Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sparse Christian response to election news, but it's early days...

Federal election 2013, Julia Gillard, Prime Minister, election, Christian, voter, reaction, Catholic, Anglican
Response from faith-based organisations and churches was relatively sparse in the hours after Prime Minister Julia Gillard's announcement of a September 14 federal election.

Anglican analysis
Sydney Anglicans has a page devoted to the 'political year ahead' which pre-dates the announcement but provides some good analysis.

Among other things, it lists issues as:

  • The key issue will be the economy.
  • Voters will likewise expect more from Tony Abbott and his colleagues.
  • A proper debate on poverty and income support needed.
  • Expect big debates on law reform issues, starting with Commonwealth plans for national anti-discrimination laws. 
  • Praying for let’s a more civilized climate of public debate.
Catholic comment
Catholic Health Australia tweeted that the election will be '2.5 weeks after the CHA national conference. Might be some people keen to be added to our program :)'.

Scott Prasser, executive director of the Australian Catholic University's Public Policy Institute, said in the SMH that Ms Gillard's 'unprecedented' move would benefit the government because it could keep campaigning with government resources.

Prof Prasser it would also put pressure on Tony Abbott to release policies and change tenor of all debates until the election.

ACL action
As of midnight on announcement night, the Australian Christian Lobby had not publicly commented on the election announcement and is still focused on the March 9 West Australian election.

"In the lead up to the election, the ACL has organised a Make it Count event with the Premier and Opposition Leader of the major parties on Tuesday 26th February at Mount Pleasant Baptist Community College from 7.30 to 9pm" the ACL website says.

Jewish response
Despite the Prime Minister announcing the election for the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, head of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim, was unconcerned saying the clash of dates on September 14 ''is not an issue''
Mr Wertheim told The Age that every federal election is held on a Saturday - the Jewish Sabbath - and he believes that Jewish people are well used to voting early either by pre polling or through the mail.

Handel's Messiah rates a mention
One blog has pointed out that among other things, September 14 is the date Handel completed the Messiah in 1741. If the Day of Atonement was not enough...

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