Note to myself: If ever at a party with Thomas Oatway, do not discuss vaccines or the pandemic — but politics and religion are OK.
This was the second letter (“Why Choose a Party?” Dec. 30) by Mr. Oatway that not only got my attention, but also my agreement. Either I am evolving or Mr. Oatway’s letters are revealing that he and I share many opinions outside of how to deal with pandemics, but even there I am coming to understand Mr. Oatway’s more personal concerns. I myself do not have those concerns (possibly because I’m younger, I don’t take prescription drugs, and I’m phenomenally selfish), but I’m beginning to understand why he does. Anyway, it would seem that Mr. Oatway and I both find the extreme forms of liberalism and conservativism not only unpleasant but maybe even a bit offensive, definitely counterproductive, and maybe even a bit destructive. Moderation is best in all matters, I think, not to mention independent thought.
In that letter Mr. Oatway concluded by voicing the need for a third party or changing our current government to a parliamentary system that does not let special interests or a minority segment of voters control all of the power. I was intrigued, but then I thought to myself, is such a thing possible here? I looked around for other countries that have parliamentary systems and found quite a few, including the United Kingdom. Then I ventured further to the realm of coalition governments and found countries like Germany, Japan and Israel. Unfortunately, all of these governmental formats had the same vulnerabilities in common: People could still be bought or influenced and power could still be concentrated. Some countries have governments that are less prone to abuse and corruption than others (and for a variety of reasons), but I could find no country that was completely free of such issues, and as much as I would like Mr. Oatway’s wish to come true, I feel it is in the nature of the majority of those in power (public and private) to keep things just the way they are.