Peter's Blog

The National Quagmire

Written by Peter Johnston on .

It is not much more than a fortnight to go until the General Election takes place on 7 May. The rhetoric is building, the possibility of another hung parliament and coalition government is being talked about almost as a matter of course, and everyone wonders what the wild cards of UKIP and the SNP (for those outwith Scotland) will bring to the eventual results. There is little doubt that this is one of the most confusing election cycles to fully grasp with radical shifts in old allegiances.

And amidst all this trauma in the realm of the political parties, one wonders where the actual policies will end up coalescing if we find ourselves with another coalition. Tactical voting has become even more important as a decision making tool for canvassers trying to persuade voters. Which does tend to make something of a mockery of the purpose of voting: I cannae help myself in holding out for more proportional representation in the future, particulatly if we end up with another coalition anyway, despite the first past the post system. However, I will not hold my breath for that one...

On Sunday evening in our worship we used the report produced by CTBI (Churches Together in Britain and Ireland) to help focus our thoughts on five particular areas of policy in which the Christian community of faith can speak with clarity. We considered these and then wrote our own prayers which we placed around the table from which we would then share Holy Communion. The five areas the CTBI's report 'A 2020 Vision of the Good Society' highlights are wealth and inequality, home, children and young people, livelihoods, and the environment and climate.

As we come closer to the election and exercising your democratic power, I encourage you to think carefully about those in whom you will place your confidence and to read the CTBI's report which you can download here. In addition, Faith In Politics (from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Church of Scotland, Methodist Church, and United Reformed Church) has a helpful briefing document covering 16 key issues in this election.

Please keep all our candidates in your prayers at this time.

For me... the deed is done as my postal vote arrived today and is now in the wee red box down the road.

Postal Vote