it as such. My hope is that they will drop their argument and get back to work for the good of those they govern.
There is no authority except that which God establishes (Romans 13:1). Those in authority must remember, however, that they are also under authority. Not only that, but they will one day be called to account for what they have done with what God has given them. Of anyone who has ever lived, Christ undoubtedly had the most authority of all.
And yet, look at how different His behaviour was.