Opinion  |  

Vote for what you value. Make it count

Murray Norman offers quick tips for NSW election this Saturday

As Christians the right to vote is precious and a gift from God. We are truly blessed to live in a nation that respects the democratic process – a free country where we are safe to cast our vote with fair election processes.

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If you live in New South Wales, don’t forget to vote this Saturday March 23 in the State Election. Make it a priority in your weekend – as you pray, consider and vote.

Your vote is important. Make your preferences known.

As you may or may not be aware, the voting process in New South Wales is different from voting in other states and in federal elections. The information below is intended to give you clarity around the process as you prayerfully consider your individual decisions.

Make your vote count

It is important to vote above the line and number your preferences. In New South Wales, the party cannot allocate your preferences; they only give you a guideline to the way they want you to vote. Wherever you put your numbers is the way your vote will go, so this makes it imperative that you vote for the parties and candidates you would like to have as your elected representatives – that represent your values.

Personally, I will be choosing those parties and candidates that have a strong track record of standing up for and protecting causes I believe in such as freedom of religion, affordable housing, Special Religious Education and the protection and care of the most vulnerable in our society.

I recommend taking the time to find out what the parties and candidates you are considering voting for believe and what their priorities are.

Currently, NSW has a “Coalition” government. There are four possible outcomes of Saturday’s election:

1)    A Coalition Government

2)    A Liberal Government

3)    A Labor Government

4)    A Minority Government (which is when the Independent Parties join with either Labor or Liberal to form the government)

Vote for what you value

In NSW, people vote for two houses, the Lower House, which is where the government is formed, and the Upper House.

When you cast your vote for the Lower House, it is important that you number your preferences, putting a number 1 beside the person/party you are voting for.

In order for the values you cherish to be best represented, it would be beneficial to select 2 or 3 other preferences (placing the appropriate numbers beside the additional parties/candidates you feel would be suitable representatives). Choosing 3 or 4 options gives the best chance of your vote making a difference for those candidates or parties who share your values.

The Upper House is the ‘house of review’. Everyone across the state votes for the parties and candidates that they feel would best represent their values, and who also will review important matters to the future of our state (and, possibly, the nation).

At this level, it is essential to select candidates with the values you cherish. Again, if you choose at least four candidates/parties and number your preferences, that gives the best chance of your vote making a difference for those parties who share your values.

Here are some links to voting guides:

These sites are helpful for understanding the candidates, the parties and the current issues in NSW. It is also helpful to look at the various websites that each party has.

Pray, consider, vote

Each of us is responsible for making an informed decision. If you are voting in NSW this weekend, please consider:

  • The track record of the candidate and the party – this includes what they have promised in the past and what they have actually done
  • The promises each candidate and party are currently making
  • The policy position of the party on issues you believe are important

Most importantly, both before and after our NSW state elections, please keep our nations leaders and politicians in your prayers.

The decisions they make impact the future of our state, nation and the world around us. Let’s pray for leaders who will make decisions which honour God and create positive outcomes for those they represent.

Pray: For wisdom as you cast your vote.

Consider: Candidates and parties – the issues at stake and the values they represent.

Vote: This is a cherished privilege we have as Australians.

Murray Norman is the CEO of Christian SRE 

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