• engaGE19

12 December: The UK's date with destiny

Updated: Nov 8, 2019

Rumours about an upcoming election had been going on for months. It was the same when Theresa May became Prime Minister and enjoyed a ‘honeymoon’ period. There was near constant chatter about a possible election. Well, since Boris Johnson took office as the UK’s 77th PM, it has been no secret that Her Majesty’s Government have wanted to go to the polls.

Now, finally, after months of guessing we have an election date. On Wednesday, 12 December voters will head to the polls.

It says something about the volatile nature of our current politics that this will be the second General Election in two and a half years, despite the existence of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, which was supposed to make triggering an election more difficult.

A crucial election

At the risk of slipping into hyperbole, I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that this election is one of the most important for decades. Let me explain more.

Firstly, the election date is the first Winter election for decades. Normally, an election will take place in the spring or summer, with the thinking being that it’s an easier time to vote, with longer evenings and an earlier sunrise. Campaigners will pound potentially icy streets and face the challenge of turning out the vote in cold and miserable conditions.

Secondly, it is a short election. There are just 6 weeks to go until polling day.

Thirdly, the issue of Brexit is still looming large and will prove to be a key dividing line between the different political parties. There is no doubt that Brexit has occasioned this election and will continue to dominate it.

What can we do?

So then, how can we as Christians get involved in this election?

Firstly, let’s take seriously this opportunity to be involved, to have our say and to cast our vote. Let’s reject the political indifference that so easily dominates and let’s get stuck in.

That might mean making the effort to attend a husting, or it could mean emailing candidates or using social media to contact them to find out where they stand on key issues like family, life and justice.

We can do our research, look at the voting records of different MPs and prayerfully consider who will get our vote.

At CARE, we are passionate about seeing out vote as the first step towards longer-term political involvement. Whatever the outcome, we can be thankful that God remains on the throne.

James Mildred

CARE Communications Manager