Who will you vote for Prime Minister of Australia – John Howard or Kevin Rudd?
I have a personal conviction that it is not my role to tell people how I think they should vote. Neither does our church take a stand with one particular political party or individual politician. However, we do encourage people to do all that they can to make an informed vote, for the common good of our nation.
I have had the privilege of meeting and speaking briefly with both Mr Howard and Mr Rudd a number of times over the last year or so. They both seem to have a genuine belief and faith in God. They both have good leadership qualities, and appear to have good basic ethics and morals. I encourage you to pray for wisdom and discernment as to who you think will make the best Prime Minister for this next season for us as a nation. Take time to thoughtfully consider each political party's policies - in a broad range of areas. Look at the team of people around each leader, considering their character and qualifications too.
To assist us in making an informed vote, the Australian Christian Lobby are doing us an excellent service by putting together a comprehensive list of the views of each political party on a wide range of ethical and social issues. This information is currently being gathered and will be available on their web site in the next day or so.
The Make Poverty History initiative has compiled policies from four political parties in relation to the key aid and development issues. You can view the report here. Doing justice and showing mercy to the poor are important values (Micah 6:8).
As I become aware of other resources to help inform your vote, I'll add them to this post.
A final thought … making your vote count is important but that's not all. I recently heard Steve Chalke from the UK say, "What takes 2 minutes and last 4 years? Your vote!" That's very true. However, we need to do more than just cast our vote and then forget about it until the next election. A democracy is designed to be much more than just voting people into office and paying your taxes. We need to be actively participating with our politicians (whoever they may be) as key issues arise – and voice our opinions on important matters. After all, each politician is appointed to serve the people of our nation – which includes you and me.
"When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan." [Proverbs 29:2. NLT]