We are on the eve of the General Election. I hope we will all make our mark by voting. Edmund Burke (12 January 1729 - 9 July 1797) was an Irish political philosopher among other things. He is known for these words “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
When people step back or turn away from responsibilities more often than not the gap that is created is filled by something else. That something else can be very unsavoury. I suggest then we have a responsibility to get out there and vote.
How should we vote?
1. We should vote for someone with integrity that we feel will represent us and the constituency we are a part of. First and foremost a local MP is your MP and my MP. Yes it is relevant to take account of party politics and the potential for national Government, but always remember, whether they carry this through or not, an MP’s first allegiance is to his or her constituency. It is the people of the constituency that choose the MP and the people of the constituency that can vote them out. An MP who thinks they owe more to their Party than their Constituents may find that they end up being an MP for a relatively short period of time.
2. We should vote for the good of others and not just ourselves. This is sometimes very difficult particularly if we happen to be in a situation where we are poor or hungry and cannot see an easy present or future. To only focus on ourselves though is to encourage individualism and selfishness. To consider others means we are seeking to build a good community and fair society.
3. We should vote remembering that “There is a higher throne” (a song by Keith and Kristyn Getty). In others words MPs, politicians and Government are not the final authority. There is much in the Bible about God working through the Authorities and Governing Bodies of the World. There is also much which indicates that such bodies and individuals need to be challenged when they enact Laws or encourage behaviour which is contrary to those things that God reveals to us as healthy and wholesome, and which are designed to nurture our lives and build good communities.
It is relatively easy to write these things and much harder to come to a decision about what they mean in practice, but even in the midst of those challenges I hope we will still vote and make our mark!