Elections

            In America, elections take place every 2 years at least.  There are winners and losers. Sometimes we elect judges, congressman, state legislators, governors and presidents.  We also make decisions about spending and taxes for public schools.  In addition, we have an initiative process that takes place at the state level.  In Washington state, there have been initiatives about abortion, marijuana, discrimination, taxes, the color of margarine, prohibition of alcohol and many other issues.  Draw a diagram that shows the structure of the government of your native country. 

            In your native culture, do you have elections?  What positions in government are elected?  Are they significant positions?  In your native culture do the people approve taxes and government spending?  How much power do the people have to influence their government?  Do people write to the government?  How do people make their ideas known to the government?

            How do you prepare for an election?  How do you decide whom to vote for?  How do you decide whether to vote “no” or “yes” on issues on the ballot?  What sources of information do you have?  To whom do you listen?  Who do you trust?

            In the US we often complain that the voters are uninformed - they don’t know what the “real” issues are.  We also complain about television and print advertising - we say that the ads are full of lies and half-truths.  Do you complain about elections in your native culture?  If yes, what do you complain about?

            If you could change a few things about the election and voting process, what would you change?  If you could change your government, how would you change it?

            Would you like to work for the government as an elected official or as a member of the bureaucracy?  Why or why not?

 

The Bible speaks about government in several different ways – what do you think of this instruction as a general rule?  Can you think of exceptions to this?

“All of you must be willing to obey completely those who rule over you.  There are no authorities except the ones God has chosen.  Those who now rule have been chosen by God.  So when you oppose the authorities, you are opposing those whom God has appointed.  Those who do that will be judged.

If you do what is right, you won’t need to be afraid of your rulers.  But watch out if you do what is wrong!  You don’t want to be afraid of those in authority do you?  Then do what is right.  The one in authority will praise you.  He serves God and will do you good.  But if you do wrong, watch out!  The ruler doesn’t carry a sword for no reason at all.  He serves God.  And God is carrying out His anger through him.  The ruler punishes anyone who does wrong.”  Romans 13