Politics, Elections and Perspective

The big picture is needed when considering political wins and losses:

Things like politics and elections are very important of course. But they are not everything. And they come and go. Anyone who has a fairly strong political and ideological point of view will know that the norm is this: you will get some good results and some bad results. You win some and you lose some – that is how it works.

Sometimes your favourite candidate wins, or your preferred political party gets in, or your desired bit of legislation goes through. But not always. So there are highs and lows as the political process ebbs and flows over the years. That is how it tends to work.

So looking at the short-term can be quite misleading. Your preferred party may have just won big in an election, but in a few short years it could get turfed out. This happens time and time again. So any rejoicing when the ‘good guys’ win will always be short-lived. But so too any sorrow when the ‘bad guys’ win.

Last night I did what many who are concerned about the state of affairs in this nation did: I watched the Queensland election results online and on television. It soon became apparent that it was not going the way many of us wanted it to. So after just an hour or so I posted this on the social media:

“Hmm, I think I am in the wrong hemisphere! With the bulk of Kiwis seemingly in love with Ardern, the bulk of Victorians seemingly in love with Andrews, and the bulk of Queenslanders seemingly in love with Palaszczuk, something is wrong – really wrong! It might be time to go back to America!”

Too many losses in a row have been a bit hard to take. Sure, there were a few bright spots from last night, such as Jackie Trad losing her seat. But all up it was quite a disappointing evening. About the only cheer I had last night was when I was driving in Melbourne and I saw a car go by with a Trump flag being proudly displayed!

But conservative losses come and go – as do their victories. Recall that it was not all that long ago when the left in Queensland was dealt a massive blow, with Labor losing 44 of its 51 seats in the 2012 electoral wipe-out. So things change. They always do.

And consider some of our recent wins. Who would have guessed that Trump would win in the US in 2016, or Brexit would pass in the same year, or that the Tories would win in the UK in 2019, or that Morrison and the Libs in Australia would have a miracle win in 2019?

As I say, sometimes we win some of the contest along the way. Of late it seems that we are losing a few. And what will really make or break things will be the results of Tuesday’s American elections. But articles on that will appear next week, so stay tuned.

Perspective and the big picture

Let me throw a sporting parallel into the mix here. And let me again speak to my own personal preferences. If things are not depressing enough – at least in the short term – with the recent political situations and electoral outcomes mentioned above, it did not help when a week ago my fav footy team lost in the Grand Final!

Talk about one loss after another: losses in NZ, the ACT, and now Queensland, all in just a few weeks. If you are a conservative who has had the misfortune of having to live in the lockdown lunacy of Dictator Dan, and seen those recent election results, and are a Geelong Cats fan to boot, you would have had one rough ride of late.

But let me discuss this issue of sporting competitions. If you have a team you really like, or a player you strongly support, when they play you are often on the edge of your seat, riding on an emotional rollercoaster. You will be jubilant over every point won, every run scored, or every goal kicked by your side.

But every time the other guys get the points or the runs on the board, it can be quite painful indeed. And if it is a tight contest, one that goes right down to the wire, you will likely be an emotional mess by the time it is all over. That is how it is when you are sitting through a live sporting contest that you are quite passionate about.

But things are remarkably different if you happen to be watching a recording or replay of the very same game or match – after the fact. You KNOW absolutely how the game will end or who will win. As a result, all the emotional upheaval of watching a contest live tends to disappear. That is because the end is known and it is certain.

No matter how far behind your side might be, if you know they win in the end, that really makes a difference. You can sit back and relax and enjoy the game with that knowledge in mind. It does not matter if everything looks bleak for a while. If you know the outcome, you can get through it all so much easier.

Can I suggest that for the Christian we have the same situation when it comes to life in general, and to politics, elections, the culture wars, and so on. When we are in the thick of things (Who will win the election? Will that bill be passed?), it can all be rather unnerving and worrying.

But the Christian knows the ultimate end of all things. He KNOWS full well that at the end, his side wins. No matter how many setbacks, defeats, and seeming failures along the way, he has the certain knowledge that God does indeed finally and fully triumph, and all the evil in the world will one day come to an end.

As such, the journey along the way becomes much more bearable. Sure, it is disappointing as all get out when an important election is lost, or a terrible bit of legislation is passed. And that is because really bad things can happen with evil rulers or ungodly legislation.

But knowing that this is only temporary and will not last forever certainly helps a lot. So too does the knowledge that a perfectly just judge will one day judge all things, with every wrong dealt with and every good acknowledged. We are not left without hope. We are not left in despair.

So yes, we engage in the battles of life: the political, the cultural, the social, the ideological, the spiritual, etc. And along the way we will win some and we will lose some. But we know the final outcome. And that makes all the difference. Thus we persevere, we keep fighting, and we do not give up.

Indeed, it is only in the light of eternity that the present world makes any sense; that the trials and tribulation we now experience are bearable; and the disappointments and losses we now face can be endured. So if recent political or cultural matters have not gone the way you would like, keep this in mind.

And to speak about keeping our eyes on eternity is not to embrace a form of defeatism or escapism about this life. Having the perspective of eternity means we will work all the harder for what is good and what is right. As C. S. Lewis put it: “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.”

Or as Joni Eareckson Tada rightly wrote:

When a Christian realizes his citizenship is in heaven, he begins acting as a responsible citizen of earth. He invests wisely in relationships because he knows they’re eternal. His conversations, goals and motives become pure and honest because he realizes these will have a bearing on everlasting reward. …He gives generously of time, money, and talent because he’s laying up treasure for eternity. He spreads the good news of Christ because he longs to fill heaven’s ranks with his friends and neighbors. All this serves the pilgrim well not only in heaven, but on earth; for it serves everyone around him.

So we keep on working. We keep on praying. We keep on hoping. And we dare not give up, despite all the temporary setbacks, reversals and defeats.

[1418 words]

22 Replies to “Politics, Elections and Perspective”

  1. Such an encouraging article Bill.
    Thank you.
    May God continue to bless you.

  2. It didn’t help that ScoMo and Frydenberg pretty much paid for Pallachooks re-election.
    ScoMo and Frydenberg are pretty much subsidising our states stupid economic policies and so there are no consequence for them in the minds of the electorate.
    Further, love him or hate him, until the conservative side of politics starts acting like Trump, and quits behaving “labor-lite” and bowing before the mainstream media, they’re gonna be in permanent opposition.. the LNP needs fighters like Jeff Kennett* and to quit catering to the whims of the left if they ever have a hope of winning again.
    Having said that, even if they get in, when was the last time an LNP state government repealed bad legislation from the left?

    *I’m not a huge fan of Kennett’s policy positions, my point is about political strategy.

  3. Glad you have a positive attitude Bill even though the elections of ACT, NZ and Qld plus a football team or two haven’t been too promising, not to mention the lockdowns Victorians have been subjected to, but the big one is coming and I don’t think God will let us down on 3rd November when the world will see whether good or subtle evil will win.

  4. Thanks Bill. This puts things in perspective for us. In church this morning we sang, ‘Every knee will bow before the Lion and the Lamb.’ Some will bow willingly, some not. But all will bow. The Premier was quoted in one of the newspapers yesterday as holding ‘deep Christian values.’ I encouraged my people to pray that those values would come to the surface.

  5. Dear Bill,
    Once again you place a sparkle in a candle that had dimmed. Your readers are a blessing as well, Bill.
    Thank you Suzanna Balfour for sharing the post you highlighted.
    We shall all pray ‘ may God continue to bless America’
    God bless you all
    Mark Bryant

  6. While POTUS elections give only two practical alternatives, apart from doing nothing, in Australia we at least have preferential voting.

    Preferential voting is a far better system but it requires voters to be better informed &/or better guided. That requires voter education.

    The media, the electoral commissions, and the bigger parties have shown no interest in educating voters that they risk watering down the value of their vote if they don’t use the only strategy that prevents their vote from “fragmenting” and/or “exhausting”.

    This Best Strategy Voting has 3 simple rules:

    1. Even if your favourite big party is nominally conservative, number ALL good SMALL Parties or Candidates FIRST, in your order of preference. This rule strengthens the conservative vote and reduces fragmentation where, for example, if there are 3 good small party conservative candidates, unless conservative voters include all 3 candidates in their 1-3 preference numbers, before preferencing a Big party, their votes ‘fragment’ and it is more likely that none of the three will be elected.

    2. Continue numbering with your favourite BIG ‘conservative’ party or Candidate. This does NOT disadvantage the Big Party because even if the best of the three small party Candidates is elected rather than a big party candidate. That result will give that new Member more conservative influence than the Big Party candidate would have had because they do not owe allegiance to the Big party if others in the big party promote ‘progressive’ ideas, yet the Small Party Candidate will support the ‘conservative’ party in all it’s conservative policies.

    3. Continue the numbering to number ALL remaining boxes numbering the worst last, this ensures that if no conservatives are elected, at least it helps elect the best of the worst.

    For more information on Best Strategy Voting, and for how-to-vote guidance in future elections, see https://tinyurl.com/ElectoralReformOz.

  7. Hi Bill, Great article and very encouraging. I have lived in Queensland all my life and identify exactly with what you said. In this latest election my wife and I worked with the Cherish Life foundation by letterboxing leaflets about Qld Labor’s abortion legislation and getting up signage at some polling booths in Central Qld. We put some energy into this but not as much as some folks and were somewhat disappointed in the outcome for the reasons you explained. It made me think about the justice of some political parties ruling etc and not being held to account until I remembered a true story related by an American country pastor I once heard in response to some questions put to him by a local wheat farmer in his district who was an atheist. The story went like this – the farmer said to the pastor : ‘Well Pastor, I don’t give or go to church on Sunday, I planted my wheat crops on Sundays, I fertilized my crops on various days including Sundays and I reaped my crops on Sundays. Now it’s September and I have the biggest harvest in this county – how do you account for that? The pastor replied ‘ God doesn’t settle accounts in September ”

    Straight after I thought of this I opened the Bible and looked straight at a verse – Daniel 7:10 which ends with ‘the judgement was set and the books were opened.’ Like you said, He’s still on the throne and wins overall.
    Thanks for your words of encouragement and let us all fight the good fight of faith -amen.

    David West

  8. Thanks Bill for that right perspective – eyes set on eternity!
    Many Kiwi’s are very laid back about elections even politically naive, however despite the NZ Election results not all are enamored with the NZ PM!
    In 2023 it will be a different result, because now Kiwi’s will see the agenda of the PM play out!

  9. Yes I had a really bad day on Saturday. LNP frankly not really in the hunt. Even 2 Gold Coast seats where I live are “in doubt” though I think we will hold on. Blame goes back to Campbell Newman. To top it off the Wallabies were thrashed by the All Blacks (again). A Trump victory on Wed our time would make up for it all.

  10. Thanks Bill, I needed that. I guess it is are case of we lost some battles but we will not lose the war, Praise be to our Lord!
    I watched this last night and it blessed and encouraged me mightily. It does run for are while, so put some good time aside with are cupper in your hand and stick it through to the end, it is well worth it. May it bless you too.

  11. Thanks guys. There are various reasons for the Queensland result. One was many older folks left Pauline Hanson and went with Labor. Fear of the Rona seems to have been a major reason. They actually believed the alarmism of Palaszczuk and that she would somehow keep them safe. Yet now she is pushing euthanasia big time. These folks will NOT be kept safe if that goes ahead. IDJUTS!!

  12. Bill. Thanks for the article. I felt the same despair as you did. When I went to church in grief reluctantly but very soon my thoughts and heart were lifted to the heavenlies and I was able to praise God for who He is and what He has done. After end of service I was able to minister to three different people and encourage them.

    Concerning the strategy regarding minor parties – it is hard to know what minor parties will actually do. For example One Nation split their preferences. They had an excellent pro-life policy statement but it really didn’t show in the way they acted. Many people are deceived by this. Similarly with IMOP.

    More education is certainly needed. But people are just not interested at present.

  13. What if what we are seeing is god’s judgement. For instance look at the USA, just 10 months ago things seemed like they could not get better, historical Economic recovery, lowest unemployment, rise in industry and earnings were increasing especially for the lower and middle classes. And now? Many great theologians (such as Calvin) point out that god often judges a nation by the govt they end up with. China and Russian are routing for the left and if the left loses they will riot and create great damage as they have already and that damage is mostly to minority businesses. And there is much to judge USA, their infanticide practices, the evangelical churches departure from anything resembling some form of orthodoxy, etc..

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