37% of those who votes are happy because their chosen party won.
The other 63% of voters will range from the Tory haters to people who would have preferred their chosen party to have won.
34% of people didn’t vote. Once again, those people who are largely indifferent have demonstrated that they don’t understand the power that they have and that could have won the election for any of the parties.
I didn’t see this result coming but the more that I have thought about it through the day, it makes sense. The Conservatives have consistently said that they are the safest pair of hands for the country and the economy and that the alternative is chaos.
When people live in fear, they will always take what they think is the safest option.
It also strikes me that the main concern and criticism of the Conservatives that many people I know have is that when they are in power that it is often the poor and the vulnerable who suffer. In contrast to this, many middle class people may feel better off and people perhaps the result is evidence that people largely vote for themselves rather than for others.
I have to be honest and say that I personally didn’t want the Conservatives to win outright power but I have also been surprised by the anger expressed by many today.
So, what next?
1. It’s time to move on
The conservatives are in power and complaining about it isn’t going to help or change anything. Many of us have real worries about the Conservatives, but we need to see if they come good on their election pledges or not.
2. We need to work together
We need to work constructively together agreeing and celebrating where we can and campaigning and challenging about the things that we disagree with.
Cooperation is a sign of maturity. We encourage children to get on in the playground and we need to model that as adults in the way we treat people, even those who we disagree with.
3. When we need to criticize, let’s do so constructively and specifically
Just spouting angrily against other people achieves nothing. Anger by itself changes nothing, but when we say to our government that people shouldn’t have their benefits sanctioned instantly without a right of appeal then we are making a specific and constructive and compassionate point.
General criticism is unhelpful, if someone just tells you that you are rubbish then they are just irritating.
Specific criticism is helpful, if someone tells you that they are concerned for you because when you cross the road you don’t look to see if any cars are coming then that is helpful and lief saving advice.
We all need to think about how we campaign constructively rather than juts whingeing when we disagree.
4. If you are a Christian then you have to love the Conservatives
The Bible’s teaching that we should love our neighbour and also love our enemy means that we need to love the Conservatives whether we want them in power or not.
Hating others doesn’t do them any direct harm, but it does lead to stress and sometimes illness for us. It’s ironic isn’t it, we hate people because we want them to suffer but the only people who suffer through our hatred are ourselves.
5. We should pray for our Government
The Bible teaches us to pray for those who rule over us. These words were written at a time when the Romans ruled and Christians were often being persecuted by them. Despite this, they still were commanded by God to pray their rulers.
6. We need to remember that this is all about people
One of the people who illustrates this best is Ed Balls. Yesterday he believed that he could be in government as chancellor but today he isn’t even an MP.
Some people are celebrating that people have failed, but it would be good for us to pause and remember that these are still people. If I was in his constituency, I wouldn’t have voted for Ed, but if I can’t have compassion for someone who must be going through a hard time then what does that say about me?
We are where we are today whether we like it or not and all we can do is move on together.