The May 18th federal election will be a decisive one for Australia: here are some resources to help you make your vote count.
Dave Pellowe has been doing an enormous amount of work over at Church and State, to equip Christians in making wise political choices. His election Help Page describes four actions we can all take 'to turn a culture of injustice & foolishness into a nation governed with justice & wisdom.'
The entire guide is essential reading, but here are Dave's four steps distilled:
1. Genuinely become an undecided voter. This isn’t hard. Just determine that instead of being on any side and giving any political party or politician your blind loyalty, you’ll give your allegiance to Jesus only (even if you’re a party member), and with an open Bible and sincere heart you’ll prayerfully consider which candidate best represents the values of His Kingdom: justice, wisdom, Truth & freedom.
2. Ask your candidates how they’ll vote in Parliament. Write a simple email to every single candidate in your electorate and ask them how they’ll vote on the justice issues you have prayerfully determined are the most important for your neighbours (not yourself). Don’t try to persuade or debate them. Don’t ask candidates what they believe or think or what their party policy is. These will be reflected in their answer to how they will vote in Parliament.
3. Choose your own preferences. Don’t follow anyone else’s “How To Vote” guide. Ignore the media. Find the candidate that will best represent the justice God requires in Parliament and put him/her first, even if you don’t like the party or their leaders. No answer is a negative response. If there’s a tie for first, go ahead and consider less important issues.
4. Actively support good candidates
More on Policies
The life issues are obviously at the top of the list for every Christina voter, when it comes discerning to a candidate's policies. [See our articles, 'The single most important election issue' and 'Labor pledges to abort Australia's future'] But there are some other important considerations that also affect our nation's stability and security. The Australian Family Association/NCC have produced a flyer outlining important election issues for Christians and anyone who believes that strong families are the key to a nation's success. Here is a sample of the 9 questions it is suggested should be answered by candidates:
* Would you support a family-based taxation policy whereby the family’s income is split between family members for taxation purposes?
* Would you support simplifying the very complicated childcare subsidy system by having a flat-rate, taxable-per-child payment that is given directly to parents so they can choose what form of care suits their family?
* To encourage Australian industries, would you support the government having a “buy Australian-made first” procurement policy?
8 Will you oppose the removal of exemptions for faith-based schools from the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984.
The importance of prayer
Both Scripture and tradition have explained that it is our obligation to pray for our elected officials, and we should extend that to praying for a good outcome for this election. While you may prefer to pray according to your own tradition, the Canberra Declaration has invited all Australians to join them in fasting and praying for 21 days leading up to the federal election. From the Canberra Declaration website:
Join together with Christian leaders and churches of all denominations from all over Australia as we Pray and Fast for 21 days up to and including the Federal Election, Saturday 18 May 2019. This prayer call was inspired by Ps Margaret Court’s love for Australia, her passion “for the church to arise and be a strong voice for righteousness, truth and justice” and her love for the word of God which says that, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34. “Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that you are the LORD God, and that you have turned their heart back to you again.” 1 Kings 18:37
Elections abhor a vaccuum
Remember, our ideological opposition isn't just sitting back, and niether should we rest until we have done all we can to ensure a good outcome for this election. GetUp! is hard at work sharing poison and suspicion - even calling for parliament to be 'free of homophobes' and promising to have Safe Schools curricula enshrined in every school. Please pray then act, and encourage your friends and family to vote wisely on May 18th.[NOTE: Are you a first time voter? Or confused about preferencing? Scroll down to see a quick video describing the election process and how preferencing works:]