Saturday, October 25, 2008

Election Dilemma

Mmmmm. Who to vote for? It seems an easy election for Christians to vote in doesn't it. We have had labour for 9 years and they have continued to dismantle NZ's Judeo-Christian ethical basis... well, what might be called Judeo-Christian??? Anyway, they have had a social policy that has reframed marriage allowing same-sex unions (not marriage directly, but in guise); they have gone against the desires of most NZer's to smack; they have allowed prostitution to be legal etc etc. So, it is time for a change. Simple really, vote to get them out if you believe in God's Word.

Well, I wish it was that simple. To me, while these things are biggies and concern me to differing degrees, there is the matter of economics. Jesus had more to say about money than any ethical issue, social or otherwise. I won't go over the data, you can read it... start with Luke's Gospel and pop into Matt 5-6; 25. Then there is James epistle, 1 Jn 3:16-17, Acts 2-4 and other passages which reiterate all this. It seems to me that economics are more important than social issues. God does not want to see the rich get richer and the poor poorer. He is deeply offended by the oppression of the poor by the rich and the western world stands condemned before him... me included (by the way pray for me, Mammon calls me... I will pray for you too).

By the way, the other complication here, is that a vote for National is not really a vote for better social/moral policy. Have a look at their voting records, they are not much better than Labour sadly! but, they are better. You could of course vote for United and Dunne, but if he does not get in, and it looks like this one will be close. By the way again... I don't see the point of voting for any party that won't get someone in and which is polling way below the 5% threshold... and all the Christian parties are in this place!

So which party is best for ensuring that the poor in NZ are not oppressed by the rich? Which party will care for the needy in a time when we are in recession? Which party will have a global concern for the poor? What about fair trade issues? What about ensuring the right distribution of wealth through society?

So, here it gets interesting. National will free up the economy and stimulate business growth. They will coalesce (can't spell that word???) with Act who have brought back Roger Douglas (never heard a 'bring back Roger campaign'... bring back Buck!). Anywhat, this means things will move toward privatisation and stimulating the economy with incentives for businesses, the wealthy, means of attracting foreign investment etc. All this will serve to increase the already widening gap between rich and poor in NZ. And we are already a world leader here (woo hoo... we are world leaders in something other than teen suicide and rugby... oh, we aren't world leaders in this but we are at cricket... not!).

But Labour are not exactly brilliant in this area either, they have caused the increase of this margin over their term. However, some of their partners are more in tune with this economic stuff like Progressive and the Greens (who are even more committed to dismantling the Judeo- Christian ethic by the way). Similarly, in NZ we have to admit there is a huge problem among Maori's in terms of education and crime. I love listening to Willie Jackson and John Tamihere on Radio Live and they are right about one thing, we have to see this problem resolved, and Maori have to be empowered to do this (b.t.w. We as Christians must be committed to honouring the Treaty which was made in the sight of God). Similarly, one of the key parties, NZ First (don't write them off), have a Maori leader and although he has been given a lot of stick, he is no fool and could be there.

So, for me it is not a simple election at all. Morally, it is clear, get rid of Labour. Socially, keep them? If we need to generate wealth for a few years, National/Act. If we want to see wealth distributed, left.

What is clear is that this election will be a blast and close, the left block vs the right... so

  • If you want to get rid of labour, vote National and maybe Act
  • If you want to end the social engineering (J-C ethic), vote National and maybe United if it looks like Dunne will win... but I am not sure this will change much
  • If you are concerned for economic growth vote National or Act
  • If you are concerned for social justice vote left like Labour, Green, Progressive, Maori... depending on your leanings
  • If you think we need a new leader vote for Key, its her or him
  • If you think we need to keep the status quo as the world faces troubles, vote Labour

Remember that:

  • A vote for Act is a vote for National
  • A vote for Greens is a vote for Labour
  • A vote for NZ First is a vote for Labour
  • A vote for Maori is probably a vote for Labour... maybe not
  • A vote for Progressive is a vote for Labour
  • A vote for United may be a vote for Labour, but could equally be a vote for National
  • A vote for the Christian parties aside from United is probably a vote wasted in the sense that it will not count
  • A vote for Act gets Roger Douglas back closer to the economic power base of NZ... bring back Buck!


Philip and Briar said...

it's been a while Mark. I've come back a few times to see if you've done anything. Interesting blog. I dunno who to vote yet, I feel like Labour does better socially than National, but I'm tired of Helen. I have been thinking the last few days that perhaps Nationals business skills would be more beneficial at this time. But then I wonder about Key's own political skills as he had a clear headstart in the race and the gap has now closed.
(For the next statement I admit my lack of knowledge around MMP and parliamentary stuff) Also, if no one votes for any of the other parties (like perhaps some special promising tiny party) then aren't we continuing the cycle of Labour vs. National with a few tag alongs like Greens and NZ First?

Dr Mark K said...

In reply. Yes, we do perpetuate the 2 party thing. But we don't want our vote to be lost. So, I say, if a party is within 1-2 percent of the 5% threshold and/or has a person really likely to get in (e.g. Peter Dunne, Rodney Hide), then the vote is worthwhile. Where the 'Christian parties' are concerned, they are not even close. Plus, they need to realise until they work together, they are a poor witness. I think that votes for Act, Greens, Maori will count. A vote for United Future might count, depends how Peter D goes. SImilarly, NZ First. The others, may as well pack up and go to the beach. As I said in an earlier blog, I think they should work in the system not outside it.