BY BLOG WATCHER
In turning his attention to Saturday’s Victorian state election, Melbourne blogger David Schütz says that he voted for the Democratic Labor Party – “just to let them know I support their hard work and because most of the candidates are Catholics with a strong pro-life stance”.
My main concern was to vote for a party/candidate who stood for human dignity in life and death (i.e. against abortion and euthanasia), and whose policies were supportive of families … Beyond that I really couldn’t care much about water, transport or other secondary issues. When we are talking about the fundamental meaning of what it is to be human, arguments about railway lines and pipe-lines seem a little trite.
However that’s not the full story. He reveals he has a soft spot for the Greens.
In his blog over the past week, he describes his dialogue with his local Greens candidate Jo Tenner. He had sent a questionnaire to three of his three local lower house candidates, based on the Victorian Bishops’ statement “Your Vote Your Values”. There was no answer from Labor and a disinterested response from the Liberal. He was taken seriously only by the Greens candidate.
Jo Tenner was the most responsive to my questionnaire, and she extended an invitation to meet after the election, which I will do. I have said before, and I will say again, that I respect the Greens for the fact that they are the most ethically driven party in action today. They do what they do because they believe it. If sincerity alone was the point of the exercise, they would have my primary vote.
In an earlier blog on Friday, Schütz praises Tenner for her “polite and very interesting” reply to his expression of concern about the Greens advocating Euthanasia.
He quotes from her reply:
I appreciate the position that you come from, having been raised a Catholic, attending Catholic schools for all my primary and most of my secondary education and having a devout Mother with whom I discuss all these issues.
I chose not to continue to be a catholic on the basis of insurmountable moral issues… It tears at my heart to think of all the people, including millions of children who have suffered due to the power of the catholic church and its prohibition on any contraception devices. This is something I understand all too well from my work in the overseas aid sector. I wish that I could have remained a catholic… I do, nevertheless, credit some of my catholic upbringing with my passion for justice and concern for the welfare of others.
I would like to think that people such as ourselves, thinking and caring people, can find ways to reach beyond the stereotypes promulgated by the media, to discuss our viewpoints and see if we can find ways to reach common ground. I would be interested in doing this beyond the timeframe of the election and if you are interested, I would be happy to meet sometime.
I have accepted her rather gracious invitation to meet in the near future, even if she is not elected. It tears my heart (to use her phrase) that our Catholic community has been unable to use its vast resources (especially in our schools, but also in our parishes) to properly communicate our concerns… In any case, I have assured her of my prayers … even though I cannot wish her or her party “success”.
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