Monday, May 31, 2010

Fielding takes on both sides on mining, refugees

Family First Leader Senator Steve Fielding is opposed to the Federal Government's mining tax and opposed to the Opposition's recently announced asylum seeker policy.

Farmers identify property rights as key election issue

Rural communities have a long association with Christian values and so issues affecting farmers are highly relevant, if often unseen, to Christian voters.

Add to this that fact that on average, Australian farmers feed 150 Australians and 650 people overseas (1) , then the relevance of agricultural policy is evident.

NSW Farmers Association President, Charles Armstrong, has said that the Property Rights Campaign is the number
one objective of the NSW Farmers Association in the lead up to both the Federal and NSW State Election.

'From the Senate Inquiry into Native Vegetation Laws, and Federal laws on biodiversity, through to mining legislation
and conversion covenants at the state level, farmers in NSW are facing a barrage of regulation impacting how they run their farms.'

For the full story in The Farm Post click here

(1) Australian Farm Institute figures.

Monday Comment: Leaders battle credibility gap

Both Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott claim to hold Christian faith and values and yet this has not helped them avoid serious issues of trust and credibility.

Tony Abbott's comments about when he could be held accountable for the truthfulness of his statements - while an attempt to be 'fair dinkum' - has actually left many people wondering just when they can believe him.

Then as news has broken of the government's advertising campaign in support of the mining tax, footage of Kevin Rudd's '100 per cent' pre-election commitment not to use taxpayer money for political advertising campaigns is being replayed. Expect to see it a hundred more times this week.

The irony is that Abbott's foot-in-mouth comments were an attempt to explain exactly what has occurred to Kevin Rudd.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Eureka Street critiques Abbott's new refugee policy

One thing agreed to by all sides of the asylum seeker debate is that it will be a significant issue in the next Federal election.

The current issue of Eureka Street, a publication of Jesuit Communications, features a critique of Tony Abbott's recent policy announcement on asylum seekers, written by Kerry Murphy, one of Australia's top immigration lawyers.

According to Murphy, the election is sending policy in the wrong direction.

'Now, with an election on the way, the reform agenda has been put aside. Both the Government and Opposition are hardening their policies on asylum seekers. Sadly the debate is about who is the strongest on border control — the human rights of asylum seekers is not considered.'

Click for the full article.

CDP announces Shoalhaven mayor as lead Senate candidate

Mayor of Shoalhaven City Council, Paul Green, will lead the Senate ticket in NSW for the Christian Democratic Party.

CDP leader Rev Fred Nile has promised to announce high profile, non-clergy candidates across the country and this is one of the first.

Mayor Paul Green is well known on the NSW South Coast and Shoalhaven City covers 49 unique towns and villages. He also attracted a strong Senate vote in the 2007 Federal election.

'Paul Green was our CDP Senate Candidate in 2007 and achieved a good vote which, with preferences, put him within the final seven Senate candidates. We are very pleased that Paul Green has agreed to stand again as our CDP Senate candidate”, Rev Nile said.

'We believe in the current political environment that Mayor Paul Green has an excellent chance of winning the NSW Senate Seat and defeating the radical Green Candidate Lee Rhiannon.'

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Political leaders agree to live webcast to Christians

If your ear is aching, it probably has more to do with a fast approaching federal election than the onset of winter.

But don’t give up now – it’s time to cut through the wordfest and consider seriously how Christians should act as the nation decides its immediate future. If you are passionate about issues ranging from R-rated games to refugees, millenium goals to marriage support – you need to keep your ears and eyes open!

An excellent opportunity to do this has been organised by Australian Christian Lobby who have confirmed June 21 as the date for the Make It Count election webcast.

Make it Count 2010 will see Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott address Christians and answer questions from Christian leaders in a live webcast to churches throughout Australia from Canberra’s Old Parliament House.

A similar event held before the 2007 federal election saw John Howard and Kevin Rudd address 100,000 Christians meeting at 846 churches across Australia.

ALC hopes to triple those numbers in 2010 - to register your church visit . PH

Christian vote could decide next election

A Federal election is almost certain to be held this year and once again Christian voters and parties will have a significant impact on the outcome. In this article, first published in Alive magazine, Peter Hallett explores the state of Christian politics in the nation and the key issues facing voters.

The Christian vote could be one of the big influences on the Federal election expected later this year, following on from the landmark impact of Christian voters in the 2007 Labor victory.

One of Australia’s most respected election analysts, former Queensland Senator John Black, claims that Kevin Rudd may not have won in 2007 without the “leverage” and “key seats” delivered to him by swinging Christian voters.

Columnist with The Australian, Christopher Pearson, said John Black’s findings that the Christian vote “played a more decisive role in determining the outcome than any other single factor” was evidence of a re-emergence of Christian influence in federal politics not seen since the Menzies era.

And with nearly 13 million Australians identifying themselves with Christianity in the 2006 Census and 19 per cent of people attending church at least monthly, many would say it is about time that Christian values influenced election outcomes.

As campaigning intensifies in the months ahead, Christians need to be aware of the increased targeting of them by the major parties and also the relative strengths of parties aligning themselves specifically with Christian values.