Only two days until the Federal Election and I’m still not sure what to do at the ballot box. Only two things are certain: 1) Voting is compulsory 2) I don’t feel I can vote for, or give preference to, either major party.
For some time I’ve been thinking of attending the polling booth but leaving my ballot paper blank. That way I’ll be fulfilling my legal obligation and also exercising my responsibility to vote for the candidate of my choice.
Why I can’t vote for the Liberal-National Coalition?
I find them untrustworthy. Their refusal to reveal key budgetary data for scrutiny until a day or two before Election Day (to me) shows there is something they want to hide for as long as possible. They also rely too much on parroted slogans instead of intelligent debate. How often do we need to hear the “Stop the Boats” mantra? This is something I addressed in a post a couple of days ago where AGAIN we are faced with the likelihood of important information being withheld to hide facts.
Their tactic of misrepresenting economic reality through meaningless, unprovable slogans: first we had the “interest rates will always be lower under the coalition” replaced with “the economy will always be stronger under the coalition”. Such statements present a desirable outcome that can never be delivered in a provable way, as can be seen in the recent switch from the first slogan to the second after interest rates reached record lows under the current Labor government.
Interest rates and “the economy” are subject to International events as well as Government policy. And recently despite some of the worst EVER international conditions that decimated most world economies, the Australian economy was kept in very healthy territory. By accident? Or by shrewd economic measures courtesy of a Labor Government?
I also don’t take well to being bombarded with one-eyed political propaganda like we’ve had in the Murdoch press anti-labour campaign. The Murdoch headlines over recent weeks have been appallingly biased – remember this is the same Murdoch whose papers were at the centre of one of the worst ever media scandals in Britain recently (remember phone tapping anyone?).
And finally I don’t see Tony Abbott as Prime Minister material. (If Malcolm Turnbull had been the potential PM I think there would have been no doubt about where to allocate my vote).
Why I can’t vote for Labor?
The thing that REALLY swung the balance relates to Kevin Rudd’s appearance on the ABC TV programme Q & A a few nights ago.
While I give him credit for appearing on the show and facing some very difficult questions (unlike Tony Abbott who declined), it was his response to one question that overshadowed everything else. The question came from a church pastor who asked about Rudd’s about-face on same sex marriage. (see here for my earlier comments on Rudd’s change of mind: https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/irony-in-the-homosexual-marriage-debate/ )
Now it’s not Rudd’s decision to support same sex marriage that I find objectionable. For some time I’ve recognised that a secular government under which homosexuality is legal has no logical reason to deny same sex marriage. The issue I have with Rudd is his attempt to score political points by demonising a Christian pastor by misrepresenting, misquoting and effectively denigrating scripture. Not surprisingly he also showed considerable ignorance of the New Testament message, basically saying that it’s all about being nice and tolerant towards all of mankind.
Mr Rudd needs to know that scripture does not portray homosexuality as a natural way of life. In fact scripture has some very strong things to say about same gender sexual relations. It says things that homosexuals would find very offensive:
“God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men” (Romans 1:26)
He also needs to know that (despite his claim) the bible doesn’t portray slavery as being a natural condition – a claim he made clearly to undermine the validity and authority of scripture (Apparently it was Aristotle who made that claim, not anyone in scripture).
And he also needs to know that gospel isn’t about being nice to each other, it’s about turning away from our tendency for rebellion against God and His standards, through putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Choosing His way above our own desires and submitting ourselves to the changes He wants to make in our lives, turning from sin – not finding ways to convince ourselves that it’s acceptable.
If Rudd had justified his changed stance on same sex marriage on secular, logical, legal grounds then I would have found his response adequate and acceptable in the context of secular government, but he foolishly chose to present a religious stance and in the process showed the shallowness of his “Christian” faith foundations and did so in a way that belittled the REAL gospel of Jesus Christ. And that’s something I can’t accept from a “Christian” who hopes to lead his country.