Editorial: It’s Election Time!

The 2017 election season is upon us – the time when our society splinters into partisan fortresses, or shakes its head apathetically.

This year is already interesting in that there seems to be a free roller-coast ride on offer each day, and parliament hasn’t yet adjourned for the campaign.

In Candour we are encouraging a conversation about what people think is important in the 2017 election season.  While we are wanting to encourage good discussion rather than partisan rants, we do welcome your submissions.

What issues are pushing your buttons?  There are plenty to go around: housing, climate change, poverty, water, health (especially mental health), social policy, economic philosophy, equal pay, fair pay, the balance between intensive agriculture and maintaining clean waterways, immigration, education.  It is a right old pick’n’mix!

We also seem to be in a season where personality can dominate policy.  Globally we’ve observed the rise of the maverick and the demise of the collective.  The voters seem to swing wider than ever before.  Mass popularity seems to be swiftly followed by mass criticism… some of it quite justifiable, some of it incredibly fickle.  We’re not immune here.  John Key thrived on a President-like populist approach.  Winston Peters seems to cultivate it just in time every three years. Jacinda Ardern’s rise has been as meteoric as Emmanuel Macron’s in France.  But will it last more than a few weeks?

Poll results can change by significant percentiles in no time at all leaving leadership structures in tatters.  Oh my, what times we live in!

So what have you got to say?

Here are a few discussion starters that might encourage you to contribute:

How do you handle preaching in the election season?  Do you have a partisan filter – is it based on careful planning or fear of your congregation?

How do you find addressing social issues in your congregation?  Have some things worked?  Have some attempts come to grief?

Is the significant proportion of electoral indifference reflected in our churches?

In what ways do we dance delicately around the church and state separation? Is it appropriate to be so careful?

You will have other thoughts – please feel welcome to submit them to Candour, martin(at)villagechurch.nz

2 thoughts on “Editorial: It’s Election Time!

  1. I plan to keep on preaching the Kingdom of God. What more can i do without showing my personal biases which God is continually challenging me on?

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  2. I hosted a study group using the Justice in Action resource created jointly by the PCANZ and Presbyterian Support through PresCare. Easy to get these from the national office. The three topics addressed are child poverty, family violence and the church’s role in social transformation. It got people focused and informed. Glad I roused the energy to do it!

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