Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bob Katter stakes a claim for Christian voter heartland

Bob Katter, Bob Katter's Australia Party, Christian voter, Christian politics, election
If the result of the recent Neilsen poll carried through to the election - Coalition leading the ALP by 47 per cent to 30 per cent may - the minor parties' battle for the balance of power might become obsolete.

But if it election results in both houses is close enough to bring the fate of the minor parties and independents back into play, Bob Katter's Australia Party is tipped by some analysts as the party to watch.

While the birth of the party nationally has been marked by controversial comments and candidate resignations, it could be a case of 'all publicity is good publicity' considering the challenge most small parties have in creating national profile. And in any case there is little doubt Katter and co will poll well in Queensland, and maybe western Sydney, right where Labor is expected to suffer badly.

This presents a challenge for, among others, the nation's Christian-oriented parties which also seek to gain elusive Senate seats to give them a pivotal place in the Parliament.

Steve Fielding of Family First famously played this role after winning the final Victorian Senate seat in 2004, only to be out-maneuvered by the Democratic Labor Party in 2010. The Christian Democrats also hope to replicate their NSW upper house role nationally and new party, Australian Christians, has added to an already crowed field appealing to the Christian voter.

Bob Katter, Bob Katter's Australia Party, Christian politics, politics, auspol, They might all leak votes to Katter's Australia Party, particularly as he has deliberately positioned himself as representative of this constituency, but in a more general, community sense.

In the second reading of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill on February 14, Mr Katter took the opportunity to remind Parliament of his association with Christian values:
'I was pleased to hear the previous speaker refer to Christianity. The second sentence outlining the values and principles of my own political party states that we are a Christian nation, and we go on to define 'Christian' as being our responsibility to our fellow man. At the very heart of our cultural inheritance - whether we are atheists or agnostics, whether we want to admit it or not - built into our thinking DNA, is Christianity: we do have a responsibility to our fellow man. We are seeing that manifest today in this much needed and greatly overdue legislation. We pay the government and the opposition great tribute for their bipartisan remarks today.'
While these remarks will go down like a lead-balloon with some voters, some of those that are of faith, particularly Christian, and those that are happy to ascribe virtue to Christian values in the generic way Katter does, will keep the Australia party in mind, maybe.

The exact wording of point two of the Australia party's 'Core Values and Principles' reads:
'Modern Australia was founded on Christian values and a responsibility to one's fellow man. This heritage belongs to all Australians and defines the culture of the nation. The ideals for Australian society and government should be based upon these principles.'
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  • To purchase An Incredible Race of People by Bob Katter, click the book cover graphic.

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