Friday, April 30, 2010

The Election and Why we should Vote!

Ok so everyone has been talking, blogging, tweeting and generally being opinionated over the last few weeks about the UK General Election. So why care what I think? In short, it matters not a jot what I think.

Unlike in the US where party allegiance seems to be very split down religious and ideological lines this is less so in the UK. I think broadly there are three categories of potential voters:

  1. Those so disillusioned with MP’s and politics who just don’t care or think it matters enough and likely won’t vote.
  2. Those so entrenched in their historic political allegiance that it would not matter what the party said or did they would still vote for them.
  3. Those that have been affected in one way or another directly or indirectly over the past few years in ways that the Government have some measure of input into. eg: the Economy, Education, immigration and overseas policy. These are people that are willing to change their party according to the one that may most help them in the future in the area closest to them.

I have to admit over the past few election I have been in category 1. Yes I know that is not a good place to be, especially for a Christian. But I really couldn’t decided who I could vote for so chose to not vote at all. I have fairly recently seen that this, for me is not acceptable for two reasons. Firstly that I have no right to moan and complain about the current Government if I did nothing to say who that Government is. Secondly I realised that as a Christian that I should vote because it is too important to ignore. Christians have a right and responsibility to influence the world around them and that includes in the political realm.

Now I have moved to category 3. Many who know me will probably think I am really just category 2 because my Parents are staunch Conservatives and to nail my colours to the mast, yes they will be Blue! However that is not why I am voting that way. I guess due to moving into middle age over the past 5-6 years I have grown up a bit and see the impact more on society of the decisions made my local and national government. They seem to have more of an impact on me directly.

So why category three for me? For some losing your job due to the recession will impact what message you listen to. For others being a teacher or having children in education will influence the message you are looking for. For me it is the issue of Civil Liberty and Moral Values. Adrian Warnock, an influential UK Christian leader summed it up well in this article.

Labours record on law making in the name of creating a ‘Tolerant’ Britain is frankly horrendous. A book by D.A Carson sums this up in its title The Intolerance of Tolerance. The laws designed to create a society of Tolerance and diversity have done the opposite. Britain has become a most intolerant society especially towards those of faith and even more specifically those of the Christian faith. You see the idea of Tolerance only works when it is applied evenly to everyone. Unfortunately that is simply not the case in the UK. One persons rights now trump another's with religious belief at the bottom of the pile. We have become a society that is scared to offend or at the least disagree with another persons viewpoint in case they accuse us of being a bigot or of being a whateverphobe and hurting their feelings. This effectively stifles real open honest debate and makes one group wary and suspicious of the motives of another group. You are not a bigot just because you disagree with someone!

Now I certainly don’t agree with all the policies or moral convictions of the Conservatives but they do tend to be less intrusive into the day to day lives of their citizens unlike Labour who want to control every facet of our existence and will fine or imprison you if you dare to speak out on moral issues (Ok that is a bit of an exaggeration but seems to be broadly the direction we are heading). If you want to come down to real personal convictions as to why I could not in all conscience vote for Labour I could sum it up in one person, Harriet Harmon! She has systematically pursued a humanistic amoral liberal agenda within the labour party and would be the first to condemn you for being intolerant for disagreeing with her! Click HERE to see how she has voted on all the moral issues over the last few years to get my point!

Whatever the result of next Thursday I know that God is sovereign and I trust Him fully. I may personally be disappointed with anything other than a Conservative majority but God is in ultimate control and will achieve His good purposes whatever happens in my small timeframe of existence.

Happy and thoughtful Voting to you all!!

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