Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Skill, not just values, vital for political success

ACV's Monday Comment: One week ago many Christian voters watched Australian Christian Lobby's Make it Count webcast featuring Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott. Today Mr Rudd is on the backbench, Mr Abbott is fighting a rear guard action and new Prime Minister Julia Gillard is enjoying rising popularity.

This change took the proverbial wind out of the sails of many Christians interested in the political process because they had come to enjoy, perhaps a little complacently, having both major parties led by people of Christian conviction.

But in politics, as in any field of endeavour, it is not only your values that count, but your ability. When journalist Chris Uhlmann was asked whether some of Julia Gillard's views, such as being an atheist, would affect her electoral prospects, he replied that what really counted was that she was Australia's most formidable politician.
Julia Gillard has worked hard at the political game since university and has painstakingly worked on her public persona, her support base, her strategy and her influence. She has embraced politics, by her own admission, as an alternative to having children, and is now at the peak of her political powers.

For those who want to defeat her political agenda, believing you have the high moral or spiritual ground is not enough, and never has been. It is only when Christian politicians and parties are willing to develop the same elite skill set, the same level of commitment and the same political acumen, that they will garner the same political success.

In other words, to have success in politics you need to be a successful politician. Too much time is spent by some political parties trumpeting the superiority of their values while ignoring the crippling clumsiness of their politics.

It is heartening to see many Latin American world cup soccer players kneel and acknowledge God when scoring a goal or winning a match. However they are not in the team because they are Christians, but because they can play soccer. There's a lesson here for Christians involved in the performance oriented world of politics - be very good at what you do if you want your very good values to have influence... PH

No comments:

Post a Comment