We see this with Obama's evolving stance on withdrawal from Iraq, a timetable for which is now being insisted on by the Iraqi government as part of a Status of Forces Agreement. We also see this by McCain on the issue of immigration. To my mind, tri-angulation is one very good argument against a two party system in which neither party is really representative of the majority of citizens.
I have long been a fan of parliamentary systems, particularly the Canadian and German systems, which are quite stable, unlike the Italian system. Given that we will never have a parliamentary system, can we at least add some new parties to our existing system, parties that do not pander to the lunatic fringe, like the Libertarians and Greens? Such a development would expose tri-angulation, which is a necessary to win in our current system, for the sham that it is by having parties really seek the democratic consensus.
Another thing we need, which McCain has shown support for in his Senate career, is comprehensive campaign finance reform, which forces all candidates to accept public funding and all licensed broadcasters to give allotted time for political advertisements, which is doled out fairly and without charge to all candidates based on a set of objective criteria. Also, campaigning needs to be limited in duration, both primary seasons and general elections. It is ridiculous to run for president for a year-and-a-half.
Nonetheless, we have a moral obligation to participate by voting, using our best judgment. We are fortunate that being Christians and celini aids us in forming prudential judgments based the fundamental fact of our lives, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our bishops have also given us a great gift in their quadrennial Faithful Citizenship document. I urge everyone to spend some time looking at the great resources available on the Faithful Citizenship website.
In their statement, released last November, the Catholic bishops of the United States address four main questions:
"(1)Why does the Church teach about issues affecting public policy?In number nineteen of Faithful Citizenship we read,
(2) Who in the Church should participate in political life?
(3) How does the Church help the Catholic faithful to speak about political and social questions?
(4) What does the Church say about Catholic social teaching in the public square?"
"The Church fosters well-formed consciences not only by teaching moral
truth but also by encouraging its members to develop the virtue of prudence.
Prudence enables us 'to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose
the right means of achieving it' (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1806).
Prudence shapes and informs our ability to deliberate over available alternatives, to
determine what is most fitting to a specific context, and to act decisively. Exercising this virtue often requires the courage to act in defense of moral principles when making decisions about how to build a society of justice and peace."