2007-11-21

How I'm Voting

Party

Candidate

Position

Why

Family First

Malcolm East

8

I actually know this candidate – he's a nice guy. And Family First are not the rigid right-wing party people think. But I can't place them higher than this. They are a Christian party but they are not explicit about this, which is problematic.

Democrats

Aaron Johnson

7

Ugh. The Democrats are Australia's most useless and most disappointing party. They are supposedly centrist but after they had their leadership tussles there was no point in their existence.

Socialist Alliance

Geoff Payne

3

Another socialist party. I put them at no. 3 because I wish to communicate to the ALP (who will win this seat) the importance of moving our nation back towards a more centrist position.

Independent

Aaron Buman

5

This guy is a Newcastle city councillor. He could probably shake things up but he's probably too “right” for me, but since he's not esconsed with the Liberal party he'll probably make his own decisions.

Australian Labor Party

Sharon Grierson

4

Sharon will win this seat easily. I have placed the largest left-leaning party last because I am not all that impressed with the ALP.

Socialist Equality

Noel Holt

2

Also known as the “Green Left”, this is another Green party but I know very little about it except that it is Green and Socialist. Since I wish our economic structure to move back towards the left (I am centrist), these guys have my no. 2 vote

Greens

Charmain Eckersley

1

Global Warming and Peak Oil are the two most important issues on this planet. I may not hold to everything the Greens propose but my vote for them indicates to all parties the importance of these issues.

Independent

Joel Curry

10

I have no idea who this guy is or what he stands for. What was the point of him standing for election if he doesn't actually communicate to potential voters?

Christian Democratic Party

Milton Caine

9

Fred Nile. He's a nice guy but he has his priorities wrong. I want Christians in Parliament but not representing Christian parties. Fred is sort of a nicer version of Pat Robertson (without the hearing voices bit) and his commitment to the Monarchy as being Christian is very problematic.

Liberal Party

Krysia Walker

6

The Liberal party has never won the seat of Newcastle and won't even get near this time around. This is nothing personal Krysia, it's just John Howard. The other right-wing parties would be ever worse as far as I'm concerned.

17 comments:

Red Wombat said...

Sorry, but I've got a very important warning for you.

The Socialist Equality Party (who have nothing to do with Green Left Weekly - that's the Socialist Alliance) are splitting their preferences 3-ways (Green, Labor, Coalition) because they apparently don't think there's any differences.

To maximise you vote and it's impact, you should vote Socialist Alliance (the 'good' socialists) 1, then Green 2, then ALP, and so on.

The Socialist Equality mob are a bit crazy (although sanity in politics isn't a must) but for the Howard government to get "socialist" preferences is just insane.

BLBeamer said...

I know next to nothing of Australian politics, but to refer to someone as a nicer version of Pat Robertson would be to damn them with faint praise indeed here in the US. It is similar to saying "she doesn't sweat much for a fat girl", or "he runs fast for a catcher".

Pat Robertson is, if I may be excused from using a crude expression, crazy as a s***house rat.

Theteak said...

You say that Family First are a Christian party but not explicit about this, so that's why you're placing them 8th.
The Greens are a gay party, a pro-abortion party and are explicit about being Green and they're your no.1. Do you really believe they place global warming at the top of their priorities Neil? Or is it too much of a stretch to suggest they're more interested in gay adoption, gay marriage, abortion and pretty much anything else that's the opposite of what the Bible teaches? They hate Christians with a passion Neil, they really do. I think it's a shame you think the way you do.

One Salient Oversight said...

Matt,

Do you ever read Byron's Blog?

Byron has been very helpful in cutting through some of the lies that have been told about The Greens, especially amongst Christian circles.

I know you're "right of centre" Matt, but, man, I can't understand why you're quite happy to believe untruths.

And remember, to me Peak Oil and Global Warming are true. Millions of people stand to lose out because of them. I'm voting fer the Greens based upon that particular issue.

Or do Christians only vote for one party these days?

One Salient Oversight said...

Matt - Read 1 Corinthians 5 and tell me what it says about how Christians should view those outside the church who are sinners.

Theteak said...

That's voluntarism. You have tried to make Paul into a voluntarist, but the context of 1 Cor 5 doesn't allow you to do that. Paul is addressing the issue of Church discipline and his point is not that we are deaf and dumb about immorality, but just that we aren't called to discipline the outsider. We don't live in two created orders, we live in one. Olly O' Donovan says: "The order of things that God has made is there. It is objective, and mankind has a place within it. Christian ethics, therefore, has an objective reference because it is concerned with man's life in accordance with this order. The summons to live in it is addressed to all mankind, because the good news that we may live in it is addressed to all mankind. Thus Christian moral judgments in principle address every man. They are not something which the Christian has opted into and which he might as well quite as sensibly, have opted out of. They are founded on reality as God has given it." (Resurrection and Moral Order p. 17)

One Salient Oversight said...

Yes of course Paul is addressing the issue of church discipline - but notice that he does not make any judgements at all upon outsiders. The unrepentant sexual sinner within the church should be expelled - in fact, the church should not associate with him any more.

Yet Paul gives a caveat - not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.

In other words, if a person is outside the covenant community then there is no need to shun them or reject them. This is not saying that the sin is somehow not as bad - it's just that the response to it is different.

I believe that it is within the church, the covenant community of God, that God's rules are enforced upon those who have the Holy Spirit.

So, in regards to politics:

I do not think it is right to enforce Christian belief and morals upon unbelievers. Nowhere does the New Testament instruct us to do this. Moreover, if we are to be consistent in our desire to enforce Christian belief then we would also wish to enforce laws to punish anyone who was unregenerate.

Does O'Donovan argue for this in his book on ethics?

Of course I wish the world to obey God's law - but the way this is done is through the growth of the church via the proclamation of the Gospel. Once individuals join the covenant community they then come under its discipline.

As for the Greens supporting abortion and homosexuality - most political parties these days have done little to "stand up to" these sins. The ALP is happy with it, and we've had 11 years of a Liberal/National Coalition full of Christians who didn't outlaw homosexuality or abortion.

Many lies about the Greens have been propagated over the years amongst Christian circles. Lies, rumours and innuendo are rife. I am angry and ashamed that many Christians swallow these lies so easily and turn their brains off.

Remember that it was the Christians in the US who believed the lies about Iraq and who supported an invasion that has resulted in the deaths of over 650,000 Iraqis.

Christians in the US are also the ones most suspect of Global Warming. Such attitudes are execrable given the plain facts. Believing Bush's lies about Iraq is one thing, rejecting the opinions of 99.9% of climatologists is another.

I want world governments to tackle global warming head on because it is a problem that will affect the lives of hundreds of millions. That's why I'm voting Green.

Theteak said...

I don't think you understand what voluntarism is. In fact, I'm quite certain tonight is the first time you've heard of it. The fact that you have once again retreated into it shows that there is no Wikipedia article for you to run to and become an 'instant expert' as you do with most other things. Sorry to be so harsh Neil but it's true. Also, you contradict yourself, apparently it's not ok for Christians to have a say based on the created order they believe (rightly) to be universal in its application (as O'Donovan states); but it's quite ok for Bob Brown (who is a homosexual) to tell us we can't discipline our kids, or send them to a Christian school, and then take our taxes and use them to pay for sex changes and all the follow-up medical care required after being 'sexually re-assigned' (yes, that's a policy, I've read them.) If I was a voluntarist, I couldn't do my job, because every day I deal with broken people who have suffered because of their foolish immoral life choices. I tell them the gospel and the gospel is universal in saying that the God of all the earth, condemns sinners and hates evil and will destroy them; but that his grace is even greater and he sent his son to be destroyed instead. O'Donovan's thesis is that vindication of created order is achieved in the Resurrection, and the voluntarist ethic doesn't have a leg to stand on. Whenever we tell somebody the gospel we acknowledge that people both outside and inside the church are wrong and sinful and live lives that offend God. When somebody comes to me and tells me they've abused children I don't respond with: "Well, I'm sorry, I can't help you, I can't respond to your situation as sinful unless first you decide to become a Christian, and there's no absolute reference point from wisdom that allows me to comment." That's where voluntarism leads.

Theteak said...

Think of what the western world might still be like if Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect were all voluntarists...

One Salient Oversight said...

"Well, I'm sorry, I can't help you, I can't respond to your situation as sinful unless first you decide to become a Christian, and there's no absolute reference point from wisdom that allows me to comment." That's where voluntarism leads.

Well that's not where I am at the moment. Perhaps you can define voluntarism more effectively for me?

I acknowledge that my next door neighbour is sinful and needs Jesus Christ.

O'Donovan's thesis is that vindication of created order is achieved in the Resurrection

That almost sounds post-millennial. If O'Donovan is somehow saying that the resurrection leads to a more "Christian" society outside of the church and amongst unbelievers then I think he might have an over-realised eschatology. Sort of like what modern Pentecostals have when they say that through Jesus' death we are literally healed.

Can you give some biblical references that O'Donovan uses?

Matt - I am interested in this discussion and wish to keep at it. And yes you're right, I haven't heard about voluntarism so you better explain it to me.

Theteak said...

I have explained it.

One Salient Oversight said...

Hmmm, short answer, hint of pissed-off-ness present.

Allow me to take a different approach.

Does destructive sin - like homosexuality and abortion - require Christians to fight to make them illegal?

Are there other options for Christians to take?

Theteak said...

I'm not angry. Don't apply motive to me just because I write a short response. I think the O'Donovan quote is a pretty good start. Believe me, quoting more would be easy, but it's better just the read his books, which are brilliant btw.
And you said it yourself, they are destructive sins, they should be fought against. This is God's world - all of it. You seem to have no problem calling upon Christians to fight global warming, A fight that conveniently takes attention away from the real fights we should be engaged in as far as myself and many other Christians are concerned.

One Salient Oversight said...

I realise that you see some level of disconnect between, say, my stance on Global Warming and Christians (who should support measures to mitigate it) and my stance on, say, Homosexuality and Christians.

I start by saying this. Do I wish there to be no homosexuals in Australia? Yes. Do I wish there was no abortion in Australia? Yes.

That's the starting point. The difference between us is in how this is achieved.

The standard boilerplate American evangelical culture-warrior response to homosexuality and abortion is to simply make them illegal and enforce the law. This then boils down to voting only for people who support this action, and not voting for people who don't support it.

The problem is that this sort of action seems to clash with what we see in 1 Corinthians 5. While it is certainly Christian to wish for a better society, it is not Christian to aim for a theocracy. Moreover, I would argue that God's laws can only be effective in a society in which people's hearts have been regenerated. Trying to enforce Christian morals and laws upon a society which is not Christian is doomed to failure.

So how can Christians aim to make our society better without any resultant descent into theocratic dominionism?

I am one who believes very strongly that, while Homosexuality may have a genetic basis (which is still no excuse), homosexuality is very much a result of emotional damage caused during the person's younger years. For example, my wife and I know of a Lesbian who was sexually abused by her father. I think if there was a study into the emotional lives of homosexual people it will be discovered that a high percentage of them have been sexually and/or emotionally abused by close family.

Given that this is the case, what can Christians do? We can't legislate against bad parenting, but we can work to prevent that sort of damage from taking place by encouraging government to undertake public education programs to help people become better parents. As you no doubt know, many Christians in the 19th century encouraged government welfare programs.

As for abortion, many pro-life advocates don't realise that when pro-choice people see abortion as a "right" they don't seek to glorify it. Pro-choice people don't want to increase the amount of abortions, all they want is for them to be available to anyone who wants one.

Reducing abortions and preventing unwanted pregnancies is the best way forward in this area. Why do some western European secular nations have lower abortion rates per capita than Christian America? I'd be very happy to vote for policies that prevent unwanted pregnancies if it means less abortions.

BLBeamer said...

Pro-choice people don't want to increase the amount of abortions, all they want is for them to be available to anyone who wants one.

Unfortunately, you are not entirely correct. In the US, Planned Parenthood and NARAL and other pro-choice organizations not only endorse the right of unlimited access to abortion through 3rd trimester, they endorse government funding of abortions.

So, it's not enough for pro-choice organizations that abortions be available to whoever wants one, they insist those with religious or other moral objections should be forced to pay for them.

They also do not view reduced abortions as good news. The last time I remember hearing a report that abortions had gone down, NARAL said that was bad news. They declared that the decline was only due to reduced access to abortion.

Ron Lankshear said...

apart from all that has been said about the Greens what I would be worried about is what they might do regrading Christian Schools and Scripture Classes

Here is something I sent to Dave recently

Some items from

Education Policy — The Greens NSW http://nsw.greens.org.au/policies/education

Their 31 does not define Wealthiest - and those parents do pay taxes

But 34 is their policy and given what I have observed of their Pushes could well
be taken to cover no funds for Arden etc


Private Schools

31. The Greens NSW will work towards ending all public funding of the wealthiest
private schools. Public funds that are given to these schools under current
arrangements should be committed instead to equity programs within the public
school system.

32. Private schools and private school systems that receive public funding
should be subject to the same level of public accountability and scrutiny that
applies to public schools or forego all public funding.

33. The Greens NSW will work towards an end of all funding mechanisms which
unfairly act to the detriment of public education, including per capita funding
mechanisms based on the cost of educating a child in a public schools (such as
the "25% rule" in section 21 of the Education Act). These mechanisms act as a
tax on the betterment of public education and create unconstrained flows of
money away from the public purse.

34. The Greens NSW are committed to ending all public funding of schools which
discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, religious background, sexual preference,
marital status, disability, or ability to pay fees. We also believe that public
funding should not be allocated to private schools which engage in
discrimination in employment practices, particularly with respect to gender,
ethnicity, religious background or belief, sexual preference, disability, or
marital status. We are also committed to removing all exemptions for private
schools from the Anti-discrimination Act.


>

Ron Lankshear said...

re Fred Nile and Pat Robertson - I agree with BL - please don't compare dear old Fred with Pat. I just saw Pat endorsing Rudi because of his strong stand on Iraq which offsets Pat's opinion of Rudi's abortion stand. Most strange a major to many Christians in USA just pushed aside.