Wednesday, May 05, 2010

What Would Jesus Vote? Probably not Tory...

As the zero hour approaches I have been thinking very hard about the election and who to cast my lot in with. For the first time, I have been very open about who I am planning to vote for and this has led to some very interesting and some very depressing conversations.
I personally think that this election is the most exciting I have ever experienced with a mainstream party I feel I have some ideological common ground with finally being worth voting for. The Liberal Democrats have a chance to effect genuine change. However, this has put me at odds with many of my fellow Christians. Many Christians are continuing to hold the belief that only the Conservatives have their best interests at heart.

This is not surprising as the automaton David Cameron (not all celebrity endorsements are good by the way - Simon Cowell and this guy? Oh dear) and his cronies talk about family values, marriage and crime in a way to make right wingers go weak at the knees. However, Christians should be considering the wider picture. Even a cursory glance at Jesus' teachings show that he was far more concerned with justice and with challenging hypocrisy than he was with sexual ethics or marriage (although he did have things to say there).

Therefore, the question we should be asking as Christians is - which party or outcome will lead to a more just and fair society? The Conservatives will definitely not lead our country to a fairer or more just path. For a taste of what Cameron's Britain will be like read this horrifying article on the Tories' flagship council in London. The cuts and ideology of the Tories will leave more and more of us on the scrapheap, it will not create jobs or stimulate the economy, it will not create more equality.

Ignore the propaganda that tells us a hung Parliament and a coalition will be dire for the economy. Germany still has the strongest economy in Europe and they have had coalition governments for years. Electoral reform that gives more weight to our votes and therefore increases our politician's accountability is essential. The Conservatives have openly said they will not pursue electoral reform that will make it harder for them to remain in power. In fact, Cameron's plan to reduce the number of MPs and redraw constituency boundaries will give him the opportunity to make the current system even worse.

I am not a fan of Labour, but even they are a better bet than the Tories. Barring a miracle the Lib Dems cannot win outright, but a coalition of Labour and Liberal Democrats is possibly the only way we can move forward as a society. The Conservatives will take us backwards and leave the most vulnerable without even basic safety nets.

So who would Jesus vote for?