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Pages tagged "federal election"
Tas Director Letter to Supporters - February 2013
· February 11, 2013 11:00 AM
The Tasmanian Director Mark Brown’s letter to supporters in the state is now available online.
I trust you have managed to enjoy some of the wonderful weather our beautiful island experienced over the Christmas break. It is so easy to take for granted what we have. My family and I had a week camping at Coles Bay which we loved – although there is nothing quite like the comforts of home!
We missed the bush fires by a few days. It has been inspiring to see the communities around Tasmania rally in support of each other during this tragic season. We praise God that no lives have been directly lost and wonder at some of the amazing stories of escape.
to continue reading.
Jim Wallace on the Political Spot
· December 17, 2012 11:00 AM
Jim Wallace is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby. He spoke to the ACL's Katherine Spackman about the year in politics and looks ahead to the federal election and upcoming WA election.
Jim Wallace post-election blog – Independents support a Gillard Government
· September 07, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
Well the decision has been made. There will be many who rightly question the decision of the Independents given the count on seats won, first preference votes and two party preferred votes, all of which were in the majority for the Coalition. However, as Tony Abbott has gracefully acknowledged, that is our system, and we need to respect it for all its other strengths.
The real concern is the influence of the Greens in the next parliament, certainly from July 2011 when they take their place holding the balance of power in the Senate.
Despite being unable to answer the question about gay marriage in ACL’s Election Questionnaire, they are now, not unsurprisingly, raising it as a major issue they will be pursuing as early as they can in the Parliament.
However Christians should take confidence that Julia Gillard made an unequivocal promise on gay marriage, not only to maintain the party policy that marriage is between a man and a woman as long as she is the leader, but also not to trade it off if the Greens hold the balance of power.
While the Greens will attempt to force a conscience vote on the issue, neither Labor or the Coalition can allow this, without betraying the their promises, as their position on gay marriage is an unequivocal plank in their party policy and party policy is not subject to a conscience vote.
Family First may yet retain a seat in the Senate, with Bob Day, the SA candidate still ahead for the final seat there with over 85% of the vote counted and with preferences still to be distributed. While David Fawcett the Liberal candidate competing for the final seat is also a strong Christian, it would be important for the future of Family First to retain the seat in the Senate.
A minority Government is certainly a recipe for instability and we need to pray that it will not lead to a further deterioration of Christian values in the nation. In this regard the Christian constituency must realise that it must commit to a much higher degree than it has of late, and participate in debates in the public square and bring Christ into it.
The ‘Greenslide’ is a backslide into paganism
· September 02, 2010 10:00 AM
The far-left so-called environment party represents a serious threat to our way of life, warns ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace writing in the
magazine out in newsagents tomorrow. In an opinion piece which is featured on the magazine’s front cover, Jim writes:
“In recent weeks, Bob Brown has triumphantly announced a ‘Greenslide’. But it is yet another reflection of how our democracy has become determined by the highest bidder, rather than the most deserving.
The Senate race was so unequally framed that Brown was able to present the Greens, without doubt the hard left of Australian politics, as a genuine alternative to the two major parties, and to continue the deception that this party is about what is natural and is above our tainted mainstream politics.
It was an attractive argument for an electorate presented with such a negative campaign by the major parties. But even a cursory glance at the Greens, their ideology and record in politics, makes a complete mockery of any claim to genuine third party status in Australian politics.
The Senate competition between the minor parties was unequal because only the Greens could amass the cash to promote their cause via a TV campaign. Together with the abandonment of the environment as an issue by the major parties and the political football status given to refugees by the Coalition and the ALP, this made for quite an opportunity. An incredible number of people voted Green as an alternative, without any real idea of what they stand for and almost certainly little empathy for many of their incoherent policies.
This is, after all, a party that simultaneously holds policies supporting pornography and prostitution that fuel the sex trade, while all the time feigning support for women and the most vulnerable.”
To read the full article please click
, or the magazine can be purchased at newsagents for $8.95.
Christian vote again hailed as significant in 2010 Federal election
· September 02, 2010 10:00 AM
For the second Federal election in a row, the Christian vote has been hailed as having a significant effect on the outcome – further highlighting the need for political parties to be mindful of the Christian constituency.
A recent demographic analysis of the 2010 election results by research and demographic marketing group, Australian Development Strategies - headed by former Queensland ALP Senator John Black – reveals that the loss of Kevin Rudd’s pro-Christian profile cost the ALP support in marginal seats, particularly in the key states of Queensland and NSW.
Writing in Monday’s
Australian Financial Review
(offline), John Black highlighted this fact but also added that, on the flip side, “Gillard’s lack of religious beliefs – or the absence of Rudd’s Christian image – may have led to an increase in the swings to Labor candidates from agnostics and atheists.”
Tellingly though, Christian voters appear to have had a far greater impact.
Mr Black states in his report summary that: “There’s no doubt that the impact of these Christian and family factors cost the ALP more seats than it gained...the ALP did, after all, lose the Rudd majority of some 16 seats in net terms.” Please click
to see the full report.
The results of this research appear to be in keeping with qualitative research undertaken by the National Forum (publisher of Online Opinion) into Christian voting intentions carried out a month prior to the Federal election (between July 18 and 21).
This research found that going into the 2010 election, Christian voters were tending towards the Coalition, reversing the trend of the last election when the ‘Rudd factor’ (Kevin Rudd’s acknowledgement of his Christian faith) appears to have come into play. It showed that 30% of Christian voters who voted Labor at the last election were either undecided or planned to vote for the Coalition at the 2010 election (compared to the 22% of people who fit that category from the total sample).
As mentioned, this research was carried out a month before the Federal election – and prior to Julia Gillard making greater efforts to engage with the Christian constituency. Two weeks before the election, Ms Gillard agreed to address Christians via a video interview with Jim Wallace and made some important commitments on upholding the status of marriage and extending the school chaplaincy program.
Whether these and other commitments affected the size of the swing in the Christian vote is as yet unknown, as is how much having an atheist leader running against a leader of strong faith affected voting decisions.
This election’s research is all the more interesting in the light of that by Australian Development Strategies following the 2007 election, which also highlighted the importance of the Christian vote. As Christopher Pearson commented in
at the time, “The most surprising of his (John Black’s) findings is that the religious affiliation of swinging voters played a more decisive role in determining the outcome than any other single factor.”
These demographic assessments – both in 2010 and 2007 – provide valuable confirmation of the importance of the Christian vote and the fact that it is not held captive by one particular party, but can be won or lost by either side. As the ACL has said in the past, Christians don’t vote in a bloc, but often tend to weigh up their vote and consider the respective parties’ strengths in terms of both moral and social justice issues.
For obvious reasons, politicians tend to listen more to a constituency if it has an effective influence on election outcomes. This new assessment has reinforced the need for politicians to listen to Christian views when developing policies and framing laws. It is a welcome development as we work towards having a more moral, compassionate and caring society.
Jim Wallace daily election blog – Fri Aug 20
· August 20, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
Do you know where your Senate preferences will go this election?
One of the hottest battles in this year’s federal election is in the Senate, where the Greens are well-placed to hold the balance of power in their own right for the first time in their history, when newly-elected state Senators take up their seats from July 1 next year.
Unlike for the House of Representatives, voters have a choice of two ways in which to complete their ballot papers for the Senate – above or below the line. ACL has produced short videos on how to vote in both houses for people who are unsure of the process or otherwise interested. You can view the videos by clicking
. The Australian Electoral Commission describes the Senate voting process
The majority of people cast their Senate vote above the line because it is quicker and easier, and you are less likely to cast an informal vote – it takes quite a bit of time and concentration to correctly number 80-odd boxes below the line for voters in New South Wales!
When voting above the line you simply write the number ‘1’ in the box for the political party or group of your choice. Voting this way means that you agree to your preferred party or group distributing preferences in the order they have determined. The way each party or group will direct its preferences is outlined in Group Voting Tickets.
A quick analysis of the Group Voting Tickets for the five parties whose questionnaire responses are featured in the
Australia Votes Election Summary Booklet
– Greens, Labor, Coalition, Family First and the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) – has thrown up some interesting results that might cause some people to carefully consider their voting intentions.
ACL has produced a
of the five featured parties and how they will distribute preferences in each state and territory (where fielding candidates). Under each party name are listed the other parties in the order of where the featured parties will send their preferences. (Note that independent and ungrouped candidates have not been listed.)
The way a party distributes its preferences is by no means an absolute guide to its principles, but it does somewhat reflect an alignment of values with parties it preferences first. Some of the interesting observations and trends to arise from an analysis of the Group Voting Tickets for each state and territory include:
The ALP, through a
noteworthy preference-swap arrangement
, is preferencing the Greens first in every state and territory.
The Greens preference the Sex Party, which is essentially the political mouthpiece of the adult sex industry, second in Victoria and first in the Northern Territory.
The ALP preferences the Sex Party above Family First in every state where both of these two minor parties are contesting, except South Australia.
The Greens preference the Secular Party, which believes that “
religions are not only untrue but harmful to society
”, no lower than fourth in all states, and first in New South Wales.
The Coalition preferences both the CDP and Family First in the top three in each state where those two smaller parties are fielding candidates.
The preferences of CDP and Family First are relatively straightforward with both parties keen to attract the Christian vote. Although in a number of states they have both preferenced One Nation higher than the major parties, this seems to a degree due to wanting to place the Greens and the Sex Party lowest in the order.
(The complete Group Voting Tickets for the Senate are available from the
Australian Electoral Commission website
– simply follow the link to your respective state or territory from the homepage.)
Now it is important to point out that parties allocate their preference flows to best ensure their election and that they all preference all the other parties. However you might rightly question a party’s priorities and its philosophy of “the means justifying the ends,” in the order of preference allocation.
My final word
With the election so close, we have a PM who despite her atheist beliefs and membership of Emily’s List has sought as late as the last 24 hours to give her assurances on her support for traditional marriage and belief in the importance of Australia’s Christian heritage. While moving later than the Coalition, she has also agreed to support chaplaincy, and even more generously; and while not quite as unequivocally, to reviewing the classification system.
Tony Abbott comes into the election with a strong record of personal and public faith, particularly on life issues. The Coalition’s position on marriage and support for chaplaincy have never been in doubt and they have announced the appointment of an International Development Minister to give higher profile to aid within government. They too have committed to a comprehensive review of the classification system, but disappointingly for ACL, are opposed to the Government’s plan to filter RC material on the internet at ISP level.
The remaining policy positions are as they have been throughout the campaign on this site and for the major parties you will find general convergence on most social justice issues, but often a difference in approach, and particularly on homelessness which deserves study.
Don’t forget the importance of the Senate vote. The Greens do not for us provide a real alternative for the Christian voter, as much because of how they have misrepresented themselves to the constituency. This seems further confirmed by their preference deals outlined above. If you are seeking an alternative to the major parties in the Senate we suggest you look seriously at Family First and CDP.
The election is now nigh – please pray for God’s purpose and will to be accomplished.
Jim Wallace daily election blog – Wed Aug 18
· August 18, 2010 10:00 AM
By Jim Wallace, ACL Managing Director
As the final election week draws to a close and the need to place an informed vote for more Godly government draws closer, my main aim in these blogs is to highlight more recent announcements that we think might influence your decision and also on Thursday, to discuss the Senate.
I am sorry that I am one blog behind at the moment!
The Coalition has announced an initiative that will raise the profile of aid within government with the intention to appoint an International Development Minister. This will be very much welcomed by NGOs and has been something they had wanted to see. It should bring some compensation for their efforts on the part of the world’s poor, given the failure of either major party to commit to a definite timetable for applying the MDG’s target of .7% of GNI to set aid budgets beyond 2015. World Vision’s CEO
Tim Costello has welcomed the initiative
committed to close a loophole
in the regulation of the mobile phone industry that allows games and applications to go online without any classification. While ACL is unsure how the classification would be applied, as the number of games and applications going online is massive, there is at least an acknowledgement that this needs to be fixed – although part of the motivation is to capture the classification fees being avoided by the telcos.
There are quite a few areas where the major parties have differences at the edges. Some of these relate to differences in approach to a problem such as homelessness, where the Coalition would see its approach as directed more at the causes, particularly drugs and mental illness, while Labor would claim its policy is more direct intervention with investment in more low cost housing for instance –
see and compare the policies
Tomorrow I will discuss the all important Senate vote.
Meet your local candidate online at Australiavotes.org.au
· August 12, 2010 10:00 AM
Did you know that the ACL has added a new innovation to its election website for the upcoming August 21 federal poll?
ACL is offering candidates for both the House of Representatives and the Senate the exciting opportunity to speak directly to the Christian constituency about the issues that matter to them via video messages hosted at
The candidate videos feature of Australia Votes gives candidates the ability to share with voters their views on matters of conscience and values that go beyond party partisan politics, and to discuss issues important to their local electorate.
Several candidates have already uploaded their videos to the website, and many more are on the way. Check it all out here:
. Remember to re-check the site for more videos as August 21 draws closer.
Perhaps if there is a candidate in your electorate that you’d like to hear from but who hasn’t uploaded a video yet, you could encourage them to do so. The site includes simple instructions to give all candidates an equal opportunity to share their views.
Welcome to Australiavotes.org.au
· August 03, 2010 10:00 AM
[caption id="attachment_1829" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Jim Wallace"]
Who do I vote for? How do I make my vote count for Christian values? This is what many are asking with just two-and-a-half weeks until polling day.
For the past 10 years, ACL has worked hard to ensure Christians know as much as possible about the Parties and Candidates standing in elections.
In a non-party partisan way (but critical where necessary), we have sought to help Christians cast an informed vote for those who best support Christian values.
We are pleased to be taking this service to new levels in the 2010 Federal Election.
In late June we contacted all the Parties contesting the election with 24 questions of key concern to Christians.
All of the well-known Parties have responded, along with some of the less well known.
We have posted their answers on the
site and hope you might take some time between now and August 21 to consider their responses. For busy people who don’t have time to go through 24 questions and answers, we have an easy link to Touchstone Issues and Points of Difference between the major Parties.
Disappointingly the Greens, who most pundits say are cruising to control the Senate, declined to answer many of the questions we put.
This site contains information about ACL’s local Candidate Forums and we are in the process of up-loading short video messages from participating House of Representatives and Senate Candidates.
If your local candidate has not submitted a video, you might like to ask them to consider this.
also contains information on conscience votes held in the 2004-2007 Parliament.
Whilst there were no conscience votes in the last Parliament, many of the politicians who voted on abortion and cloning in 2006 are again contesting this election. It is important to know where your candidate stands on protecting human life at its most vulnerable.
Under Election Resources you will see some short video clips which are designed to de-mystify the preferential voting system for the House of Representatives and the Senate. Please take a moment to view these.
We’ll be seeking to update this blog daily with comment on the remainder of the campaign as it affects Christians.
Jim Wallace AM
ACL Managing Director
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