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Poll-dark

Looming election causes uncertainty in BBC drama, writes Claire Brine

Dilemmas don’t always have straightforward answers

ELECTION fever has hit Cornwall. There’s a nagging thought at the back of Captain Poldark’s mind. If he wants to effect change for the people around him, is it time he stood as a candidate? That’s the question at the heart of the next episode of Poldark, scheduled for broadcast on BBC One tomorrow (Sunday 17 June).

While Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) is quietly pondering his future, voting day is approaching. He knows that his rival, George Warleggan (Jack Farthing), is hoping to be re-elected as Truro’s MP. But Ross feels that George has not been a good or fair leader up to now. And he’s not the only one. Others are hoping that George will lose his seat to Lieutenant Hugh Armitage (Josh Whitehouse), a respectable former naval officer and new to the political scene.

But the week before the election takes place, Hugh becomes very sick. He seeks treatment from various doctors, yet none of them can guarantee that he will make a full recovery on time. As the days go by, Hugh’s condition fails to improve. Finally, he has to accept the sad truth that a parliamentary career will never be his.

In the wake of the devastating news, Lord Falmouth (James Wilby) meets Ross and encourages him to consider standing for election. It’s an unexpected proposal.

Ross asks: ‘Why, when you have the pick of the county to choose from, would you choose me?’

‘Because I believe you have the best chance of winning the seat,’ Falmouth replies. ‘Do you not feel some frustration with your present life – your inability to influence matters you care deeply about?’

It’s certainly food for thought. Being an MP would enable Ross to support the politicians who are fighting for the abolition of slavery. He would be able to take more action to help the poor, which is a cause close to his heart. But winning the election would also mean moving to London for much of the year, spending months away from his wife and children. It’s a decision that comes with great cost.

In our politics, our relationships, our homes and our places of work, we all have to face difficult choices sometimes. The world is rarely black and white, obviously good and bad. Pure intentions, when carried out, do not always result in perfect outcomes. Our dilemmas don’t always have straightforward answers.

When we don’t know what to do, but want more than anything to do the right thing, we need guidance on what our next steps should be.

The Bible tells us that in all our decision-making, God can be a powerful and personal influence. When we pray to him, we can tell him our fears, our problems and our hopes. When we listen for his direction, we can find peace and clarity.

One Bible writer who thanked God for showing him what to do, said: ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence’ (Psalm 16:11 New International Version).

Whatever we face in our future, we can decide to face it with God or without him. What will we choose?

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