Who will I vote for?

April 28th fresh elections in Spain for the national government. I do not have to make a choice as to who I vote for as I am not a Spanish citizen, but when it comes to elections choosing where to place one’s ‘x’ is a challenge. If the circus of the Brexit gridlock is anything to go by we are again, in some measure, seeing the façade being raised and the weakness of democracy as we have it being exposed. As I have on numerous occasions written what functions in part is simply the democratic system, a system that falls well short of democracy. Democracy is often in name only as it is so difficult to put in place. For example, Gayle is a member of a political party in Spain who seek to work democratically. If a post comes up to be filled résumées of the various possible candidates are sent to the members. I applaud the process, but who can read through dozens of such résumées, sift through them and make a fully intelligent response? The alternative is a decision made from the centre and down.

I have had some Skypes of late where the response has been so positive about what has taken place politically in their nation, but the elected candidate’s policies, for me, would be substantially in such a different direction to how I would understand an outworking of the Gospel in society. In Spain we have the rise of a party that has pulled in some level of Christian support, probably because of their stance on abortion. The same party has publicly said the greatest achievement for women is motherhood. I am not decrying parenthood nor motherhood but that is in direct conflict with the values of Jesus.

(For a link to an excellent article on the state of politics in Spain, the reason why an anti-Catalan stance pulls in votes, the situation with the new party (VOX) that I mention above, the situation in the current post-Franco era, etc., the Observer / Guardian carried an excellent article yesterday:

Franco’s shadow: reburial battle sees Spain confront its darkest days

A great revelation is about to follow: there is no perfect party! The answers are not held in the ‘right’ nor in the ‘left’. We might lean one way or the other, and of course we are ultimately looking to see a change of heart so that society is marked by healthy relationships. Yet there is something more that we have to push for. If the church carries responsibility for the society where it is placed it becomes our responsibility to hold a shape in which certain values can grow and others are restricted. Societal change is the barometer to measure the extent to which spiritual change has taken place. If the church lives with making a name for itself we should not be surprised if society cannot step beyond that level.

Prayer… intercession in the fuller sense of not simply prayer but in becoming that intersection between heaven and earth. Planted for the society and shaped by heaven’s values of love, justice and freedom. If the church is just a waiting room to keep people clean for the exit we will be guilty of denying the incarnation, the very means by which God’s glory came to earth. If the glory of God does not enter our society we might still have great gatherings… but to what purpose?

We cannot vote on April 28th. And for those who can vote who to vote for is indeed problematic. (Indeed a calculated non-vote can also be a vote if it is a considered choice.) We can however stand, and in reading the Guardian article I hope you understand our measure of distress. We alone cannot change things, people always have choice… but on our watch? We would be happier with seeing something change here for the sake of Europe than having to dig out an apology for what has grown up and is threatening the space of freedom, dignity and love.

However we are taught when there are shakings that it is a marker of time that something can enter our world that cannot be shaken. I despair some days when I watch the Brexit proceedings, the rise of Fascism in Spain and Europe, the shutting of borders and the rise of nationalism to unhealthy levels. But I must daily rise above despair and participate in the maintaining of a shape that will change the articles that are written in our newspapers.

2 thoughts on “Who will I vote for?

  1. Politics in the west right now is so chaotic and in such disarray.The trouble is that a conservative agenda in politics includes some really unsavoury beliefs and a following which shows how fundamentally flawed it is. It’s hard to know how to vote as a Christian we need the increase of his government and peace to come to guide us and redeem all. Right now I feel my hands are tied regarding Brexit and I’m not sure how to pray. I don’t want it yet so many prophetic voices say it’s God’s will. I would like another referendum but not sure that’s democratic or right – certainly don’t want ‘no deal’. Same with Trump in America. To me it doesn’t seem right in my spirit. Everything is so confusing world wide right now. Maybe it’s the facades coming down that’s shaking stuff up but unless it’s redeemed the far-right will have free rein to grow and be heard. They are dangerous and against Christ. I don’t see how anyone could argue otherwise and for Christians to turn a blind eye because they tend to align themselves with conservative politics is a very weak stance. I am really hoping and praying for Christian leaders and ministries to rise up and speak out against this hate and maybe repent if they feel led. It’s interesting that this is going on in Spanish politics too although I’m not sure how the church feels about it there?

  2. I led a classroom of young university students through a workshop on planning for a future of climate change last week. Daunting. Always. I try to leave them with hope. Soooo, politics today. Disgusting. Almost everywhere. I have always likened humanity’s collective response to climate change as painting our toenails while drowning. We argue a lot about toenail colors and do little about the drowning. That’s what politics is right now and Brexit is a shining example of avoiding necessary change. If they stay, obviously people are unhappy and Britain needs to make changes. If they go, obviously people are unhappy, and Britain needs to make changes. We have had two years to watch elected officials avoid their job.

    Trump and his destructive reign is also obvious. Even here in Canada we have a number of women, out of their own sense of righteousness, gunning to bring down a government of their own party. Bizarre. It may give an opening to the Conservatives who I find abhorrent.

    The outcome of all of this is that problems that require solving do not get solved. Instead we watch a circus of avoidance. And in the meantime people suffer. I find it all leads to a sense of paralysis. Not good. Even speaking of a future, a survivable one at that, becomes like walking through sludge. Its a struggle. But it is essential to maintain a vision and keep on. With hope.

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