Thursday, November 02, 2006

Baha'i Elections: Spiritual Democracy in Action

(A Photo of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the International Governing Council of the Baha'i Faith)

The U.S. Baha'i News has a nice piece on the spirit and practice of Baha'i elections and the testimony of a person from the former Soviet Union who has recently become a member of the American Baha'i community. A portion of the article is below:

"If I weren't glad before to be a Baha'i, I was especially glad after participating for the first time in the Faith's electoral process; it was one of the highlights of my life," says Irma Simuni of Wilmette, Ill. Simuni, who grew up in the Soviet Union, became a Baha'i in May, and in October, at one of 161 local conventions held throughout the United States, voted to elect a local delegate to the Faith's annual national convention held each April. Baha'is worldwide also participated in local conventions. In April, the delegates, including 171 from the United States, will elect nine Baha'is to serve on the National Spiritual Assembly in their respective countries. To date, there are 182 National Spiritual Assemblies worldwide. Every five years, members of these assemblies elect nine Baha'is to serve on the Universal House of Justice , the administrative body of the worldwide Baha'i community. (Read the entire article here)

During this mid-term election season, it is nice to be reminded that are alternative ways of going about the choice of leadership of one's community that are free from the partisanship and prejudices that frustrate the energies of positive change that exist in our great country. It is a blessing to know that my vote in a Baha'i election represents the fruit of my own conscience, free from manipulation by vested interests with narrow agendas. It's an experience of spiritual democracy in action.