There’s a federal election in three weeks, and most of us wish it would just go away. We’re weary, not just of the usual electioneering, but of the seeming futility of the whole shebang. When it comes to the political process, even the small act of casting a vote, we ask ourselves ‘what’s the point?!’ and sigh with cynicism.
I’m no exception to this world-weary political fatigue, and yet my name has somehow made its way onto a ballot paper… and not for the first time. So I thought I’d share with you the thoughts that came to me when I asked myself ‘what’s the point?’ – because my position is pretty futile. I’m in second spot for a party with no real history in this state. It’s a party with ‘Christian’ in its name, so there’s no hiding my unpopular beliefs from anyone. My chances of winning election are nil, so what’s the point? What’s the point of voting for candidates who won’t be elected? What’s the point of them running in the first place? Isn’t it just a waste of time and money?
But it’s not about resources, and it’s not about winning. It’s about personal responsibility. Each one of us has a conscience. Some could do with a bit more exercise and a few seem close to inoperative, but every one of us has one. And it is never a waste of time to do the right thing, even if we think we’re going to lose. William Wilberforce knew he was going to be largely ignored the first time he spoke against the slave trade, but he still spoke out even though it seemed a pointless waste of time. We, likewise, have a responsibility to cast our votes for the best candidates (according to our personal judgement) no matter how futile it seems.
We don’t do what’s right merely to achieve a goal, after all. I like to believe we’d all try to prevent a murder no matter how futile our attempts might be. That said, goals are important, all the more when they can’t be attained alone or overnight. Some goals may even be beyond our lifetimes, but we must act in the faith that what we do can make a difference.
There’s something else, though, that weighs on my mind this election, something that isn’t going to go away once we cast our votes, and that’s the battle raging around us. Some of us are oblivious to it, others are in denial, and most of us don’t want to be involved. But it’s a battle for the bedrock of our civilisation, and those who remain passive are rendered (to use Yugoslav Communist terminology) “useful innocents” – unwitting collaborators manipulated by communist machinators.
If we are too apathetic to cast a protest vote, too scrupulous to dirty our hands in worldly affairs, and too self-interested to waste our time, then we have become what we’re supposed to be fighting against. If there is one thing I identify most at the root of the destruction of Judeo-Christian civilisation it is the decay and demonisation of morality. Morality: “Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour”, to quote the Oxford Dictionary.
As people of good will, we are supposed to care about our society. Indeed, we’re supposed to care about our enemies as well as our neighbours. We’re not supposed to use religious scruples as an excuse to ignore a victim, no matter who they are. And we’re supposed to exercise charity of heart even when it goes against our own interests. Morality is something we have to practice all day and every day. Why should anyone take us seriously when we talk about the institution of marriage or the sanctity of life if we can’t be bothered doing the right thing on election day?
I don’t care whether you vote for me – I’m not going to win and I’ve never cared about being popular – but I do care about whether you take life seriously. Because life is all about our choices, millions of seemingly insignificant choices. Choosing what is right and good is something we have to make habitual, because when we don’t we end up on the wrong path. And our society is a reflection of this – little mundane immoral choices placing us in the grip of vices such as promiscuity, addiction, and corruption.
This federal election, vote for someone who cares about where we’re headed instead of some self-interested politician beholden to a secular party. Vote for what’s right and good by doing what’s right and good. To quote Edmund Burke, “the tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny”. Don’t be part of the multitude. Vote for someone who isn’t ashamed of the everyday morality of life.