Monday, November 21, 2011

AnglicanVote in AotNZ 2011: YouGov

As Anglican voters we have an opportunity to compare spokespeople, prophets, and leaders as they guide us about the state of the world, the issues which burn, and the prospects which face us.
Take, for instance, today and two announcements.

Paul Krugman tells us that the whole world economy could be destroyed, fairly soon. (Handy interactive graph on BBC here).

Meanwhile, also today, our Archbishops and Social Justice Commisioner have made a statement about our forthcoming election in Aotearoa NZ which is, summarised, Do not vote First Past the Post back into the electoral picture of how we decide governments.

These statements will guide us as to how to vote in the election booths this Saturday. One statement handily informs us of the need to be extra-wise about which government we choose. The other helps us to vote wisely in the accompanying referendum.

Here is what I think will happen as Anglicans vote on Saturday re government:

Most of our Pakeha clergy will not vote for National. I have scarcely ever heard an Anglican cleric openly admit to supporting National.

Most of our Pakeha laity will vote for National, especially in our country parishes.

Most of our Maori clergy and laity will vote for the Maori Party.

It happens that for the last three years National and Maori have been a fairly effective coalition. It also happens that Labour (the only alternative leading party to National re a different government) is showing itself to be confused by its own figures about how it would run the economy.

In the light of Prof. Krugman's wisdom, it is a no brainer that we should be voting for National or any party which will support them in government.* At least on the basis that National is less confused than Labour about what to do in the storm we are sailing into.

As you can see from the link above the fact of this no brainer decision is without supporting comment from our Archbishops.

Given that nearly every household in the land will be bitterly affected if the whole world economy turns to custard, it is surprising that the Archbishops have stuck their necks out on the voting systems we will vote on in the referendum, and not on the imminent human travail which we may experience if we miscast our votes in the election itself. They could speak to the dire prospects facing us without going so far as me here saying it is a no brainer to support a National-led government.

Incidentally, for a sermon I preached yesterday re the election, go to my other site.

Of course if Paul Krugman is wrong then you may as well vote as you like!! But what if he is right?

*In my view that means one could vote for National, ACT, United Future, Maori, Conservative, Green with a view to voting directly or indirectly for a National-led government (with only a remote chance of Conservatives gaining any seats, a slight chance of ACT gaining a seat or two, and a possibility that United Future will retain one electorate seat).


Andy S said...

Perhaps it is time to read and consider Psalm 143.

Perhaps if the Anglican Church stops preaching from the Gospels according to Marx, Gramsci, Alinsky and Betty Friedan and returns to those of the Apostles then just maybe people wouldn't be abandoning it in droves

Peter Carrell said...

Gramsci would agree with you, would he not Andy?

Preaching the gospels as taught by the apostles establishes the 'cultural hegemony' which is the necessary precondition for the triumph of Christianity as the rule of life (i.e. a new Christendom)!

Father Ron Smith said...

I don't think it pertinent for preachers to indicate which party their listeners should vote for. That, surely, should be the prerogative of the Voter in a proper democratic system. Only in this way - provided the system works properly - will the country get the government it wants.

All preachers can do, appropriately, is preach the Gospel of Christ as we best understand it.

Andy S said...

Put it this way Peter - will anybodies salvation be attained if we retain MMP or lost if we don't?

The only people for whom it really matters the very few chatterers who may improve their position in the feeding chain or loose it depending on the outcome - for you, your children, me and mine along with the schizophrenic woman who lives in a scuzzy boarding house who I see most days picking up cigarette butts in the street - it's nothing

Will any politician current or future return mankind to the Garden of Eden? You and I know that's not going to happen.

Saving souls, transforming people by turning their eyes to God is the Church's mission - surely.

And transformed people will make the world a nicer place to live in - not which assets the Government owns or doesn't own or whether or not there is GST on vegetables - all that is just ephemeral blather.

The Bishops should speak out about policies that could lead people into eternal damnation not banalities.

John Key is peddling snake oil and so is Phil Goff - does petrol with Shells additive burn cleaner than Petrol with Mobil's additive?

You might hope that Bishops would have more substantial things to say than PR people through politician's mouths - but no.

I suggested Psalm 143 before but I meant to type Psalm 146

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andy: Yes (salvation matter), No (I think politics affects our lives more than that), and Ps 146 makes more sense than Ps 143 re the situation!

Hi Ron: Yes, ordinarily, wouldn't want to make suggestions re voting: but the argument here is we face an extraordinary situation (which no one is talking about very much).

hogster said...

Maybe clergy think with their hearts and less with their heads.

I don't care people knowing which way I vote as tend to do it according to the big picture.

Sometimes it a case of the lesser of two evils. Neither L or N are what I would call righteous, but N may not enter us so dangerously into what will probably be a global economic meltdown, itself caused by greed and a non biblical worldview.

Andy S said...

I think politics affects our lives more than that

It does it reflects the cares and concerns of the elite.

Thus for example, the comfortable safe in their houses are irritated by the youthful exuberance of young men in noisy cars.

It tickles their fancy that the last Government in their infinite wisdom passed a law allowing the authorities to seize and destroy said vehicles.

Meanwhile kids continue to be beaten to death, the marginal continue in their lives of despair and degradation for the most part unseen by the comfortable in their cosy homes content now that their tranquility is less often broken by the vroooom vrooom of young men letting off steam.

Anonymous said...


"Perhaps if the Anglican Church stops preaching from the Gospels according to Marx, Gramsci, Alinsky and Betty Friedan"

We are in total agreement. This has been a problem in the mainline denominations for decades now, and it was the reason I left the Anglican church after the 911 terrorist attacks. I could not stomach the blatant left wing propaganda that I kept hearing in sermons.

For various reasons I have decided to come back to the Anglican fold, but this issue is one I intend to challenge at every opportunity.


Not a huge fan of Krugman as an economist, but he is right that we are in for volatile times and I agree with you that we need fiscal restraint and stability in the coming years.

Father Ron Smith said...

I do care about economic stability in this fragile world situation. What if selling some of our assets actually means we pay less interest on what must be an otherwise big-borrowing environment? We would still have control of the majority decisions as to disposition.

Care for the poor and needy can only come from less borrowing - just to keep things going. And, of course, increased productivity; which will only come from properly motivated and educated youngsters.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later, and I suspect sooner, the debt chickens will come home to roost. That is certainly happenning in Greece and indeed throughout Europe. I saw a flow chart recently that showed which countries were borrowing from which. Absurdly, almost every major developed economy was both borrowing and lending.

This cannot go on forever.

At some point we will be forced to take a serious look at the whole model of the modern social democratic welfare state. It has, I suggest, been an abysmal failure and hugely destructive to moral virture, self reliance, personal responsibility, and the family, the most basic and important unit of society.

The writer Robert Heinlein once said that if you give people democracy they will only vote themselves bread and circuses. He was I believe right, and Greece is the perfect example of that.

The problem is not democracy per se, but our addiction to an ever expanding welfare state, which in New Zealand, thanks to "working for familes", an Orwellian term if there ever was one, now grants benifits to the middle classes.

Underlying all of this is I believe the issue of power and control. The more the State expands, and the more people who are dependent upon it, the more it can control peoples lives. Modern liberalism, far from granting genuine liberty, is a virulently totalitarian ideology, based on the belief that people who consider themselves wiser and more enlightened than the rest of us, believe in a divine right to rule and to control every aspect of society and of other peoples lives.

The Labour Party does not even bother to hide this belief anymore.

Helen Clark was once asked what the limits of government power should be and she responded "whatever the government decides they are".

Productivity will rise when business is free of the shackles of taxation, regulation and massive state control and market interference that hamper it at every turn. The roots of the economic crisis in the USA go back to the 1990's when the Democrats forced lending companies to give generous housing loans to those with bad credit ratings. Their reason for doing so was that they considered it descrimination against the poor, and especially against blacks, for lending institutions to take credit ratings into account.

This is what makes the "occupy" movement so absurd. It is not corporate greed that is the problem, but the very welfare State they want to expand.

Genuine liberty will only be attained when people are free from the depredations of a coercive, manipulative and self-serving welfare State.

Father Ron Smith said...

Shawn, I'm proud to live in a country that has a 'Welfare State' - simply because the cause of the poor and disenfranchised is, inescapably, at the heart of the Christian Gospel.

How that is managed is the real issue. The encouragement of everyone to work if they can is important. However, there are those who fall between the gaps, who need not only encouragement but practical help.

And, of course, trade training is a useful way of helping both the local economy and the skilled person. I speak as one who, during the war in the U.K. was helped out of endemic poverty by managing on a low wage (at the expense of my family) in order to work at a 5-year trade apprenticeship - together with the acquisition of the attendant education skills. Poorly paid at the beginning, but rewarded later.

Anonymous said...


that the genuinely poor need help is not at issue. As you say, its how that is managed. I believe that in the natural order the family and especially the Church should be the primary source of welfare. Jesus told us to feed and clothe the poor, not to demand that the State do it, nor did Jesus tell us to rob our neighbours in order to help the poor.

I'm not proud to live in a country in which a coercive State robs people at gunpoint and throws vast sums of money at a system which causes more problems than it solves. In practice State welfare has entrenched the poor in inter-genrational welfare dependency, created thousands of fatherless families in which the sons go on to a life of crime and gangs, cretaed an environment which rewards immoral lifestyles, and radically expanded the power and control of the State.

Nor do I believe any of this was an accident. I think the real motivation for the creation of the welfare state was to create a permanent pool of "victims" so the Left milk them for votes at every election. In short, the welfare state is a vote buying scam, and one that has been detrimental both to the poor and to the liberty of all Kiwis.

Father Ron Smith said...

Shawn, when you eventually leave Saint John's College; I wonder where you're going to choose to live and have the ministry for which you may - at some expense to the Church - be presently IN TRAINING?

There is a need, of course, in many mission fields that would probably be able to accommodate your rooted mistrust of social welfare schemes. Don't expect a big fat salary, but the spiritual rewards will be great. And the local Church will probably agree with you on many of your conservative beliefs - say Nigeria or Uganda.