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Opinion: We have to accept the will of the majority

PUBLISHED: 08:30 09 November 2019

Rabbi Hulbert believes democracy is the best system despite its faults.

Rabbi Hulbert believes democracy is the best system despite its faults.

Archant

So yet another general election has been called.

Our country remains deeply divided. Whoever wins, I fervently hope that the new prime minister can muster a reliable majority of MPs, so that laws can be passed and the government can govern.

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Democracy does have its faults, but with all its faults, democracy is still the best option - so lets all get out to vote on December 12 and pray that with a new government (and a new speaker), we can all get past this stalemate.

The Bible describes a nation in no way democratic. The people were expected to obey God's laws, transmitted through Moses and the many other prophets. Later on, there was a string of good and wicked kings, absolute rulers whose powers were unconstrained, except by God and his prophets. It was only after Bible times, after the time of Jesus, after the Jews had lost their independence in their own land, that the early rabbis instituted a form of democracy. 71 of them formed the Sanhedrin, a parliament of scholars and elders who gave out their religious rulings by majority vote. But what then happens when deep and passionate divisions cannot be reconciled? Then a 'heretic 'sect will break away, perhaps even leading to civil war. Muslims and Christians will recognise this phenomenon in the histories of their own faiths, when irreconcilable divisions led to splits that exist to this day - the Sunni and Shia; the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox churches.

How can the pain of such fraternal strife be avoided? Only if those who find themselves on the losing side are prepared to humbly accept the will of the majority.

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