Voting with a conscience

As we face the polls later this month you might already be thinking of simply ticking the first box on the ballet paper and not about much else.

Perhaps you are disillusioned with the current state of politics in our country, disappointed with the direction we are heading in and, in the ‘leaders’ before us. As such, like me, you might be more actively channel surfing to avoid yet another election ad or campaign speech. I hear your pain.

The Church can’t tell you who you should vote for. However, every person of faith- regardless of their faith, has a responsibility to inform their own conscience.


As Christians, our understanding of the Gospels and Jesus’ words should inform our decision making. It is in these scriptures we are reminded that the sanctity of the human person is pivotal.

A nation and community should be judged on the treatment of their most vulnerable. It’s the moral compass or integrity temperature. It’s our appetite for justice.

As a people we should be asking questions of our community leaders and demanding honest answers, regardless of their political affiliation.

What does care of the elderly and aged look like? How are our children supported and protected? What government dollars are spent on defence, education, health or childcare? Where are we in caring for our first nation’s peoples? Is there money for homelessness and an appetite for lifting the poorest of us? And legislation; are they mutually respectful of all and mindful of the diversity of religious belief and a healthy cultural practice?

We should be asking if the integrity and moral compass of these leaders are appropriate, respectful, and reflective- not only in their language but also in their behaviours exhibited privately and publicly. A test would be how are women treated by them in society and within parliament?

As our attention has been turned to the plight of those fleeing Ukraine, we must ask our leaders what their plans are to help restore peace? How do they intent to treat asylum seekers and refugees, and those needing shelter and security? The response of the candidate, and possibly their parties, should influence your vote.

Each of us has a responsibility however to make our entry to the ballot box count. None of us in choosing the ‘donkey’ option should be thinking that this absolves us from the poor decisions, bombastic comments or bad behaviour that might follow from those that are elected. Silence becomes agreement.

Whilst our ‘choice’ might not get up on election night at the very least we have played our part and fulfilled our part as citizens of Australia. When we vote, we have a voice, and we must use it wisely.

Leadership has responsibilities and obligations. We have gotten in the habit in this country to accept mediocre representation in some areas of the political arena. This should not be the case. We should be holding our politicians and other community leaders to the highest standards. Those that don’t meet the standard should not be elected.

So what is our appetite for a healthy and integrity based community? Our appetite will be reflected in the way we vote. Being informed is key.

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