Archive for tag: elections

Archive pour tag : elections

Canadian federal election guides – 2008

Another federal election has come to Canada. Canadians will go to the polls on October 14 to select members of Parliament in all 308 ridings across the country. For more information about who can vote, the candidates, and the locations of the polls, please see the Elections Canada website.

Here at “Ecumenism in Canada” we have a continuing interest in highlighting the reflections offered by the Canadian churches on matters of public policy. With this in mind, we have compiled the following links to election resources prepared by the churches and their ecumenical justice groups.

CCCB Federal Election 2008 Guide
EFC 2008 Election Kit
• United Church of Canada 2008 Federal Election Kit
• Mennonite Central Committee’s 2008 Election Primer
• Citizens for Public Justice 2008 Election Guide
• Candidates Against Poverty

The Catholic bishops of Canada have a long history of public statements on justice issues, both during and between elections. As in recent elections the CCCB has issued an election guide that is intended to enumerate principles of Catholic social teaching that are relevant to the elections. Like all churches, the CCCB does not endorse any political party. Instead, the CCCB’s Social Affairs Commission “encourages Catholics to become better informed about the issues, to voice their concerns with the political candidates … and, most of all, to vote.” The four-page text goes on to list some basic principles from Catholic moral and social teaching to help voters examine and evaluate public policy and programs. These principles include respect for life and the dignity of the human person, as well as the preferential option for the poor. The text also addresses the question of the war in Afghanistan and the debate on the environment. The four Bishops who signed the document call on the political parties to “engage in a peace process for Afghanistan” and to ensure that “future generations … can have a healthy environment.” The Social Affairs Commission admits that “choices can be tough” for Catholics when a political candidate or a political party holds “values that are not fully in line with Church teaching.” Citing the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the CCCB Social Affairs Commission points out that “a well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals.”

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has also issued an election kit. The EFC says that “Canada needs strengthened families and secure marriages. Canada needs to protect its most vulnerable: children, the poor, the unborn and the disabled.” The EFC’s kit is not entirely focussed on personal and family ethics. It also affirms that “Canada needs to share its blessings with the world, especially meeting commitments made to foreign relief and development work.” The EFC kit includes position papers on various issues, and is expected to be updated with further statements as the campaign proceeds.

The United Church of Canada also regularly issues public statements during federal elections. The United Church website says that their new 2008 Federal Election Kit “takes a non-partisan approach. It lifts up justice concerns that need voice to get on the election agenda and into public awareness. As well as offering a brief background and sample questions on issues important to the United Church, the kit offers tips for asking questions at all candidates meetings and advice on how to use the media effectively.” There are a variety issues that the United Church highlights, however it brings a special focus to Aboriginal issues.

The Mennonite Central Committee serves both Canadian and American churches, both of which are in the midst of elections. However the issues and concerns are different, and an election primer is offered by MCC-Canada for Canadian Anabaptists. The MCC is not a church, and thus does not speak on behalf of its member churches. It therefore frames its election reflection in the form of “questions for Anabaptist Christians to consider during the 2008 federal election campaign.”

As of September 16th, there were no election guides or other resources available on the websites of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), the Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC), the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), or KAIROS. If these become available, this website posting will be revised to include these links.

There are two other resources of interest. The Citizens for Public Justice is an independent social justice research and advocacy group. The CPJ has issued election guides during many of the past elections. The CPJ 2008 election guide addresses a number of issues of concern in the current campaign: poverty, immigration, tax policy, and the environment. These are issues that CPJ has addressed for many years, and thus their guide draws on additional resources available through their website. The CPJ invites Canadian voters to consider their electoral choices through the lens of public justice.

The Religious Social Action Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador has created a new website to encourage candidates to establish a government priority to end poverty in Canada. The coalition is “a nonpartisan group from a broad array of religions — Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others — united in our religious commitment to call on society to abolish poverty at home and abroad. … It is the goal of our coalition to call upon all candidates for Parliament to pledge to move our society toward greater economic fairness. … To finally fulfill the promise that Parliament made to abolish poverty among Canadian children, even though they have missed their own deadline by seven years. To make sure that working families can find affordable housing. And to fulfill Parliament’s Kelowna pledge to Canada’s Aboriginals. … It is our goal to get citizens talking about poverty — and to make Ending Poverty a voting issue.”

The coalition has established an admirably low-tech website entitled Candidates Against Poverty which lists all the candidates who have taken a simple pledge to make poverty a governmental priority. At this point, the number of candidates who have responded is quite small. Voters can explore the website to see whether their candidates have made the pledge. Voters can also challenge their candidates to make this pledge and have it recorded on the website.
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Posted: Sept. 23, 2008 • Permanent link:
Categories: ResourcesIn this article: Canada, elections, justice
Transmis : 23 sept. 2008 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : ResourcesDans cet article : Canada, elections, justice

We have just celebrated the birth of Jesus, the coming of hope to our world: hope for love and belonging; hope for compassion and sharing; hope for forgiveness and reconciliation; hope for justice and peace. How does the celebration of Christmas hope shape our interactions during a federal election campaign? An election campaign provides many
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Posted: Dec. 27, 2005 • Permanent link:
Categories: ResourcesIn this article: 2006, Canada, education, elections, justice, peace
Transmis : 27 déc. 2005 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : ResourcesDans cet article : 2006, Canada, education, elections, justice, peace

[KAIROS Canada] The upcoming federal election has been seen by many as an intrusion on the Christmas season — something that doesn’t — and shouldn’t — be on our minds during this festive, family time. At KAIROS, we think there is another way to look at the relationship between Christmas and public affairs. Perhaps the
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Posted: Dec. 19, 2005 • Permanent link: In this article: 2006, Canada, elections, justice, KAIROS Transmis : 19 déc. 2005 • Lien permanente : Dans cet article : 2006, Canada, elections, justice, KAIROS