Wednesday, November 07, 2007

THE BIG DAY

No, not the election. Kaylene and I are getting married - tomorrow. Just wanted to say a huge thankyou to everyone who has helped us get this day together. It's been a mammoth job and couldn't have done it with you!

We'll be away for the next month in Vietnam. So, will probably be fairly quiet on the blogging scene for a while. There's a small chance i'll put some pic's up of our tour round vietnam. But, if not I'll be posting again in December - and definately have some pics of the wedding to post! Anyway. I better go now and do something wedding like.

Cheers

WHY I AM NOT VOTING

First of all, I’d like to state that I don’t think voting is wrong. I encourage everyone to vote seriously, with research, energy, effort and contemplation. However, personally not voting is being obedient for what God would have me do. It is a public action that points to the inherit problems associated with voting and the massive flaws in our system of governance. Here are some reasons why. And I will finish with some more personal comments.

VOTING
- Supports the common fallacy that social change occurs once every three years during voting time. The system says this is our highest and greatest political action. The fulfillment of democracy. Yet, I believe we are asked to vote with our whole life, every day of our life.
- This great importance on voting makes us lazy citizens. Once we fulfill our voting obligations, we believe we can sit back and continue our comfortable lives uninterrupted, pursuing all things that make ‘us’ happy. In the same way we get others to grow our food, make our furniture, educate our kids, build our houses, look after the poor and so on – we give ‘power’ to others (government) to make decisions for us. We setup proxy governments, with processes that we need not get involved in or become too highly complex for simpletons like ourselves. They require professionals and highly educated people. This is partly the reason why whenever people want change – it involves moving incredible mountains.
- Compulsory voting is undemocratic. Don’t agree with any of the parties? Don’t like the system? Cop a fine. Fail to vote repeatedly and you’ll get thrown in jail.

SYSTEM
- When we vote we give power to others to lord it over us. The democracy we have is not one of participation it is one of ruling. Ruling democracy. We get to chose our ruler, our dictator. Our voices are not heard, we cannot have a say whether or not we go to war or sell Uranium, or pursue build nuclear power plants.
- The system lacks adequate representation. We are too large a group of people to be governed over so that every community within this country is looked after and particular nuances of various groups are taken into consideration. Minority groups always suffer and minority groups are usually the poorest and most marginalized in the community. We blindly accept that yes some people will not like all the decisions made and yes some people will have suffer. Why do we accept that this has to happen? Of course, most of the time we are in the majority and it doesn’t affect us.
- There are inadequate choices. We get to chose between two parties who are remarkably similar. Sure we can vote Green (who I have a soft spot in my heart for), democrats or family first – but how much chance do they have of forming Government? Yet a vote for Greens is a vote for labor in the end with our preferential system. You must fill out all preferences on the ballot card otherwise your vote doesn’t count. That means somewhere along the line you are voting for again – labor or liberal. Your vote won’t stop the forests being logged, it won’t make wars cease, it won’t make sure the poor are looked after. Instead you get to merely get to chose how much forest you want logged, or which country you’d like to war against, or to what level should we look after the poor.

So, to not vote. These are my thoughts and my decision after much contemplation and reading of the scriptures. But, I am still learning about this stance. I have made the decision, but I now I must understand why. I welcome interaction and conversation on this matter whole heartedly. For me being obedient to God means not voting. For you it may require voting. The important thing is that we are seeking God and following our humanity.

Yet, I do not do this lightly. It rests uneasily with all that society has drummed into my head. I look from left to right thinking am I crazy? Funny enough this is what reassures me that this is what God would have me do. My greatest problem in all this is – what is my alternative I’m offering. While I can’t come up with a whole new system, I believe I am learning the values (that is the values of the reign of God) and attempting to live them out in my place in this world. Here in Doveton, we are beginning to look a little different from the rest of the world. It s here, and yet its not.

My allegiance lies with God who is sovereign in my life. And the reign of God is the alternative to the empires of this world.