Vote Intelligently

Join the Coffee Party Movement

Photo by Join the Coffee Party Movement

It’s been a long election campaign and I’m glad it’s nearly over. Some of us may have lost patience with all the political rhetoric. Some of us may have enjoyed the entire ride. Regardless of how we are feeling, in Canada we can cast our ballot without fear of violence. We are truly safe. With this blessing comes a big responsibility. There are at least two things we need to remember. “The right to vote is precious.” And “We need to vote intelligently.”

In his prize winning novel, “Best Laid Plans”, Canadian Author Terry Fallis used humour to illustrate our propensity as Canadians to vote party, regardless of who is running either for prime minister or local MP. He made the point that it is important to listen, observe and think about each candidate and party.

How do we do that? A few weeks ago, some BC students launched a website that helps us see when party leaders are stretching the truth and taking the words of their competitors out of context. We all know that can happen in the advertising industry as well. Claims made for a company’s product can be grossly exaggerated. Even scientific studies can be manipulated to persuade the casual observer a particular product is not good for us.

It’s not just politicians that can pull words out of context. We have to be careful when we quote the Bible as well. The better you know the Bible, the greater the temptation to twist its words to support your position. For example, there are places in the Bible that, when taken out of context sound, like its writers are saying it’s ok to beat your child, or that women shouldn’t be ministers or priests. I sometimes think that if I wanted to I could find a verse in the Bible to support anything. In Canada we can read the Bible without fear of violence, therefore, It’s important for us to read the Bible with intelligence, to remember it’s a book about God’s love for God’s creation.

For the next few days, take the time to really think about the issues in this election campaign. Sift through the rhetoric and back stabbing, and look at the ideals and goals of the politicians. Prepare yourself to vote intelligently. Do the same with the Bible. Take advantage of your right to read this precious book. Do the research. Listen carefully

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