Don't put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. Ps 146:3
Perhaps we do not have to be quite as cynical as the psalmist, but there is no harm in having the means to test claims made in the run up to the general election.
There are currently no MPs in the UK. Parliament has been dissolved in the lead up to the general election, so all MPs are now 'prospective parliamentary candidates'.
The following list of links is meant to help you to assess the pledges of politicians. In many cases it also allows you to ask your prospective candidates individually about their stance on issues. It is a kind of electronic hustings.
A valuable statement from the English and Welsh Bishops, Choosing the Common Good http://www.catholicchurch.org.uk/catholic_church/publications/choosing_the_common_good
CAFOD has also produced material. http://www.cafod.org.uk/take-action/election
Material from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (largely English and not much on family and bioethics). http://www.ctbi.org.uk/427
The Westminster Declaration 2010 - http://www.westminster2010.org.uk/ subscribed to by, among others, Cardinal O’Brien.
Scotland's Catholic Bishops have released the text of a pre-election statement which will be made available to all of Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes.
Parties Answer Election Questions from Glasgow Churches Together
Four of Scotland's five main political parties have replied to questions from Glasgow Churches Together covering the rights of Christians, poverty, Trident and detention of asylum seekers. Members of Glasgow Churches Together, the city's ecumenical body, are the Church of Scotland, Methodist Church, Roman Catholic Church, Salvation Army, Scottish Episcopal Church, United Free Church of Scotland and United Reformed Church. See answers to questions at
For a comparative review of manifestos and policies of many parties, it’s worth checking Comparative Politics - http://www.comparepolitics.co.uk/
If you want to test your own knowledge of policies rather than personalities, there is a useful little quiz at http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/
Remember that for us in Scotland, we are only voting for matters reserved to Westminster: overall economic and fiscal planning; defence; foreign affairs; international development; abortion and asylum. A full list of devolved and reserved matters can be found here ¬- http://scottish-parliament.org/vli/education/docs/enviro-studies/Additional%20Materials/Devolved_and_Reserved_Matters.pdf
If you want to check how your own views match up to the manifesto commitments of the various parties,try http://www.votematch.org.uk/
For a useful look at how we make decisions, see the article http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/comment/guest-commentary/what-happened-to-our-moral-compass-1.1011535 by Professor John Haldane.
All the serious media - http://www.wrx.zen.co.uk/britnews.htm online have dedicated sections on the election which you can access. If you do not have a life you can also watch replays of TV interviews and commentary on catch up facilities. BBC radio is often a better and more detailed source of information and debate than TV. If you normally read a tabloid, give your mind a treat and read something decent.
For an up to date account of the campaign from a progressive Christian point of view, it is worth signing up to Ekklesia - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/
Issues of Poverty - http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/
Vote out Trident - http://www.scotland4peace.org/Binthebomb/lobby/2010election/VoteOutTrident.htm
Climate change - http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/ask-the-climate-question
Operation Noah has produced useful hustings questions - http://www.operationnoah.org/node/245
An overview of the public finances - http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn93.pdf
Fairtrade - http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get_involved/general_election_2010/default.aspx
Get Fair Campaign - http://tinyurl.com/yyea5ze
Vote Global - http://tinyurl.com/y58hxez
Sanctuary Pledge - http://sanctuarypledge.org.uk/
Palestine - http://www.palestinecampaign.org/Index5b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=51&l2_id=110%20
Gordon Brown on child detention http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/clare-sambrook/what-you-didnt-hear-about-citizens-uk-speech-gordon-brown-on-child-detenti
Some churches are organising hustings, find out if there is a meeting in your constituency at www.makethecrosscount2010.net/hustings/scotland
The PCS Trade Union is organising a series of question time meetings across Scotland with candidiates at the forthcoming elections. The union has produced five pledges that they want candidates to sign up to, covering a range of issues related to pay, public spending and quality services. Five question time events will take place in Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy, East Kilbride and Cumbernauld. For more information visit the PCS website http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/scotland/events-and-courses-in-scotland.cfm
CND Hustings http://www.scotland4peace.org/Binthebomb/lobby/2010election/hustings.htm