By: Murray Norman
The NSW State Election is on this Saturday 23rd of March. It’s important as community members that we make it a priority in our weekend – to pray, consider and vote.
The right to vote is a precious gift. We are 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. Your vote is important, a chance to 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 personal decision.
Vote Above The Line to Show Your Preference
It is important to vote above the line and number your preferences. In New South Wales elections 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 that 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. Take the time to find out what the parties and candidates you are considering voting for believe and what their priorities are.
How Does it All Work?
In NSW we vote for two houses: the Lower House, which is where the government is formed. Currently we have a “Coalition” government.
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There are 4 possible outcomes of our election on Saturday:
- A Coalition Government
- A Liberal Government
- A Labor Government
- A Minority Government (which is when the Independent Parties join with either Labor or Liberal to form the government)
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 two or three other preferences (placing the appropriate numbers beside the additional parties/candidates you feel would be suitable representatives). Choosing three or four 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 they feel would best represent their values, while reviewing important matters to the future of our state and nation. At this level it is essential to select candidates with the values you cherish.
“Choosing three or four options gives the best chance of your vote making a difference for those candidates or parties who share your values.”
Again, if you choose at least four candidates/parties and number your preferences, that would give the best chance of your vote making a difference for those parties who share your values.
Some Christian Voting Guides
If you are particularly looking for guides on voting in accordance with your Christian values, here are some links to find out more:
These are helpful in understanding the candidates, the parties and the current issues. It is also helpful to look at the various websites of each party.
Make Your Choice an Informed Choice
Each of us is responsible for making an informed decision. Therefore it’s important to consider:
- The track record of a candidate you’re considering voting for, and their party – this would include what they have promised in the past and what they have actually done.
- The promises the candidate and party are currently making.
- The policy position of the party on issues you believe are important.
Most importantly, both pre- and post- our NSW state elections, please keep our nation’s leaders and politicians in your prayers. The decisions they make impact the future of our nation and the world around us. Let’s believe for God-honouring leaders who will make decisions that honour God and create positive outcomes for those they represent.
Pray – for wisdom as you cast your vote
Consider – the candidates and parties: the issues at stake and the values they represent
Vote – this is a cherished privilege we have as Australians
About the Author: Murray Norman is CEO of Christian SRE and has a legal and accounting background. Murray is passionate about social values and faith formation in improving the direction of society.