Great opportunity: more Reformed Christians can run as Members of Parliament
On December 16, 2011 the Fair Representation Act became law (and, in fact, even amended the Constitution). This Act established commissions in each province to study the electoral boundaries of each riding therein to make sure that each riding is fairly represented in the House of Commons as much as is possible. The Act defines the “electoral quotient” as equal to 111,166 people. This means that, ideally, each Member of Parliament should represent a riding composed of 111,166 citizens. Because of our growing population, the Act also adds an additional 30 seats to the House of Commons: 6 each to Alberta and B.C., 3 to Québec, and 15 to Ontario.
So what does this mean for Reformed Christians? Opportunity! All 308 existing ridings are being redrawn meaning that the current Members of Parliament will have to seek nomination again. The Conservative Party of Canada has a party policy to hold open nominations and the Liberal Party has confirmed that it too will run open nominations before the 2015 election. An open nomination means that no sitting MP is guaranteed to be their party’s representative in a given riding in the next election. Even Prime Minister Stephen Harper will have to be re-nominated for the riding of Calgary Southwest.
Furthermore, 30 new ridings will also need new candidates. And with some Members of Parliament retiring, 2015 will be a year of opportunity to have many Reformed Christians in the House, working for the good of this country, guided by the best worldview imaginable. Remember that: the Reformed worldview is a gift of grace that informs all aspects of life for the good. When Bible-believing Christians become involved in politics, they are able to use that gift for the benefit of their neighbour.
Reformed Christians, consider this moment! God has provided another opportunity: will you consider putting your name forward to seek the nomination of a party in your riding? Or will you help someone else who has the skills and abilities and leadership to do this work? Let’s step up! We need more men and women of courageous conviction to fill the House of Commons with wisdom and vision.
Here are some steps to take in the short-term:
1. Figure out which party best aligns with your values. Consider all of them carefully.
2. When you find a party that you would be comfortable working with, purchase a membership. Also, continue to read the party platform to become familiar with its policies and with its position on different issues.
3. Look up the local EDA (Electoral District Association) in your riding. Ask them how you can get involved. Be prepared to volunteer a few nights a month on the local board.
4. Think about different Christians that you know in your community. Do any of them have the skills and leadership required to be a strong candidate? Approach him or her and ask them to consider running for your party’s nomination.
5. If you are considering running yourself, start talking to friends, colleagues and family about your ambition. Make sure your spouse is fully supportive. Consider talking to your minister and elder for advice as well. The job of an MP is very, very intense!
6. For more ideas and thoughts, contact us! We’d love to hear from you. [email protected] or [email protected]