Ours is an age of nation-building, pioneering a newly born Republic, searching for new standards and new frontiers. In such a situation, who could adopt worse attitude than to stand on the sidelines, unconcerned and uncommitted. In the field of sport with over-specialisation and massive media coverage, large segments of the population are content to remain passive spectators. In Church, many still claim the privilege of being a voiceless, if not a spineless member of the congregation.
Politics concerns the business of living and the kind of society we want to build for ourselves and future generations. This must have a vital influence on our growth as citizens, as christians, as a nation. Every christian must be politically involved and committed to the development of the society in which he lives.
He must desire the best form of government for his country and the best possible use of its resources while respecting basic human rights. He has a civic duty to vote according to his conscience at the General Elections.
We should not be victims of lame reasoning which tells us that one party is as good as another or that all are equally corrupt, so it doesn’t really matter. It does not matter that someone is positively mandated by a majority as well as the country as a whole and must feel the support or the wrath of his people by his performance after the elections. Victories by default are indeed hollow.
The Church has no particular axe to grind nor any favourite horse in the Elections Race. In voting, a Christian should satisfy himself on two counts—firstly that the person for whom he votes is a man of political integrity who will honour his promises and work for the good of the country; and secondly, that the avowed manifesto of the party he supports contains nothing that would compromise his conscience as a Christian or a loyal citizen.
We hope and pray that these Elections will provide our country with the strong and inspired leadership we need at this time, as well as a vibrant Opposition that will provide a foil to immature decisions or the excessive use of power.
This can only be achieved if we shake off the spectre of spectator politics and exercise our democratic voting rights.
We again appeal to all, in the pithy slogan adopter by the inter-Religious Organisation—VOTE AS YOU PLEASE. BUT PLEASE VOTE!
CATHOLIC NEWS EDITORIAL SUNDAY 12,1976