Voting is compulsory in Australia. Therefore, unlike Scotland where the citizens are free to reject the candidates in an election simply by staying at home, Australians have to drag themselves to the polling booth in order to ‘spoil’ the ballot if they wish to reject all the candidates! Yes, some are not happy with politics and others would substitute ‘politicians’ for ‘Cretans’ in the adage ‘Cretans are always liars’ Titus 1:12. Why would politics cause some to speak so? It might be a whole range of issues including economics, taxes, national roads, abortion, marriage redefinition, refugees and a whole lot more. We try to vote in politicians who share our views on these and such-like issues. Therefore Western political systems depend on the honesty of their political candidates.
Some would claim that an honest politician is an oxymoron. But is this a fair assessment of Western politicians and politics? Well, it doesn’t help the cause of politicians when we see them never directly answer any questions when being interviewed. No doubt they ramble on about their ‘talking points’ out of fear of the ‘gotcha’ questions whereby some interviewers purposely set out to trip them up in their speech. Thus the derogatory term ‘spin doctor’ has been used of certain politicians.
Should Christians give politics a wide berth? I know of at least one Atheist who thinks Christians ought not to become politicians because they cannot separate their religion from their politics! One can only wonder at the arrogance of this sort of anti-Christian view of politics in light of the fact that there is still a Christian majority in most Western nations![i] However, and more to the point, it is thanks to Christianity that we have democracy in the West in the first place! If it is true that the West was built on the back of Christianity then that which is contrary to it would be sand in the gearbox!
Lenin, Marx, and Engels introduced Atheism into Western politics with their different forms of Socialism in which the citizens ultimately serve the State rather than God, by which the God-given rights of the individual began to give way to the imposed will of the collective. (Some Christians still buy into various shades of Socialism!) Then came the ‘thought police’ in the forms of the KGB and SS etc. in the 20th century. These have morphed into the Political Correctness (PC) movement of the 21st where it is now difficult even to discuss issues without being demonized for disagreeing with the narrative of ‘mob thinking’!
The West was built on the Westminster-system of politics which in turn was built upon Biblical principles. Presbyterianism still clearly displays those biblical principles. There is an ‘issue’ (or a motion). There are those who speak for the motion and those who speak against it. There is a moderator (or referee). After the issue has been discussed sufficiently by both sides it is then put to a vote. The majority wins. This is Western democracy in practice! It is Christianity in politics! No one is shouted down and drowned out by ad hominem attacks! This is freedom of speech!
Because of this system we tend to have a two-party system, i.e., those with left wing views of the issues and those on the right. Yes, some politicians are Independents but they too tend to be either left or right on issues. Always remember, “The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbour comes and examines him." Proverbs 18:17.