Things have been getting really competitive in my estate now that campaigning season is well and truly underway! It’s extra intense for my family this time because we live in a hotly contested GRC.
Because of the hustings, I’ve been thinking hard about who should get my vote. It was all we were talking about it in the office when my boss piped up with his handy framework for deciding who gets his ballot…
Thinking about character really helped me narrow down the lot.
In assessing your representatives, look at their character. Look for a consistent moral or ethical baseline that is set at a high bar.
In thinking about high bars, there are few like Daniel in the Bible. There’s an example of a leader who had great character – the guy was truly S-tier.
Right when he was first taken to Babylon as a teenager, Daniel stuck to the Law of Moses and refused to defile himself with the king’s food or wine (Daniel 1:8).
And even after many decades of service in Babylon, Daniel did not waver from praying to his God – even on threat of death by lions (Daniel 6:12)!
Such unwavering consistency takes serious backbone. We know Daniel’s character is rock solid because even the Bible doesn’t have a single bad thing to say about him! You’ll find this wasn’t the case for even the other greats like Noah, Moses and David.
So yeah, look for a Daniel in the GE. Look for someone with backbone. Choose great and consistent moral character – we will always need good people in the Government.
2. TRACK RECORD
In life, looking backwards often helps us move forwards. This is also true when it comes to voting: Examining a candidate’s track record is crucial.
Look at past behaviour. Find out whether they followed through on promises made in the previous elections. Taking the time to do so will show you if he’s a leader who walks the talk and someone who can actually deliver.
In Scripture, the disciples had to decide between Matthias and Joseph called Barsabas after Judas Iscariot fell out of the race (Acts 1:21-26).
These two men were nominated because they had a strong track record – they had been there with the disciples the whole time when Jesus was living among them.
That was also how the seven deacons were nominated – they were men of good standing, with proven track records of wisdom and service in the community.
God willing, we’ll all have strong candidates to pick from as we involve prayer in the process.
This is actually the most important thing to me: What does the candidate stand for?
What is their take when it comes to abortion? What is their view on families? What are their proposed policies for the marginalised and oppressed?
Look at the candidate’s values and see if they align with Scripture (do the same for your own values as well!). Are the candidate’s values aligned with how the Bible shows us how to live?
Pore through the Old Testament and you’ll see a common refrain: Everyone did what was right in their own eyes. That’s why we need to observe what candidates think is “right”.
We need to know what a candidate stands for before giving him or her a platform.
I want to be clear that a good candidate should not be lacking in any of the three aspects – character, track record and values – but I’d place slightly more emphasis on values.
Why? Because a candidate who has good character but poor values will be more consistent (and successful) in pushing policies based on values contrary to yours. And ultimately, this will change our country.
In fact, I’d go as far to say that it is values that shape a candidate’s character and largely determine his or her track record.
Every candidate we put in Government holds values that will change this country for the better or for the worse, so we need to know what a candidate stands for before giving him or her a platform.
Finally, since I’ve taken a quick look at how to vote, I thought I’d end with a comment on how not to vote: Don’t rely on slick marketing campaigns. It’s not about outward appearances; seek God’s heart in the matter instead.
Don’t rely on the opinions of your friends. Their values may not be fully aligned with yours.
And also: Don’t spoil your vote in anger or simply fail to turn up at the polls.
Know that God has placed us here in this land and called us to submit to the authorities above us. This also means submitting ourselves diligently to the electoral process and playing our part in that prayerfully.
So with this framework in mind, let’s make our decision a prayerful and considered one. Our nation and future depend on it.