Saturday, July 17, 2010

Australia to vote in federal election in 35 days

Australians will vote in a federal election in 35 days from now after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on August 21 election today, just 23 days after she ousted Kevin Rudd from office.

It is the first winter election since 1987 and with a uniform swing of just 1.7 per cent needed for a change of government, Ms Gillard will be hoping August 21 in a fine, sunny winter's day.

A few key issues of interest to Christians or that will influence the election result are:
  • Christian voters will again have a key influence, particularly in the marginal areas of western Sydney and more generally in Queensland.
  • The Greens hold strong hopes of winning lower house seats in the inner city seats in Sydney and Melbourne and to hold the balance of power in the Senate.
  • Both Prime Minister Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbott are untried as leaders in an election campaign and probably have shared the honours in the past few weeks. A distinctively good or bad campaign from either of them could decide the election, as it did when Mark Latham led Labor in 2004.
  • Family First's only federal parliamentarian, Senator Steve Fielding, has real fight on his hand to be real elected. If he loses, the seat could go the the Greens.
  • Both parties representing Christian values, Family First and Christian Democratic Party, seemed to be some way from finalising candidates, but should announce some key names shortly.
  • The CDP have their best chance in NSW or Western Australia - they just lost to the Greens the final senate seat in WA in 2007.
  • For Christians, issues such as non-government school funding, Christian chaplaincy, internet filtering, Millennium Goal fulfillment, asylum seeker policy will be important although the two major parties have attempted to neutralise each other on most of these issues.
In working out how to vote on August 21, Australian Christian Voter will provide timely news and commentary and will also link to the work of organisations such as Australian Christian Lobby and Micah Challenge in understanding key issues.

Both ACL and Micah Challenge encourage voters to organise electorate forums to meet candidates to learn of their values and policies.


  1. Why? What has religion got to do with politics in any way which is appropriate?

  2. Despite plenty of justifiable bad press, religion for many people is not about external rules and regulations, but genuinely held believes and values. No person (or voter) can discard their beliefs when they make decisions but will bring them to the table. Christians care about their country, not just for themselves but for all Australians and for our place among the nations. We care if Australia is a just, generous and moral nation. And in democracies, people can express their views and also question the beliefs and values of those seeking to represent them. I'm sure atheists allow their beliefs to influence their vote. I'm sure that they take time to understand something of the policies, beliefs and values of those seeking their vote. Christians do the same. It doesn't mean they always vote for Christians - that may not be an option or the best option. But it is important to engage with the process and vote with good conscience.

  3. Well said ACV, can't argue with that.

  4. It is NOT about religion - it is faith and morals, moral standards are very necessary in our society.

    How does a Christian decide where to cast their vote when an election is looming? It is not simply a matter of placing ticks in boxes on a ballot paper and hoping your chosen candidate wins their seat. If it were that simple then I would not be writing this blog.

    A person with the right to vote in an election also carries a very real responsibility to ensure that their vote is not wasted, or ‘bartered’ away in some back room deal. They need to know what policies their chosen candidate and their political party stand upon.