Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Opportunity knocks but will we take it

Australians have voted and the result is a blow for party politics, of all persuasions.  It matters not whether you are Liberal, Labour, Green or Australia First because as far as I am concerned the vote tells me that Australians do not want party politics.  This blow for what appears to be the norm in society is a wake up call and opportunity for the country.  It tells me that politics based on party lines is a dead duck in the water as all the major parties are offering the same old same old without thinking on a more holistic and open basis.

The opportunity that Australia has been given is for their leaders, political and other, to actually think more broadly and to have a useful conversation with each other.  Given that the political divide is almost 50:50, at the time of writing, that tells me that it is time for the two major parties to actually sit down and listen to each other.  In doing so they will probably find that there is room for compromise in each others policies to form a comprehensive plan that caters for everyone.  This is a win win situation for the country.  However, knowing our political system and how people see themselves I can see that the next few years are going to be a debacle of note as each fights for the power to rule and denigrating politics.  The opportunity that presents itself at this time is an opportunity to think beyond the immediate party line.

If this opportunity is not taken what does it tell us about ourselves and those who say they wish to lead the country into a better place.  I suspect that it highlights our fears, a fear to embrace something that is entirely new, a fear of failure and a fear that the 'leader' will lose power and respect.  For myself I think I would be happier with someone who is able to give away power rather than someone who wishes to retain power.  I would respect a leader who actually listens and changes their thinking after receiving a different opinion.  The question is not whether this policy or that is better, the question is whether our leaders are up to the challenge of listening to each other and formulating something new for the country that will reaffirm their belief in assisting others rather than there own pockets.  An affirmation that Australia is looking for justice in the world not blind obedience to doctrine

Balanced authority or imbalanced power?

Are we as Christians able to step up into the public square again and challenge those who would lead to a leadership that is encompassing rather than denigrating?  Over the past few years we have only had a politics of denigration not a politics of inclusiveness.  We have had poorly mouthed leaders who are unwilling to listen to other points of view.  Assistance is thought of only as a political stepping stone to power, offers of finance are only seen as bribes to obtain votes or sway independent thinkers to the party line.  Christians should be people who stand up to such tyranny rather than bow their heads in acceptance.  The faith based voice should be loud and clear in this moment proclaiming a time for justice to prevail.  Will we have the courage to undertake this?  I doubt it, simply because the prediction of the election is for a majority to one party and we will all wait on the sidelines to see what will happen.

Yet the challenge still remains even if a single party eventually wins.  The closeness of the result and the ambiguity that has been brought to the fore, with the tight count, reveals our trepidation about uncertainty.  The disillusionment in both political camps only highlights the need to re-think, to grasp this opportunity and forge a new path for the political system.  Is there someone out there within the political system who could rise to the challenge? or will we languish along with the rest of the world in mediocrity? or am I looking for an ideal which we will never achieve with our inability to shake off the yoke of tradition and take up the yoke of Christ?

No comments: