Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Heavy media focus on religion and politics

The departure of Kevin Rudd has increased, not lessened, the focus on the influence of religious beliefs and politics.

Since the leadership change last Friday there has been unprecedented focus on whether Prime Minister Julia Gillard would follow her predecessor in affirming religious faith.

When she told ABC radio yesterday that she was not a Christian and would not pretend to have faith, media and internet commentary on the issue soared.

Several major news outlets are conducting their own polls on the topic. The Sydney Morning Herald is asking readers: 'Will Julia Gillard's atheism make her more open-minded on policy?' As of this posting, 2087 readers had voted with 58 per cent saying yes, and 42 per cent no.

At the same time, Radio 2UE is asking visitors to its website: 'Should a politician's religious beliefs matter to voters?' The result is not known. asked yesterday, 'Will your vote be swayed by Julia Gillard's stance on religion?' 12601 people voted with 26 per cent answering yes, 50 per cent no and 24 per cent saying they didn't care.

Last night the 7pm Project debated the same issues and what is becoming clearer is that political support is polarising more on the issue of faith.

See ACV's poll - right.

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