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Who will you vote for Prime Minister – John Howard or Kevin Rudd?

ElectionThe Australian Federal Election date has finally been set for Saturday, November 24th, 2007.

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]

Comments

I am so surprised there has been no feedback on this post! Are we all 'electioned-out' already by the unofficial election campaign which the media has been running for weeks?
I'd like to pretend the whole thing wasn't happening...but i guess it's part of living in a democracy!

A great short article thanks Mark. I agree with your advice and personal policy as a senior pastor: to not direct people who to vote for, but to encourage them to think and reflect wisely.

I would like to add: dont believe political enemies for accurate information about different parties. The Labor party will not faithfully speak about Liberal policies. The Liberal party will not tell us the full details and accurate truth about Labor policies. If you want to know what the Greens think, read their own web site, dont believe Family First or the Liberals (or even Labor). If you want to know what Family First think, read their web site - dont believe what their enemies say about them. Same with Labor and Liberal.

And then there is the media! The Herald Sun will not tell you the truth about Greens policies. They will not tell you the truth about Labor policies. And they probably wont even get it right about Liberal policies. Modern media is about entertainment, not accurate information! The channel 10, 9 and 7 news will not give us accurate political information when they limit quotes from politicians and candidates to 7 or 10 seconds max. Go to the actual party web sites and read their stuff for yourself.

That's my two cents worth. Thanks again Mark.

Based on my other comments it's pretty easy to know who I will be voting for. Or at least directing my prefs to. (Libs)

Last election I gave FF #1, Lib #2. So the funding went to FF and Lib got the vote. ;)

Was great to watch Costello today. Absolutely magnificent in full flight.

Mat's point is valid, no matter who you vote for (and you can vote for whoever you want, remember).

You know, you can vote for a small party or independent, first, and then give your number 2 to your preferred large party, and what you have done is a couple of things:

1) You have sent a message to the big parties that there are things about the small party you vote for, that are worth taking on board (if they want your vote in the future).

2) You give the funding for first votes, to the small party rather than to the bigger party (so long as the small party gets a minimum percentage of the total vote, I believe)

3) You might just help put some small party members into Parliament, especially the Senate.

4) You show support for the small party or independent of your 1st choice. It encourages them to keep fighting the good fight, so to speak.

And here is the twist: if the voting goes to preferences and your small party is dropped out, your vote is redistributed in full value to your number 2. It counts twice! It's full value still goes to the major party of your choice.

So you can do that to any small party. (Not just Mat's bias!) Family First, the Democrats, the Christian Democrats, the Greens, the Hope Party, the Pensioner Party... any of them. And there are a lot of good reasons to consider some of these other parties too!

You know, every party - every single party - has things about it that Christians should be concerned about (even the so called Christian parties). You have to be honest about all of them and decide what is the most important issues for you, and what you can tolerate. But like I said last time, read the web sites of the parties themselves, for accurate info about them all. Dont trust those who oppose them, to represent them accurately!

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