Saturday, August 31, 2013

22 policy areas of concern to Christians feature on Australia Votes website

Australia Votes, policies, election, election campaign, Christian voters, Australian Christian Lobby
Homelessness, abortion, national curriculum, internet safety, sharia law and prayer in Parliament are some of the 22 policy areas canvassed by a political party questionnaire on the Australia Votes website.

Unlike the more common 'tick-a-box' policy responses, the policy pages on Australia Votes contain detailed policy notes written specifically for the site and providing some fascinating insights into policy.

Framed and distributed by the Australian Christian Lobby, the Australia Votes questionnaire avoids broader issues of voter interest and focuses on policy areas that may be critical to Christian voters, depending on their specific interests:
'ACL recognises that Christian voters will share many concerns with the general electorate and has tried to avoid duplicating those. Instead this questionnaire aims to reflect the main concerns of this constituency on topics such as refugees, abortion, marriage, family, classification standards, sexualisation of children and religious freedom.'
Responses from The Greens and most left-leaning parties are not present on the site which reflects their choice not to participate and the challenge of seeking to provide a truly comprehensive policy guide. In fact, apart from the Liberals, Labor and Liberal Democrats, all other parties featured could be broadly labelled 'Christian'.

Still, it makes for some fascinating reading and allows conscientious voters to peer more closely into the policy areas of most concern to them. [Please contribute comments on this post describing your favourite policy moment from the material available on Australia Votes]

The full list of policy topics covered is:

1. Homelessness and housing affordability.
2. Treatment of charities and not-for-profits.
3. Problem gambling.
4. Religious persecution.
5. Overseas Aid.
6. Refugees.
7. Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
8. Abortion.
9. Abortion Data.
10. National curriculum.
11. Unemployment.
12. Marriage.
13. Parenting.
14. Children.
15. Classification.
16. Internet safety.
17. Sustainability.
18. Sharia law.
19. Charter of rights.
20. Indigenous welfare.
21. Freedom of religion.
22. Prayer in parliament

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