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Monday, October 24, 2016
Catholic voters invited to 'have a hand in history'
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campaigners outside Parliament
In the coming general election, MPs and parliamentary candidates will be looking for  votes. The decisions taken by the next government on issues like aid, climate change and regulating business will have far-reaching consequences for poor communities worldwide.

Aid agency CAFOD says that as Christians "we are striving for a world free from poverty and injustice where every person can flourish, live in dignity and safety, and in harmony with the rest of creation. By influencing people in power locally, nationally and internationally, this vision can be made a reality and the world can be made a fairer place for millions of people living in poverty."

Parishioners around the UK have an opportunity to make a difference not just on Election Day, but for the years to come. Tony Sheen from CAFOD said: "Don't just cast your vote – why not have a hand in history by lobbying your candidates this election."

"We are calling for a fair and binding global climate deal, a legal commitment from the UK government to give 0.7 per cent of gross national income as aid and measures to ensure that international companies act responsibly, and do not contribute to tax evasion or corruption overseas. When we take action together, people in power listen. Actions by CAFOD supporters, are already making a difference on these issues. For example, public pressure brought in tough climate change legislation in the UK and over 55,000 people backed CAFOD’s Climate Justice campaign last year. Although we made the government listen, there’s a long way to go.

"The MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign persuaded world leaders to commit to $50 billion extra aid and our government to agree to new aid targets. Through support for CAFOD’s Unearth Justice and Clean up Your Computer campaigns, campaigners in the Diocese and across the UK succeeded in getting some jewellery, mining and electronics companies to take responsibility for the impacts of their business on poor communities and the environment."

Tony said: "The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have stated in Choosing the Common Good, a pre-election report: 'Change is possible. But it cannot be left to politicians alone to bring about. It needs all of us.'  The report calls on all of us to reflect on what sort of society we live in and how we want it to be. So, the message is – if you want to change the world, don’t wait for someone else - vote, act, speak out, it’s up to you."

For more and an election guide with tips for lobbying your candidates, as well as information about becoming an MP correspondent, see:

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Tags: CAFOD, election, Make Poverty History, vote

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