Effecting God’s will through our vote.
Someone has said that “history is His (God’s) story.” This claim has Biblical basis for God actively participates in the affairs of men and nation. In Daniel 2:21, the prophet says that God “…changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them.” Again in chapter 5, verse 21, prophet Daniel says that “the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone He wishes.” So given these Biblical precedents, we can notice that it is God who determines who will rule what, where, and when.
God, of course, uses different and varied methods to affect these political processes. The Bible as well as secular history shows how kings and rulers were installed and deposed either through peaceful or violent means. Speaking particularly of choosing leaders, after six, we are again faced with the sacred duty of deciding who must lead the nation. Come May 9 this year, we as one nation will exercise this sacred duty vested upon us.
For a democratic society such as ours, we do this through a democratic process called election. A duty vested upon the governed to select the governors. For sure this task will be very important and even difficult if we don’t know much about who the right person is, to seat in the highest office of this nation. With hundreds of candidates from the office of the Presidency down to municipal councilors to choose from. National and local election this May is sure is a difficult job to accomplish. This is compounded by the rigid rules of the Comelec regarding the methods of campaigning which limits our opportunities of knowing fully these candidates and their program of government.
Aware of these difficulties confronting us, the electorate, this column ventures to offer a few but important guidelines in our choice of people to be vested with the powers of the governors. After seeking the guidance of the Lord, consider the following:
1. REJECT THE CANDIDATE WHO SEEKS THE ENDORSEMENT OF GROUPS WITH CERTAIN VESTED INTERESTS.
The support of various groups bolster the chances of a candidate of winning an election. That’s why several candidates actively seek their endorsement. But whether from a dominant church or sect, big business groups are after their own interest. An elected official who succumbs to their pressures prejudices the interest of the people.
A candidate who courts “church votes” destroys the one essence of democracy – the separation of church and state. Similarly, if he courts the support of big business groups or foreign powers, He will likely adopt a government policy advantageous to the groups, willingly selling our nation’s sovereignty and patrimony to the detriment of our people.
2. VOTE FOR A CANDIDATE ON THE BASICS OF COMPETENCE RATHER THAN POPULARITY.
Some people have the notion that because they are popular (either as movie stars, singers, or professional athletes), they are fit for public office too. In fact, some influential persons manipulate the candidacies of these popular stars, but for their own selfish interests. As what usually happens, less popular but very competent candidates are rejected in favor of these ones. But let us remember that elections for public office is not a popularity contest. We must vote for someone capable of handling the affairs of the state.
3. REJECT AN IMMORAL CANDIDATE
Public office is not only a public trust, but most of all it is a sacred trust. One must have a moral ground to govern. In the United States, they have what is called “The Hart Rule”, which implies that “a candidate who cheats in his wife will most likely cheat the nation too.” A candidate indulging in immoral activities like womanizing, gambling, or debauchery is more prone to steal in public office or neglect his duties to the people than one who lives a morally upright life.
4. REJECT A CANDIDATE THAT HAS A RECORD OF ENRICHING HIMSELF WHILE IN PUBLIC OFFICE.
Remember, man is never satisfied with what he has. The more he has of something, the more he will desire for more. This is probably the basis for the prevailing perception of the electorate that all public officials have enriched and will continue to enrich themselves while in office. But we can do something about this, if we vote for those who are really honest and sincere in using public office for the common man’s good.
5. VOTE FOR A CANDIDATE WHO HAS THE FEAR OF GOD IN HIS HEART.
Most candidates proclaim their religiousity and adherence to godly values and teachings, and yet are among the worst persons to ever run for office. How do we therefore determine if the candidate truly fears God?
The Bible says that the fear of God in one’s heart not only deters a person from evil, but it will give him divine wisdom to rule (Proverbs 9:10). A candidate who fears God will never resort to dirty tricks like vote-buying, mudslinging, terrorism, or intimidation in order to get your vote. He is the candidate who would rather give the democratic process a chance instead of subverting the will of the people. This is the candidate we must all vote this coming election.
In a democratic society as ours, we are God’s instrument to effect His choice. The dictum is true, “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” So in this end, let us not muffle nor distort His voice, Vote wisely!