Thursday, September 6, 2012

Another Political Party?

Also Published in Challenge Weekly Sept, 2012.

I had a thought the other day and wonder what you think?—is there a need for one more political party in NZ, a party that upholds a centre-left-wing economic ideology while upholding traditional Christian values? (Not necessarily a Christian party, but a more general party for the wider populace of similar mindset).

Every election I am uncertain who to vote for. On the one hand, I want to vote for those who believe a government should be very concerned for social justice. I am not a hard-core leftie, believing in personal responsibility, incentive and the ownership of personal property, but I do lean left. Romans 13 and Jesus’ teaching in particular lead me to the view that the State is God’s agent to help people who, in an unjust world, are in genuine need, cannot work and are severely disadvantaged. A good government helps people get a hand-up and ensure all can access cheap primary health care, get a good education and feel safe (justice). It acts to ensure that our egalitarian way of life is upheld. In an age of ecological threat, it will wisely move the nation toward greater ecological sustainability. In these issues I feel more comfortable with some of the economic and social ideals of left wing parties like Labour (well its original values not its current form), and the Greens.  
On the other hand, as with most evangelicals, I am conservative morally, valuing traditional marriage, the importance of family and sexual fidelity. I find abortion and active euthanasia abhorrent. I oppose gay marriage. I am dismayed at the on-going agenda to progressively dismantle the Judeo-Christian ethic that has undergirded our nation from its inception. On these things, I am more comfortable with parties that uphold these values which tend to be right wing. Similarly, I am very uncomfortable with the social agenda of Labour and the Greens in particular. Socially and morally I am right wing and conservative.

So how do I vote? With my economic leanings? With my moral leanings? Every election I try to make the best decision, but I never feel comfortable. This is because there is a massive gap in NZ politics—a party with a left-wing economic perspective but which affirms traditional Christian and western ethics and morals?
Is it time for those who hold this point of view to get serious and seek to form such a party?—one that is economically left but socially and morally right. This would give Christians who see the gospel in this way a place to vote at each election. 

Or, has the horse bolted and would it now be a fruitless waste of time? Would it be better to join an existing party and get active and seek to influence it in the direction of the gospel in all facets? Is this a red herring, and should Christians be focussing more on building redemptive communities of faith that embody the Christian ethic? What do you think?


Nicholas Mayne said...

Emphatically YES. It is something I have been praying for almost half my life.

Matt Barker said...

I have been waiting for a social conservative party for a while. People say that is an oxymoron. I disagree. I'll vote for that!

Fraser said...

No. No. Absolutely not. I am convinced that institutionalising the Christain faith has been one of its biggest downfalls. I truly believe that the "church" is not the body of Christ - and that Christ would not be a conservative in today's society. We need people who hold on to the 2 most important commandments (as identified by Christ) - love of God and our neighbour. Simple.