Today, as I prepared to vote, I read information about all of the parties on the Senate ticket in Victoria. I have looked online, I have read The Age and I have used the research done by my amazing husband.
I was preparing to vote below the line, to enter a figure in all 97 boxes and I realized something.
There aren't enough numbers. I can't give enough people my last preference! I worked up to the number 65 with some degree of certainty and then I felt I was left with the nutters!
I particularly struggled with allocating numbers to Family First, Australian Christian Party and Rise Up Australia. All say they are guided by Christian Principles, that Jesus is their guide. However, based on their policies and their own preference allocations, I wonder whether they know another Jesus? Whether they have a different Bible?
I'd love to support a party which truly followed Jesus, one which eats with the poor, the meek, the outcast and the lost. One which seeks to serve as Jesus did, rather than being self serving and judgemental. One which left judgement of others to God and sought to instead give of itself.
At times like today, crowded in the booth, trying to ensure that refugees and children aren't last, trying to care for our world and the less fortunate, I stumbled in my faith for a moment. I felt overwhelmed with the enormity of the task and my heart skipped a beat.
I voted. I numbered every box below the line on the Senate ballot. I numbed every box on the House of Representative ballot. I drew on my faith and some of the Wesleyan teaching which encourages me to question how my vote will protect those whom Jesus would ask us to protect.
I wondered today where Jesus would go if he returned to Earth tomorrow. I don't believe he would walk into many churches. I suspect he might go to a mental health facility or a Mandatory detention Centre if he came to Australia.
So with that in mind, my vote is cast. I suspect that, in the end, my vote might not influence the result, but today my vote confirmed my faith. I will hold on to this memory as I prepare for the travesties which I suspect will result if the Liberal National Coalition win as resoundingly as the early counts suggest. Oh, and I will pray. I think it might be needed.