Monday, 4 November 2013

The Political Party and the political party member

A line in my thinking this week has been along the lines of the political party - or "in group" and it's effect on politicians. Before I start, this is all opinion and conjecture, and merely documenting my thoughts at this stage, as a kind of conversation starter rather than experiential, yet. You might look on it as a hypothesis of a sort.

As I read more about coping strategies and the role of the individual in managing their own stress - and reaching for a coherent and integrated self, I keep coming up against the same thing - the role of the political party. 

For I think in a number of cases, it's the desire to remain close and loyal to ones party that can lead to cognitive dissonance - if you values tell you one thing, however your party needs you to be obedient in the pursuit of greater aims, strategy and vision, then that is going to cause you cognitive dissonance, which can be damaging. I think it's not so much the same as that in a place of work - where you do at least have the potential to work elsewhere - there aren't as many political parties as there are workplaces, and therefore one's choice is restricted, and therefore one's autonomy. It's very all or nothing - tho in some political parties policy can be altered by the members - my own included - you'd be exhausted if you had to do that on every point you disagreed with. And if you didn't feel like at least challenging group or party policy sometimes, then I suppose you'd be a perfect party member, and *pop* suddenly you don't exist.*

I think it's worthwhile reflecting on this, so that's what I'll be doing. 

*This is both an old joke about Descartes and comment on how difficult it is to always agree with your party.