Australians are off to the polls on August 21 and already the first shots have been fired in what will be a short – but no doubt hectic – election campaign.

Some of the issues to gain most attention on the secular media radar during the first days of the election campaign have been population size, Work Choices, asylum seekers and education.

In the countdown to the election ACL will be aiming to assist Christians to cast a vote for the candidate/party of their choice who best reflects Christian values and concerns. It is vital that, as a constituency, we engage in the election campaign and take a close interest in who will represent us in the next Federal Parliament.

There will no doubt be a wide range of issues of interest or concern for Christians ranging from moral and life issues through to social justice issues.

The ACL has put 24 questions on these issues to all the political parties contesting the election and hope to have responses back shortly. We will publish the responses on our website within the next couple of weeks, along with a host of other election resources.

A number of issues are already shaping up as key ones for Christians to seek commitments on in this particular election, including:

  • The school chaplaincy program and whether Labor will commit to funding it beyond 2011. (Please click here for more details).

  • ISP filtering – and whether the Coalition will commit to support this important initiative to help safeguard children online. The Greens oppose it.

  • Gay marriage – the Prime Minister has stated that marriage is between a man and a woman but we want to ensure this commitment lasts beyond the next ALP National Conference in two years. The Coalition is firm on this but the Greens support gay marriage.

  • The classification system – it is in urgent need of an overhaul, with far better standards being enforced. While there is sympathy for this in the major parties we need more commitments.

  • Refugees – and the need to effectively balance border control initiatives with the humane treatment of asylum seekers.

We encourage you to be active in ensuring you make an informed vote at the upcoming election and in highlighting with local candidates the issues of most concern to you. We will inform you as the campaign progresses of the policies of parties and your opportunities to participate in the election.