Federal Election 2019: Working to Build a Better Society

Source: catholicconscience.org

Are you tired of election campaigns? I am thankful that I live in a nation that has a limited time for a campaign. That being said, it’s unfortunate that this country is slowing heading the way of nations that seem to be in perpetual campaign mode. The pollsters continue to tell us how many Canadians are still undecided.

Really? Even on election day? I’ve known since day one which candidate in my riding would get my vote. I voted in the advance poll. I have no need of further data.

Let me offer two resources that help to reflect on issues. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the 2019 Federal Election Guide. You can find it at https://www.cccb.ca/site/images/stories/pdf/2019_Federal_Election_Guide.pdf The CCCB starts by stressing the right and responsibility of voting.

Election campaigns are an opportunity for us to raise awareness about Christian values, views, and concerns. A strong theme in the guide is about working to build a better society. Among the values that are called forth is a concern for the weakest among us.

The CCCB points out that, “a more just society is also built when we live in solidarity and dialogue with different social partners, including Indigenous Peoples, as well as by supporting families and ensuring adequate funding for education, healthcare, housing, and the prevention and treatment of addictions.” We are encouraged to make informed and discerned judgments about the options available in an election.

The CCCB concludes by stating, “All are called to take an active part in morally shaping the societies we inhabit and, Christians in particular, to defend the rights of those who are most vulnerable.”

Any list of the vulnerable in Canada must include indigenous peoples. For that reason, it’s good to pay attention to the election guide prepared by the Assembly of First Nations. That document is at: http://www.afn.ca/2019-federal-election/. The AFN calls their campaign Honouring Promises.

Honouring Promises: 2019 Federal Election Priorities for First Nations and Canada” aims to frame the dialogue around First Nations priorities during the federal election campaign and set the agenda for the incoming government. It identifies the AFN’s and First Nations focus for advocacy during the campaign and through the next Parliamentary session.

“Honouring Promises builds on the agenda and progress resulting from “Closing the Gap: 2015 Federal Election Priorities”. The AFN offers these words from National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

“Canada was formed with the shared promises of peace, friendship and mutual respect with First Nations in the presence of all creation. These promises, for as long as the sun shines, the rivers flows and the grass grows, are to be in effect for peoples now and for those yet unborn. The challenges now faced by First Nations peoples and by all of humanity with the declining state of our natural world were not meant to be. Think of how enriched Canada and the world can be as Canada fulfills on its original promises of peace and sharing with First Nations peoples.”

If you didn’t vote in the advance polls, make sure you take a few minutes out of your day today to vote.  Many of us choose not to vote, “because it makes no difference!” It does make a difference. It’s the difference between engagement and non-engagement with the political process.

Philip Shano, SJ has many years of rich and varied experience working with Ignatian spirituality: teaching, writing and using it in his ministry. He resides in the Jesuit community in Pickering, Ontario.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 02:16h, 21 October Reply

    Thank you Philip!

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