Friday, November 09, 2007

Annual Meeting and Armistice Day

This is the last blog entry before the observance of Armistice Day, November 11. As happens every year, the time around this most melancholy of memorial days is also when the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has its annual general meeting of its governing board.

According to the most knowledgeable attendees at this year’s annual meeting, the conjunction of Armistice Day, when the guns on the Western Front of World War I fell silent, with the gathering of the governing body of the “Quaker lobby in the public interest,” is pure happenstance.

That is not to say, however, that the choice of the second week of November for the general meeting was not considered carefully by those overseeing the affairs of and choosing or developing the tactical approaches for advancing positions on policy issues important to FCNL constituents.

In fact, the meeting period was chosen to ensure that Election Day every year would have come and gone and most if not all the results would be known. It is less a question of strategy or planning – these grow out of long-standing Quaker testimony and practice –and more being able to inform the governing board of what nuances or tendencies will emerge at the national level without letting a full year pass.

There is one other consideration that comes to mind. In the old days, once an election was over, politicians used to “bury the hatchet” and come together to work for the country, not their party or not themselves. Such an ending to the electoral battles of today would be a welcome development indeed.


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