How to cast the perfect vote… and not cast the first stone

Australian and I Vote
Hands up who votes for Australia?! Image by Stephen Mitchell via Flickr

Many Australian voters will be hoping to cast the perfect vote on Saturday – one that represents the best policies, the best candidates and the best future for themselves and the nation.

Christians, and many other thoughtful people, are trained to be intentional and purposeful in all that they do, conscious of rights and wrongs and doing what is best in the eyes of God or their own conscience. This brings a kind of moral pressure to bear as we sift through the competing arguments from candidates and commentators alike.

Sometimes casting a vote almost becomes a battle to see who will cast the first stone – is there any among us worthy to pass judgement on the poor, political sinners scrambling exposed in the dust?

The hard, but relieving, truth is that the perfect vote does not exist, and never has because none of the parties or candidates are perfect. So if perfection is your goal, your are looking in the wrong place. I can think of Someone perfect, but He doesn’t need your vote. He would appreciate a chat though…

So take the pressure off, sit back and read my summary of the various options based on years of journalism and a relentless reviewing of parties, policies and posting more than 110 articles on the election in the past two months. 

 Oh, and one thing I won’t be doing is telling you how to vote… That’s your decision.

Visit Australian Christian Voter to read the full article.

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Chattering and tractoring classes worlds apart on election day

In the inner Sydney seat of Grandyler where I live we have as a choice of candidates, starting on the left:  two varieties of socialists, the Greens, a rare Democrat sighting, the sitting Labor member and a Liberal candidate who is so young that the picture of youths being sent off to war as canon-fodder comes to mind.

Compare this to, say, the rural NSW seat of Riverina and you have, starting at the right: One Nation,  Independent, Christian Democratic Party, Family First, Liberal Democrat, Nationals, Liberals, Labor and Greens although there may be some discussion as to the relative ‘rightness’ of some of these candidates.

In other words, we have remarkably different worlds just a few hundred kilometres apart. It’s a common divide between the city and the bush and grows wider with relative distance from major city CBDs.

While there are overlaps and exceptions, we would do well to understand and respect the differences in priority and perspective between the inner city ‘chattering classes’ and the rural ‘tractoring classes’. 

One lesson is that the Greens have taken a step up from being a minor party that falls into an organisational hole when elections drawn near. They are mobilised even in electorates where they have more chance of being mistaken for a vegetable than winning.

If parties such as the CDP or Family First aspire to real political influence they must find their support base, represent it powerfully and broadly and do the hard yards of political foot soldiering.

As for making sense of it all, an election article of mine has been published in Sight Magazine or visit my Australian Christian Voter blog to find a link and vote in an election day survey – what’s your tip for election day?

From Hughesy to Fielding and everything in between

There’s plenty happening at Australian Christian Voter. You can watch a good collection of political videos ranging from Dave Hughes trying to keep a straight face while convincing people to register through to Senator Stephen Fielding telling his life story.

You’ll learn how Christians are lobbying hard at the seat of power and even get a chance to vote on the question: Which party/parties represent the best value for Christian voters?

A valuable resource (if I do say so…) with a federal election not far away. Check it out.

Family First should win SA seat

Family First is a party representing Christian values (although somewhat reticent to say it that plainly of late) which began in South Australia some years ago.

It had two members in the SA upper house and one of these spots was up for re-election on Saturday.

As of today, Family First has 33029 votes which is 4.4 per cent of the vote and .53 of a seat. This compares with The Greens, with 49013 votes, 6.6 of the vote and .79 of a seat.

Both these minor parties are in with a good chance of winning a seat with Labor and Liberal winning perhaps seven between them, with two smaller parties possibly grabbing the final two.

Interestingly, there are 1,093316 voters enrolled, 797,880 upper house ballot papers lodged and 49727 informal votes. PH