I posted an update on Facebook this morning, and I wanted to elaborate a bit more, but only for those who care to read it and engage with it well.
Here's the original post:
I will vote today. And I will vote every time I am called upon to do so.
I have no party allegiance, I couldn't tell you who my parents and grandparents voted for, and no-one is guaranteed my support.
I have made, and will continue to make my decisions based on my understanding of what is presented before me.
If you want to win my vote (and I am sure it will also win you the vote of countless others) here are the simple steps you need to follow:
1. Act Justly;
2. Love Mercy;
3. Walk Humbly;
4. Dream big, for everyone;
5. Act with integrity: Hold your hands up when you make mistakes. Sell yourself to me on who you are and what you believe, build yourself and your manifesto up, rather than thinking you have to destroy what others put on the table. Stand for things you can look back on in later years and say "I did good".
It sounds a lot to ask in today's political world, but is it really?
Could you be the one brave enough to do it and buck the trend?
That'd inspire me.
That'd inspire others.
That'd change things.
And my elaboration...
A friend of mine was standing in the election today, and he asked a valid question:
Love this, but do you look for this from the party leader, or your local MP?
Having mulled it over, it's not a question I should have to answer. I want people at every level of government to fulfil this criteria; in my local councils, representing my constituency in Westminster, being the face of the Nation in the House of Commons, and representing what is still one of the most powerful and influential players in global politics round the global tables for the sake of humanity.
There are those who get a hard time because of the face of their party; those who are lumped in with the crowd because their party support in majority a more questionable policy in spite of voting in a more discerning way; those who stand for what politics should be about rather than what it has become about.
The problem is that those people don't tend to make it to the top as a rule, and especially seem not to be represented and celebrated as the norm. And even when there are people like this at my local level, how much are they already tarred in my mind by the face of their party and therefore have a harder time of convincing me that they deserve my vote?
I know people who are in it for the right reasons, who are fighting the best causes, who seek to do it right. I see passion in parliament that comes from the back benchers standing up for their constituents, for the poor and the marginalised, for the rights of people, for education, employment, empowerment, and the many rather than the few with the monopoly.
How exciting would it be to see more people in politics like that?
How proud would we be to say "this is my country, and these are my leaders" if all our leaders had these characteristics?
Should anyone read this who feels they can tick all the boxes above, then please continue to work hard, continue to represent well, do not be discouraged by the performances of others in your party at whatever level, and please keep trying to change the system from within. Stay in touch with the real world, know the people you serve and honour the privilege of the office you hold or seek to hold.
Maybe one day I'll feel confident in my vote for real people with real integrity...
Remarcable is one man blogging about Youth Work, Theology, Family, Life and those other random things that come to mind.