Election Concerns

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Elections bring a lot of speculation. Polls try and follow the changing sentiment of voters. Pundits look for advantages to capitalize and determine risks to avoid.

In all the speculation, ordinary citizens can feel like pawns in the election scheming. But that is far from the truth. Citizens determine the outcome of elections. Polls can guess at our choices. Campaigns try and influence our choices. But in the end, individuals each cast their one single vote. And nobody knows what that vote is but the ordinary citizens themselves.

I pray that citizens will research well the various party platforms. I yearn for citizens to clearly articulate demands for justice. All politicians must heed the collective voice of citizenship.

'A citizenry committed to doing the right thing for the environment and the most vulnerable can determine who will make it into parliament.' #cdnpoli https://cpj.ca/election-concernsClick To Tweet

If citizens demand accelerated, concrete actions towards clean renewable energy, politicians ignore such a demand at their own peril. Corporate businesses can threaten politicians with decreased funding and suggest a blow to the economy. But a citizenry committed to doing the right thing for the environment and the most vulnerable can determine who will make it into parliament.

Communities of faith can turn the tide of election results. A concentrated commitment to eradicating poverty, and securing rights for refugees will produce a society where only those dedicated to the same causes will ever be voted in. That is the kind of society an informed and compassionate citizenship can create.

Communities of faith can turn the tide of election results. A commitment to eradicating poverty and securing rights for refugees will produce a society where only those dedicated to the same causes will ever be voted in. @publicjustice #cdnpoli https://cpj.ca/election-concernsClick To Tweet

For this to happen, historical voting patterns must be replaced by clear concrete demands for the safety of a sustainable future. Apathy must be replaced by active concern. Disinterest must be replaced with engagement.

A citizenship that does not demand change from those seeking election cannot demand change from those elected.

So as citizens concerned about public justice – with an interest in how policy affects others as much as how it impacts us – our vote matters. It matters a lot. For our interest is not so much about who’s interests are considered, but those who are left out.

 

About the author

  • Willard Metzger serves as Executive Director at CPJ. Willard comes to this position after many years as an ordained pastor of Mennonite Church Canada. He served Mennonite congregations for 18 years before moving to World Vision Canada in 2005. After 5 years developing World Vision's brand new Church Relations program, Willard moved on to become the Executive Director of Mennonite Church Canada, where he spearheaded the consolidation of the denomination's five regions. Besides his career in the Mennonite Church and World Vision, Willard has been on the Executive of the Canadian Council of Churches.

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