A RUDE AWAKENING

Last week I wrote that we were snoozing our way to the polls.  I think it at least warrants a follow up.  Make no mistake about it, we did snooze through this election.  Voter turn out was only 61%.  That number was only slightly higher than the pathetic 58.8% that turned out in 2008.   Voter turnout has been generally falling every election since 1979.  The 1958 election that brought John Diefenbaker to power had the nation’s highest-ever turnout, at 79.4 per cent.   Nevertheless Tuesday morning we arose to a rude awakening.  The results of the federal election was startling to say the least.  Not so much because Steven Harper finally got his much coveted majority government. (Although that was a significant feat considering he managed to run a 35 day campaign without saying almost anything.  My feeling is that Canadians have election fatigue and by granting Harper a majority they ensure that we will not be back to the polls till 2015.  New legislation requires set election dates every four years.  But because of minority parliaments we have never made it that long.)  No, the big surprise last week was the meltdown of the Liberals and the Bloc and the rise of the NPD to the official opposition.

I don’t think anyone expected both Gilles Duceppe and Michael Ignatieff to lose their seats.  It was the ultimate rebuke.  It doesn’t hurt my feelings, as I am not sure I will miss Duceppe’s tiring separatism or Ignatieff”s thinly veiled personal ambitions.  With the Bloc being decimated to 4 seats and the Liberals being reduced to the rump with only 34 seats it is a new political era in Canada.  As it turns out this may be the most significant election since 1993 when the the Tories were reduced to 2 seats and the Reform Party broke through to eventually become the official opposition.  Today the shoe is only the other foot with the NDP breaking out with 102 seats and Jack Layton heading to Stornoway.  It should be interesting.   Half of their seats are in Quebec where Quebecers blindly voted for people they know nothing about.  NDP rookie Pierre-Luc Dusseault is the youngest MP in history and at 19 years old is barely out of High School.  Another Quebec rookie MP, Ruth Ellen Brosseau, has never set foot in her riding, does not speak French, did not put up a single campaign sign and spent part of the election campaign vacationing in Las Vegas.  She was just a name on the ballot and is now heading to Ottawa.  Shadow cabinet material for sure!  Jumping Jack will have his hands full keeping that bunch in check.

I know not everybody will be happy with the results of this election.  Personally I am encouraged because I like it when democracy works.  Despite all the inexperienced MP’s that are heading to ‘the land of the million dollar pension’ (MP’s are eligible after only six years), it is actually called the House of Commons for a purpose.  It was originally intended to be the ‘house’ for the ‘common’ person to represent their peers.  Through the Trudeau/Mulrooney/Chretien era we lived in a democratic dictatorship where we elected one unaccountable, autocratic Prime Minister after another.  We would cast our vote and then they would do whatever they wanted for the next 4-5 years showing utter contempt for the will of the public.  What we are seeing around the globe is a pent up political frustration manifesting itself in the form of the people taking back their governments. Although I am no supporter of Jack Layton, I like the fact that the people spoke up that they are tired of politics as usual.  Though Harper has his majority, which will help get some things done, I suspect he is smart enough to remember the lessons here; that this is still a democracy and the people will throw his party out out on its ear if he doesn’t use his mandate to advance the greater good of Canadians. I said it last week, I’ll say it again; The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.’ (Dan 4:17)

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42 Responses to A RUDE AWAKENING

  1. Sally says:

    Wow! an what a rude awakening it was! And I would say a good housecleaning too with the separatist voice almost wiped out and the Liberal party just bare bones… God is indeed in control. We pray that Godly wisdom will prevail with our new govenment and that Prime Minister Harper and Jack Layton will work well together for the good of the country. I think Jack Layton has his work cut out for him dealing with what “Rex Murphy says is a bag of bloc cats” It will be a most interesting politics with Elizabeth May in the mix keeping everyone on their toes. May God bless Canada!

  2. Betty says:

    The change in the parties,indeed turned out interesting, I think Mr.Duceppe and Mr. Ignatieff, could at first, not believe what just happened, so Mr. Ignatieff said: he wanted to stay on as leader, as long as the party wanted him to stay,then looking at the votes as they came in, I thought, he must be a very courages man, when he can do that,but he changed his mind the next morning.
    With Gods help, this combination will work.

  3. kim says:

    I wasn’t at all surprised by the election and absolute foresaw the defeat of both Ignatieff and Duceppe. I also having been saying for quite some time that the next opposition in the house would be the NDP. All this because I am a watchman and as Christians we do not have to be in the dark about what God is doing in our Government. I think it is time that we stat to believe in then sovereignty of God. I think that Canadains that didn’t vote just because they weren’t interested or didn’t vote because their life is too busy should repent and get it together because our King (Jesus) doesn’t want us apathic either and people around the world walk for miles, hungry and in pain for the privelege of voting. We need to pay attention. We must learn to WATCH AND PRAY

  4. Anessa says:

    So happy for a majority Tory government, but leery about Jack as the official opposition. I think parliament sessions will turn into more of a zoo than they already are!

  5. dave c says:

    It never fails to amaze me that we have a Separatist party in Canada? A few years back any talk in England about the country serarating from any circle was met with a beheading for treason mmmm !! Food for thought maybe !!

  6. Andre V. says:

    This was a good election although it was unwanted by many. Voter apathy is alarming with the overall voter turnout we had. We, as Christians, have an obligation to elect those who best represent Christian values. I thank God that I am a Canadian citizen and for the right to vote! Thanks Pastor Mark for your comments. I think they are bang-on. It should be an interesting 4 years. Horray for Rod Bruinooge!!!

  7. TJ says:

    Ahhh, finally some males commenting! :)

    Ok, this is the first election I chose to not vote in.
    Why?
    Because ALL of the political leaders are destructive for our country!
    Yes, Stephen Harper is too.
    He is a liberal disguised as a conservative.
    And he is in bed (relational politics) with the church leaders, including this church’s.

    • jdude says:

      Politics fits within an awkward, or strange, place in our society. Most, if not all, people (including non-citizens of course) have an opinion in the discourse of politics but it is a subject that is not mandated (outside of Ontario) by provinces as a necessary field to one’s public education. As Henry Milner points out, this has lead to a generational decline in political knowledge and activism within specifically Canada and the US (while Switzerland has extremely lower turnouts, they are a federation fixated on citizen opportunity thus producing the attitude that many state-held votes are indeed ‘changeable’. Of course such state-held votes include plebiscites and the like).

      Arguably public schools indoctrinate rather than produce the necessary functions of learning. In the political, and cultural sense, I agree with the previous sentence. The political debate is not about ‘how to make democracy better’, it ought to be about weighing the merits of democracy ‘does democracy assist or mute the production of the good life?’. Democracy is full of flaws of which I would argue produce an irreparable level of illegitimacy.

      Oh, and to state “If you didn’t vote, you don’t have a voice” neglects central tenets of liberal democratic values. I am a citizen of Canada, not by choice, but by birth. Citizenship merely strengthens the ability for one to voice dissent to governance, check the ‘beloved’ Charter, freedom of thought is in there =) (of course you do not have to be a citizen to criticize particular measures about the past, present and future affairs of any country, Canadians enjoy criticizing the US a fair bit). The central point is, I have a voice whether I vote or not, I think the French subjects of Grenoble during the ‘Day of the Tiles’ would agree with me on this point. Oh and for anyone’s information, I did not vote and I am a political studies major at the UofM.

  8. Karen L says:

    I never used to “care” much about politics. I’ve always voted one way, just because. Then I worked in a classroom where the teacher encouraged the students to look at the issues, the party policies, platforms, and then decide based on what the Political Party’s mandate was and not on how or (what) their parent’s were voting. Working in that classroom changed my whole thought process on how to vote. We need more teachers like that; one’s who teach that it is important to vote, get involved and make good decisions about democracy, so that we don’t become a politically uncaring nation. I personally believe that we also need to be teaching our children at home (and in Sunday School) the importance of gov’t in our country. As our local MP sat in our church the Sunday before the election, we reminded him as a congregation that we would be praying for him because that was what God wanted us to do, and that God only puts people in power that He wants there. It’s our job to hold our MP accountable. That’s why they have offices in the communities in which they have constituents. You need to tell them when you like what they are doing, and when you don’t.

    Your vote is your voice for the future of our country. If you didn’t vote, you don’t have a voice.

  9. TJ says:

    …I always used to care about politics,
    until it became obvious that our churches have gone the Crusades way of making political choices based on what’s best for the church leaders
    instead of what’s best for God.

  10. Evelyn Bennett says:

    I am one of the guilty non voters.

    I am so glad enough voted to get a majority government.

    Maybe the issues such as abortion and same sex marriages can be revisited.

  11. TJ says:

    //Maybe the issues such as abortion and same sex marriages can be revisited.//

    Stephen Harper won’t genuinely try to apply going against either of those.
    Revisiting an issue is only discussing it.

  12. Derk Richter says:

    Now that Harper’s government is in we can all go back to our lukewarm state. For a minute there I thought we would actually have to surrender our lives totally to Christ. Glad that’s over. Pheew!

  13. Jesse says:

    TJ – I don’t quite understand what the problem with the Church standing for a particular political party is – it’s a good thing. No party is perfect and at times even great leaders fall, but a stand should be taken. A church would be nuts if they voted in favor of someone that would not be a benifit to them because ultimately MANY churches benifit their communities. I’m not saying all do, but I know that many do. Church of the Rock does.
    I just moved out of the North End, and I’ve basically been there all my life. As much as the government programs try to help the situations – they fail miserably. – I see how the problems seem to go from bad to worse. The only lasting changes in many cases, appear to come from a God centred approach which is what the church, and church based programs offer.
    As for the Conservatives disguised as Liberals – if that was really the fact, Canadians would have figured that out and not given them the majority AND the Liberals would not have gotten this wake up call.
    A true church leader is lead by God. Not every one is corrupt. Have you considered that the outcome of this election is exactly what God may have wanted? The easy part is over. Now is when prayers are needed the most. At the end of the day, just like all of us, Stephen Harper is only human. He(and all the leaders) require more prayer and less critisism.

  14. TJ says:

    Churches should stand for policies/ethics/morality/etc,
    but not for parties.

    Otherwise we may as well start our own parties.

    (I could go into more detail, but that should suffice)

  15. TJ says:

    Derk Richter,

    I love your response! :D

    • Josh says:

      Right on Mark..the present charitable status of churches for tax purposes, is a deterrent to them speaking out on specific issues such as abortion or homosexual unions..It is the same in the USA..where there has been threats by the government to yank the tax exampt status if they speak out on these issues, or refuse to conduct same sex marriages..so churches are effectively muzzled by this factor!

  16. Mark Hughes says:

    Churches are prohibited in Canada from endorsing a political party. (Unlike in the US where they do it all the time) It is unhelpful for us anyway because as soon as they screw up, which they will, we become guilty by association and it does great harm to the gospel.
    In the US the evangelical church makes the mistake of endorsing the Republican party carte blanc. Then when the GOP do unchristian things like drop bombs on innocent people, or give huge bailouts to corporate thieves, or endorse a murderous dictator somewhere, then Christians get the (perhaps deserved) bad rap.
    On the other hand because politics is so important we cannot remove ourselves from the process. I can ‘personally’ support a guy like Rod Bruinooge because he is a friend and a member of our church. If he messes up I will be the first to phone him up and say so. Politicians are real people that make mistakes… and also need forgiveness when they do.

    • TJ says:

      //Churches are prohibited in Canada from endorsing a political party.//

      Officially, yes.
      But there are ways of wording things to make it obvious to the listener which party a church unofficially endorses.
      (instead of merely pointing out what values God approves, which He disapproves of, and what each party’s stance on each is…then leaving it to the individual to vote for whomever his/her conscience suggests he/she should vote for, although hopefully the potential voter will put a greater emphasis on hearing and obeying His specific “voice”)

  17. TJ says:

    ^ok, I fully agree with all the info in Mark Hughes’ above comment response! :D

    (though I’m neutral on the Rod Bruinooge part, since I don’t know him, but Mark may be correct about him :)

    And we all need forgiveness when we sin.
    But for those of us who are Christians, we need forgiveness AFTER we repent/confess our sins to those still alive who we’ve all sinned against! :D

  18. jdude says:

    Hehe, I meant to reply to Karen L =).

    • Karen L says:

      40% of Canadians didn’t vote. That means that 40% of people’s concerns didn’t get acknowledged because they didn’t feel that their vote counted. They have a voice, but it’s never heard by the gov’t. Even if by voting for another party, you are still making a point that you don’t agree with how things are being done. I sincerely wish that we had more than one NDP MP in Alberta. Not enough people voted to make that happen.

      In Alberta, government, democracy, etc. is all part of the curriculum in the elementary grades.(which is the classroom in which I worked)I had the honor and privilege of working with a teacher who inspired students rather than indoctrinated. The problem is, is that most students go to Universities where they are then indoctrinated. I’m not saying that happens to everybody, but attitudes do change once one gets there.

      Part of the privilege of living in this country is voting. I am blessed that God put me in Canada and not some other country where I wouldn’t be given the chance to vote because I am living in a dictatorship, or anywhere else where the the privilege of voting for women a subjective issue.

      • TJ says:

        I didn’t want to bring myself to voting for the NDP on a federal level,
        they were the least bad option in THIS election (I voted for the PC in the previous one, the Liberals the one previous to that, the PC previous to that, the Libs previous to that…it depends on different scenarios),
        so I decided this time to not vote at all.

        • Karen L says:

          My point was that we have ONE MP opposing the majority. It just so happens to be NDP. What would happen if AB was totally Tory, and the gov’t majority was all Liberal or NDP? AB would then not have any representation in the House of Commons.

          • TJ says:

            I understand.

            This is why I’m glad that the Tory’s opposition this election is the NDP instead of the Liberals.

            And if the NDP ever won the right to rule our country,
            then it would be better than the opposition be the PCs instead of the Liberals.

            (opposing forces)

  19. Ian Clark says:

    The problem with democracy is the right to vote is not dependent on a demonstrated commitment to contributing to the nation. I know of some very politically committed people who are equally committed to not paying any taxes. In the absense of a God-raised Judge, monarchy is the only form of human government with a chance of putting a Christian influence in charge (eg. Frederick III of Saxony, James I of England.)
    In a democracy one’s hands are tied. In our riding a Conservative was elected to a mainly immigrant riding (!) who has never held a seat (no voting record to check) since this riding normally goes Liberal (it seems no one trusted Ignetief.) Our country’s classisfication is not democratic, it’s capitalist. When one donates, one is redirecting tax money (via the tax credit) and here is where power actually is. The only way to have your vote heard is to vote with your money every day (what you spend on, who you support, etc.) Money is what talks here — and to the south as well.
    Jesus’ only pertinent comment on government that I can see is “render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar’s.” This all hangs together, if you pay taxes you have the opportunity under the tax system to direct some of those tax dollars where you see fit, not to where your elected representatives (an oxymoron if there every was one!) or, more correctly, their leader does. Vote with your dollar! Something to consider…

    • TJ says:

      quoting myself:

      //[I am a] Free-Thinker,
      based on fairness
      (equality is not the same as fairness):

      Conservatives = Pharisees;
      Liberals = Sadducees;
      non-YaHuWsHua monarchs (like British, etc) = Herodians;
      Libertarians/Anarchists = Zealots;
      Hutterites/Amish/etc = Essenes;

      …He was and is against ALL these groups’ mix of lies with truth! :D //

      • Ian Clark says:

        I am a thinker bound by the Sword of the Lord:
        Romans 13:1-7 – “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”
        Frederick III = Martin Luther
        James I = Lancelot Andrewes et al; still the most literal translation in English (Happy 400th!)
        David = Himself
        Time to have another look at Moses with a view not to truth vs lies, rather light vs darkness, TJ.
        Genesis 1:1-5 – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
        YahAh On
        P.S. The Herodians were Greek clients under Rome.

        • TJ says:

          Ian,
          your analogy doesn’t work evenly,
          whereas mine does.

          Please reword it so that it’s even, like mine is, then we can fairly further discuss this :)

        • TJ says:

          P.P.S. The Pharisees and Sadducees were Jewish clients under Rome, pretending to represent the Jews.
          And the Messiah was indirectly against the Essenes in His John 17 prayer.

  20. Karen L says:

    If democracy was based on money, there’s not a lot of people that could afford to vote.

    After reading all of the posts, it is clear to see that we are a country that is not happy with it’s politicians. I think that the founding father’s of our country would be so very disappointed in where we have gone in regards of our political leadership.

    Even 75 years ago, people had more respect for our government. (I have talked to people that got to vote 75 years ago.)They also had more respect for God and for the Leadership in our churches.

    We are a country that has freedom of speech, and thankfully we are able to share that on forums such as this one. Maybe after this, there will be less people snoozing and more people awake to keep our gov’t in line.

    • TJ says:

      Respect must be earned.

      And another (2?) thing(s):

      1- it is possible to be obedient but not submissive
      2- it is possible to be submissive but not obedient

      …I’ll add another:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5qgHtIlD0w
      (you might not believe what’s at the centre of His Bible ;)

    • Ian Clark says:

      Still bound in thought:
      Luke 21:1-4 – “And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”

  21. Derk Richter says:

    I love the verse at the centre of the Bible and the video.

  22. Patricia says:

    I did vote. And I think that if you do not vote you have no right to complain on what people are doing in politics then, because you did not practise your right to cast a ballot.

    It is the people that do not cast one that have failed to show an opinion for themselves today and the future. So lump it.

    I say to you to pray for your members of parliament that they do what is right and just for our Country and People, now and for the future to come.

  23. Sally says:

    TJ, if as a born-aagain believer in Jesus Christ which I am assuming you are, you thought the NDP party stood for your godly values then that would be the way you would vote.
    I know that there are good men and women in all parties and if God can make a donkey talk He can use the other parties to get His message across. I know that Kevin Lamoroux in the Liberal party is a good godly man and I do know there are others in all parties that have good values and they just may be in the pre-christian state. With prayer God can move mountains, so now it is up to us to continue praying for our leaders and our nation. It is God’s desire that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and He says if my people(us believers) humble ourselves and pray then He will heal our land. This is a great incentive to pray for our government and great country Canada!

  24. Tj says:

    Sally, as a “born-again believer” in the Messiah, YaHuW’sHua (aka “Jesus”), my Lord God & Saviour,
    …I believed that ALL the parties this election,
    were AGAINST His teachings (in varying degrees) and all were for His teachings (in varying degrees), including the NDP.

    And I believed that the NDP were the least against them (in this election) in total, even though in some teachings of His, they are strongly against Him.

    And yes, we should pray for our leaders.
    Unfortunately, too many of only do so to earn favouritism (relational politics) with each other when we do so together.

    And of that group, as well as those who basically never pray for the leaders, expect us Him to only make changes by us doing something other than praying about it.

    Thanks for responding! :D

  25. TJ says:

    //I know that Kevin Lamoroux in the Liberal party is a good godly man and I do know there are others in all parties that have good values and they just may be in the pre-christian state.//

    Yes Sally,
    and so is the man who groomed him,
    our current Manitoba Liberal Party Leader, the “honourable” Dr. John Gerrard!

  26. Paul says:

    pastor hughes i didn’t vote conservative because my reprasentative mauril belonger is a good guy and cared to visit us every year he ran for parliament.he has a good sense of humour and listened very carefully to us. like i said he’s a good guy just like you !

  27. Adelie says:

    You put the lime in the coconut and drink the arltcie up.

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