by Julie Macken
On Wednesday the 30th of March people gathered in person and online to launch the Vote for the Common Good project. The project was developed by a coalition of justice, education and welfare groups who came together to urge all Australians to consider carefully, not only their values, but all they hold sacred, to build justice, to strengthen community – to vote for the common good.
At the launch of the election kit, voting for the common good, this week, the importance of the issues raised in the kit led to serious and animated discussion.
“We hope that the Kit will encourage people to reflect carefully before they vote”, said Julie Macken, one of the project coordinators. “Since the last federal election our communities have lived through historic bushfires, floods, and of course, the pandemic. Add to this the horrors we’re witnessing in Afghanistan and the devastation in Ukraine, and there is no doubt that this is an election like no other.”
Our fundamental beliefs as Australians and the call of the gospel confront us in ways not seen in our lifetime. In this moment, we are called once again to claim our fundamental beliefs in the good of community, to prioritise all those who are vulnerable, to speak truth to power, and to engender new conversations.
“We’re impelled to take action,” added Joelle Sassine. “As a young Australian, I believe that we face a catastrophic future if we don’t act. We know that it is those who are most defenceless who are most immediately affected by the devastation we are causing Earth – to say nothing of the defenceless members of our community who are suffering grief and serious harm – older Australians, First Nations Peoples and asylum seekers and refugees, among others.”
The network of supporters of the Kit are committed to working together, within the diversity of our communities, to sharpen and deepen our understanding of what it means to vote for the common good – and not just for what benefits us personally; not that which ignores or sidesteps those most vulnerable in our society, or the global crises of war, asylum seekers and refugees; not that which flouts or discounts the climate emergency; but the precious sense of community, the reality that we are all in this together, and that caring for each other will lead to new trust and hope, and a new beginning for us all.