The decision on who to vote for can be easy for some, but extremely difficult for others. Our decision can be informed by loyalty, hope, obligation, or by the knowledge we have of that party’s policies and our hope in what they will deliver. Sometimes, though, it’s just a blind “tossing of the dice”. As we consider this decision, it is important to note that people and parties generally reveal their true colours long before they come into power, and that the means used to attain power very often become the means used to maintain that power. With that in mind, then, here are some suggestions on what to look out for that will show what your party’s true colours really are. Think of the parties you might consider voting for, and score them according to these elements and attributes:
- Their advertising and campaigns. Do they put more focus on what they will do that’s good and right, or on what the other parties are doing that’s bad and wrong (proactive rather than reactive)?
- How they respond to mistakes or misconduct in their own party. Do they acknowledge mistakes or misconduct in their own party? Are perpetrators disciplined and brought to book, or do they deny, dismiss, defend, downplay, try to justify it or minimise it by comparing it to something worse that another party did?
- Reflective learning: Have they shown evidence of having learnt from previous mistakes or results of previous actions? Do they take time out for reflection and reviewing and considering the views of others, and allow that to influence their plans and actions?
- Respect for the law and the constitution: Do their actions show respect for the law, the constitution and the rights of other people, even when expressing opposition to particular laws or aspects of the constitution?
- Response to opposing views: Do they listen and allow the other to speak, then respond to the issue itself, or do they attack the person even before they’ve had a chance to fully express themselves?
- Understanding of the context: Do they show an understanding of the effects of the past on the present, and do their plans and policies include specific and actionable ways of bringing about restitution and restoration?
- Actionable plans and proposals: Do they have specific and actionable plans for dealing with the issues raised in their manifestos?
- Evidence of good governance: In areas where they have had authority or responsibility, have they displayed good/ sound /effective governance or carried out their responsibilities well?
- Recognition from others: Have they received accolades or acknowledgement in areas where they have had authority? From investors, other countries, other parties?
- Compliance with governance and authority: Are the methods, strategies and attitudes that they use now compliant with methods, strategies and attitudes needed to run the country? Thinking of the things they say and do now (if they are not currently in power), would you see that working well from a place of power and authority?
- Integrity and Christ-likeness: In their plans, campaigns, statements, responses to questions and criticism, and attitudes towards opposing views, do they display principles of the Kingdom of God or the attitude of Christ Jesus?
- Acknowledgement of God: Do they recognise or acknowledge God and the right to worship? Do they allow for freedom of religion?
- Your own view: Knowing all that you know of them, can you see them running the country with justice, righteousness, and the ability to bring about the changes needed?
By Colleen Saunders