As politicians swing into election mode the Catholic Bishops of Australia are encouraging people not to vote according to self-interest but with a view to the common good. In their pastoral letter they draw attention to a range of issues such as respect for life, marriage and the family, child protection, poverty, health and education. The needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, refugees and asylum seekers are highlighted.
Watch the video here:
Family First Federal Chairman and SA Senate Candidate Bob Day has read the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) ‘Vote for the Common Good’ and says,
“As well as appearing in “shopping centres, high-vis vests and hard hats” all politicians claim to represent all that’s good in the world!
This is very confusing. Are these the same people who just weeks ago were tearing each other apart?
The scripture says, “By their fruit you will know them . . . a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (Matt 7:16 -18).
The church’s ‘Vote for the Common Good’ is an admirable wish list and is eminently achievable if our political leaders set their minds to it.
So how to know their minds? A good way is through parliamentary conscience votes.
How would a candidate vote on key issues? How did the Member vote last time? “By their fruit you will know them.”
Good point. Checking the voting record of candidates is another way in which we can inform ourselves before voting. Not that we should give up trying to influence how a politician’s voting record unfolds in the future …
This pastoral letter is excellent and exactly what a lot of Catholics are looking for in terms of Church leaders offering insight and the wisdom of tradition and scripture applied to contemporary situations. There are a number of good suggestions in the letter is there an online petition or way that we can add our voice to these concerns and suggestions letting politicians know that these are important considerations for voting Catholics
I’m glad you find it useful. Actually, the Australian Bishops have been doing this at election time for a number of years. I don’t know of a petition. How about starting one?