On Friday 23rd August, ACL conducted a 'Meet Your Candidate' forum (MYCF) in the electorate of Forde, Queensland, which includes areas such as Boonah, Beenleigh, Beaudesert and Loganlea. Approximately 80 people attended.
The purpose of a MYCF is to give voters the opportunity to meet and question candidates in their electorate about issues of most concern to them, and to gain a greater understanding of their values and priorities so they can make an informed vote on election day. It also gives Christians the opportunity to engage with and contribute to the political process.
Eight out of the ten candidates running in this electorate attended the MYCF. These were:
Bert van Manen MP - Sitting Liberal National Party member on a 1.6 per cent margin
Peter Beattie - Forde candidate for the Labor Party
Keith Douglas - Australian Voice Party candidate
Joshua Sloss - Independent candidate for Forde electorate
Jan Pukallus - candidate for the Citizens Electoral Council
Sally Spain - Greens candidate
Amanda Best - candidate for Family First
Paul Hunter - candidate for Katter's Australian Party
Each candidate presented a speech to the audience which was followed by a Q & A session moderated by ACL's Queensland Director Wendy Francis.
The candidates discussed a number of issues including unemployment, environment issues, chaplaincy, and marriage.
On the question of marriage, Mr van Manen said he polled his electorate and over 90 per cent of the correspondence received was in favour of marriage remaining between one man and one woman. If there was a conscience vote on the issue, he would vote against redefining marriage.
Mr Beattie said he used to believe marriage was between a man and a woman, but that his opinion has recently changed.
ACL will be conducting more MYCF's in states around the country - click here for details.