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Look to your local candidates on June 8

Well, we can't complain about a lack of democracy, can we?

Five weeks after our last chance to vote locally, less than a year since a referendum and only two years since what are intended to be five-yearly general elections, we'll be out to vote on June 8. Or at least, I hope we will be. The truth is only two in three of us will. For some of us there's good reason but for many it will come down to two reasons: apathy and indecision. If you don't care, that's fine – voting isn't compulsory – but then you had better not complain when the government does something you disagree with! If you can't decide, then that's harder. Of course we're unlikely to find a perfect solution but it's vitally important that we play our part, otherwise we're ducking the responsibility that is so rightly valued and fought for by others around the world.

Some years ago I came to the conclusion that the party system was flawed – there was no way I was going to agree with absolutely everything that any party stood for. A recent poll proved that policies of left and right both had majority support – some of us are keen on both! It may be you're in that boat.

So how to choose? You can follow recent trends and choose the potential Prime Minister you like the look of and vote for their party. But that's not how our system is supposed to work. Rather we are intended to choose a local representative, someone who will represent their local communities with integrity. Not someone you'll necessarily agree with 100%, but someone you feel you can trust with the responsibility. Politics is essentially about people, not parties.

So find out who our local candidates are. Make time to read their literature or website. Take the opportunity to hear them at hustings. And vote for the one you trust the most. Because politics is about people, not parties.

In the end whoever wins the election can only lead the country for the next five years. Jesus claimed to have permanent and life-transforming authority. He issued a manifesto, you can find it at the beginning of Luke chapter 4. It's worth taking time this month to read that one too. To find out if Jesus is someone you can trust with your life and future.

St. Peters' Church

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