Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pirates, bullet trains, Wikileaks, Carers - just some of the parties registering to contest September election

AEC, party registration, election 2013, new parties, Uniting Australia Party, Voluntary Euthanasia, DLP, LDP, Liberals, Wikileaks
As an election year experience, Australian Christian Voter has subscribed to the Australian Electoral Commission's political party registration alert.

Whenever a party applies to register, change its name or has its registration approved or otherwise and the pace of alerts is definitely pick up.

Early alerts pertained to The Pirate Party, Carers Alliance and Bank Reform Party - read our earlier story here.

The next party registration alert seemed to coincide with the (very slow) discussion of a very fast train - The Bullet Train for Australia Party. Canberran Timothy Bohm is named as the applicant and the party's website says its goal is create a better Australia for our children and will have no other policies than to push for a high speed train.

An innocent little alert then came through for the Uniting Australia Party, a few days before Clive Palmer's plan to form a political party hit the headlines. Despite the application not being finally approved - objections can be made until May 24 - the UAP is already naming candidates and running advertising. It helps to have deep pockets.

Then this month, a trifecta of interesting new parties hit the AEC in time to beat the May 13 deadline for new registrations - Wikileaks Party, Voluntary Euthanasia Party and Nick Xenophon Group. You can find out more about their registration applications on the AEC website.

Wikileaks Party is a vehicle for would-be Victorian Senate candidate Julian Assange but has an interesting array of Australians on its National Council. The party has been formed by campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke and he is standing for the Senate, possibly in South Australia. Nick Xenophon says he has reluctantly formed the party so his name can be above the line on the ballot paper.

Meanwhile to parties with a symmetry to their names are both seeking changes or abbreviations to their existing registration.

The Democratic Labor Party of Australia wants to drop the 'of Australia' part with a new abbreviation, DLP Democratic Labor. And the Liberal Democratic Party wants to change its abbreviation from Liberal Democrats (LDP) to Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Party is objecting.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ABC PM asks 'how powerful is the Australian Christian Lobby?'

Australian Christian Lobby, Jim Wallace, Lyle Shelton, PM, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, politics, election
ACL's Jim Wallace and Lyle Shelton.
ABC PM segment transcript below.
With the issue of gay marriage brought front and centre through Kevin Rudd's 'coming out' of a change of mind, the Australian Christian Lobby has been called on to respond from a conservative Christian perspective.

This has led leading ABC Radio program to look into the group which has been a political strength especially since the Kevin 07 election where, Kevin Rudd again, harnessed elements of the Christian vote so effectively for Labor.

The key figure for the ACL over many years was former SAS commander Jim Wallace who until this month was Managing Director and has just moved to the position of Deputy Chairman. He has been replaced by former ACL Chief of Staff, Lyle Shelton.

The ACL has worked hard to interest Christians and churches in the political process, helping to run electorate meetings and hosting pre-election Make it Count events with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. Kevin Rudd appeared at one of these in Canberra in 2010 the night before he was ousted by Julia Gillard.

And now as the election meanders closer, with the issue of gay marriage again front and centre, the ACL is busy on this and many other important policy debates for the diverse Christian community.

Hear AM reporter Peter Lloyd's segment on the Australia Christian Lobby or read the transcript below. Visit the ACL website.


DAVID MARK: The former prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has been receiving as many brick-bats as bouquets for coming out in support of same-sex marriage. Some of the most strident criticism of his move has come from a group called the Australian Christian Lobby. It warned Mr Rudd his change of view will cost him votes in what it calls the 'Christian constituency'. But does such a constituency exist? And what power does the Australian Christian Lobby really wield? Peter Lloyd has been investigating.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Australia's aid commitment deferral may cost a million lives: Tim Costello

'Australian aid saved 200,000 lives this past year. If we had kept our promise and not pushed it out by another year that's another million lives over the next four years that would have been saved.'

This was World Vision Australia Chief Executive Tom Costello's response to Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr's confirmation that Australia's commitment to lift foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2014-15 has been pushed back to 2015-16.

While acknowledging that there would still be a rise in foreign aid, he said the aid budget had already had "a very significant haircut" and blasted the diversion of spending for another year. Read more here.

Christian justice organisation, Micah Challenge has been calling on Australians to write to Wayne Swift asking him not to reduce the commitment to aid. Read more here.

Rev Fred Nile's fiancee Silvana Nero contests NSW by-election

Silvana Nero, CDP, Fred Nile, fiancee, Northern Tablelands, by-election, Adam marshall wins
Rev Fred Nile's fiancee Silvana Nero is placed seventh on the ballot paper as the Christian Democratic Party candidate for the by-election in the NSW seat of Northern Tablelands to be held on May 25.

Ms Nero, a single mother of three who lives in government housing in Dee Why, is hoping to fill the parliamentary vacancy left by independent Richard Torbay who resigned suddenly and has since been referred to ICAC.

Torbay had been selected as the National candidate for Tony Windsor's federal electorate of New England in the upcoming election. He has been replaced by National's Senator Barnaby Joyce.

Ms Nero has encouraged people to vote for her saying on her Facebook page, 'I am on the Northern Tablelands by-election ballot at No.7. Lucky number. Vote for me and go to the bottom of the ballot.'
She describes herself as 'Pro-Life, Pro-Family and Pro-Christian ethics'.

She has been a teacher for 30 years, including in Walcha and Tamworth (Northern Tablelands) and says of her faith:
'As long as I can remember I have trusted and put into practice that “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7. I stand for Biblical truths that brings us hope, peace and love.'
Fred Nile engagement, Silvia Nero, CDP, election,
Rev Nile, 78, the national leader of the CDP and NSW MLC, announced this month his engagement to Ms Nero, 55, admitting that he was besotted with her and that his wife Elaine who died in October 2011 and said he could remarry, although ruling some women off limits.

Ms Nero says that Rev Nile is her 'knight in shining armour' and has made it clear that they do not live together or share a room as both believe strongly in marriage - Rev Nile was married for 53 years.

Fred Nile's engagement announced
Silvana Nero's Facebook page
Northern Tablelands by-election
Official CDP Facebook page

Postscript: The Northern Tablelands by-election was won by Adam Marshall (The Nationals) with 63.3 per cent of the primary vote followed by Jim Maher (Independent) with 13.5 per cent. Ms Nero came seventh with 2.1 per cent of the primary vote.