Thinking politics: some UK General Election suggestions
At last night’s ASLP prayer gathering, I did a little slot on the General Election. It seems to me that there are number of areas that should concern a responsible vote (by no means an exhaustive list and in no particular order):
- Justice and fairness
- Responsible borrowing and responsible prosperity
- Punishment of evil and wrong-doing
- Protecting the vulnerable
- Combating hatred and extremism
- Good stewardship of all God’s provisions
- Trustworthiness and integrity of candidates
A verse that should certainly underpin Christian civic duty which should inform how we vote (even if the verse’s original readers never had the privilege), beautifully summing up what it means (in Peter’s words) to be servants of God:
Show proper respect to everyone:
- LOVE the brotherhood of believers
- FEAR God
- HONOUR the king.
Various people have coming up with election guides and the like (one or two I’ve nicked from The Simple Pastor) – but for what it’s worth, here is a little summary to help guide how to follow these principles in your vote.
- Some questions with which to evaluate policies: don’t ask ‘what’s in it for me’, ask ‘what’s in it for others?’ – from the Jubilee Centre.
- Why bother? – a Catholic resource for this election
- Make the Cross Count – I’ve mentioned this before, but Care has produced an excellent and helpful resource
- The Simple Pastor has produced a good summary handout here based on Krish Kandiah’s book Just Politics
- BBC has loads of great stuff
- Poll trackers
- if you fancy yourself as a Peter Snow/Jeremy Vine figure, you too can play with swingometers and poll seat predictors
- set up a link to your own constituency (by postcode) – in the same place you can find all the marginal and battleground constituencies. We’re in Cities of London and Westminster (an established and very safe Tory seat) as it happens.
- The Power of your Vote – work out how powerful your vote is in your constituency (based on marginality, size and boundary changes). A few friends have played around with this – it’s quite fun though actually I’m not 100% convinced. If you check out the power of those in the most marginal of seats (acc to the BBC site above), it comes up with some pretty odd answers. Still, it might help you if you want to vote tactically. Mine is worth only 0.092 compared to the no 1 slot held by Arfon at 1.308!!
- Christians and Candidates 2010 – news of various hustings that churches and Christian groups are holding in the next few weeks. It also includes a brief summary of individual MPs’ voting records on a number of a red flag issues (though some will question why some issues and not others are included).
- The Public Whip – if you want a more thorough listing of voting records and other parliamentary stats, this is a really useful site.
- Vote for policies not for personalities – find out who you really should be voting for.
- Soul Politics – some very sensible and insightful stuff here…