Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
Last week we distributed the Australian Christian Values Checklist - which rates a number of political parties on a range of moral and ethical issues. For an Update on the Checklist and information to find out MORE about political parties and their policies, see below.
To see the Checklist documents and Supporting Statements - click here.
However, it is ALSO VITAL that we carefully assess the actual CANDIDATES who are standing for election.
It is up to us to contact the CANDIDATES and ask them about themselves AND their policies. One of the key questions to ask in this election is 'Do you support changing the Marriage Act to allow homosexuals to 'marry'?"
We need strong Biblical Christians in the Parliament. People who will stand up for Biblical principles - for instance, we need to be asking if they will OPPOSE the legalisation of same-sex 'marriage'.
As Peter Kentley, a Christian leader in Melbourne, said today, "One of the up-front wisdom prayers for this election is to ask God for quality pro Kingdom-of-God candidates to be elected. Conversely we can pray that candidates opposed to God's values and principles are unsuccessful. We should also note that candidates who wear the Christian badge but whose character is not aligned with the integrity of the faith can be more damaging in the parliament than non-Christians who tend to jump the right way. What we need in the Australian parliament are candidates whose walk before God and man is one of humility and dependency - those who seek the wisdom of God in personal and public life."
Contacting your CANDIDATES in BOTH Houses . . .
With 53 political parties contesting the election, it will be a big task - but at LEAST you need to speak to the candidates in your House of Representatives electorate.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has an ELECTION WEBPAGE - click here.
They have published the names and contact details for ALL candidates in ALL electorates.
The webpage lists House of Representatives candidates (by electorate in each state).
The Senate candidates are also listed - one list for each state - these are in the BALLOT order.
Click HERE for FULL information on CANDIDATES (AEC webpage).
More on Political Parties and policies . . .
There will be a SECOND edition of the Checklist published later this week - some of the Parties have responded by clarifying and adding to their policies and in some cases we were unaware of policies held by the Parties.
Checking PARTY policies!
With 53 political parties contesting this election, we obviously could not assess ALL the political parties running!
We encourage you to look at the POLITICAL PARTY websites and the Policy pages and check the policies of any party that you are thinking of voting for!
LINKS for Political Parties and Policies
We have listed a number of the parties on our webpage 'Political parties in Australia'.
The Australian Electoral Commission, which registers political parties, has a webpage detailing the process - click here.
The AEC has a current list of all registered political parties in Australia - click here.
The Supporting Statements document for the Christian Values Checklist has LINKS to the POLICY pages for the Parties on the Checklist.
The Christian Values Checklist that rates the political parties on a range of moral and ethical issues has been published.
The Australian Christian Values Checklist is published by the Australian Christian Values Institute.
A one page sheet that tells you at a glance where the main parties stand on marriage, abortion, family, religious freedom and so on.
Direct links to each document are below.
Please distribute them to friends and churches. . .
The Documents (these links go to the documents as posted on the ACVI site).
UPDATE: The SECOND EDITION was published on Thursday 22 August, 2013.
It contains revisions based on some of the Parties - Australian Christians, CDP, DLP, Family First and Rise Up Australia - making 'positive' additions to their policies and websites.
2nd Edition: PDF Colour (Standard Quality - 450K RGB) Chart with 1 pg supporting statement (2 pg total )
2nd Edition PDF Colour (High Quality - 1.1MB RGD) Chart only (supporting statement available below)
2nd edition PDF (Print Quality - 10MB CMYK) Chart and Supporting statement also available.
2nd Edition PDF Colour (Standard Quality - 450KB RGB) Chart with 1 pg supporting statement (2 pg total )
2nd Edition PDF Colour (High Quality -1.1MB RGB) Chart only (supporting statement available below)
2nd edition PDF (Print Quality - 10MB CMYK) Chart and Supporting statement also available.
2nd Edition: Supporting Statements (1 Page Version)
2nd edition: Supporting Statements (Full Version)
We've also posted them on our NEW Federal Election 2013 webpage.
In this election, the subject of same-sex 'marriage' is a key issue.
Last night, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had a 'debate' at the National Press Club - it was broadcast on the ABC.
If you missed it, you can watch it online - click here.
Position on same-sex 'marriage'
Kevin Rudd stated his full support for 'marriage equality'. He said that a re-elected Labor government would bring forward a Bill to legalise same-sex 'marriage' WITHIN 100 DAYS' of gaining office!
He said Labor MPs would have a conscience vote - but only and 11 Senators and 26 MPs voted against it last time. Here's a list of the 2012 vote - House of Reps (our report) - Senate (our report).
Mr Rudd also called on Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote for Coalition MPs.
Mr Abbott did not give a firm Coalition position on the issue. He said that it was an important issue, noting his sister, who is a lesbian, was present at the Press Club for the debate. However, he said there were were much more important priorities and noted that a Bill on the issue was decisively defeated last year.
When pressed about whether he would allow a conscience vote for Coalition MPs, he said that, "If this issue were to come up again in the future it would be a matter for a future party room."
The Coalition had a clear policy prior to the 2010 election of supporting marriage as being only between a man and a woman (reiterated here in Dec 2011).
In July this year, Mr Abbott said "Obviously we have a clear position that we don't support gay marriage as a party" - Source.
However, there doesn't seem to be a clearly defined policy for THIS election from the Liberal Party - and Mr Abbott did not state a clear party position opposing same-sex 'marriage' last night.
Urgent action is needed...
1. Let your friends know where Kevin Rudd stands on this issue.
2. Coalition/Liberal POLICY
At the last election the Coalition made a commitment to OPPOSE same-sex 'marriage' as a policy and NOT to allow a conscience vote on the issue. See link above.
That is what we want from them this time as well. If the Coalition can give a firm commitment on roads and and the carbon tax, they should give a firm commitment on this important issue as well.
It is VITAL that you contact Mr Abbott, Coalition MPs and Coalition candidates.
a) Ask them what their policy is.
b) Ask them to have a POLICY that SUPPORTS marriage being between a man and a woman and OPPOSES same-sex 'marriage'. The Policy must also rule out a conscience vote on the issue.
c) PLUS - ask the Member/candidate where THEY stand on same-sex 'marriage'.
d) FINALLY - ASK for a RESPONSE!
Coalition Senators - use this link - Use Search box and choose your state and the Party.
- the AEC will publish the list of candidates on 16 August (AEC website).
When the UK government passed the 'same-sex 'marriage' Bill recently, they declared that it protected churches that did not want to 'marry' homosexuals.
The Bill ALLOWED churches to CHOOSE to marry homosexuals if the church wanted to do so - but the Bill was supposed to provide a 'quadruple lock' to protect those who did NOT want to do so.
The Church of England was specifically protected in that the law says the Church of England CANNOT 'marry' homosexuals.
We said at the time that it would not be long before someone was pushing to change the law. That's what activists DO!
Two homosexual men are now planning to sue the Church of England so they can 'marry' each other in the church.
The men, Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow, are millionaires. They have FIVE children through surrogate mothers. During the debate on the same-sex 'marriage' Bill they were outspoken activists for change. NOW they want more change!
The story was reported by the Daily Mail:
Millionaire gay fathers to sue the Church of England for not allowing them to get married in the church
As Peter wrote on Facebook,
"They won't stop until we all submit to their demands. . .
Australian MPs have stated - even moved motions to say - "the church will not be forced to accede to sexual immorality".
BUT DON"T BELIEVE THEM.
Here is a classic example of the freedom we will NOT have IF we normalise the immorality of same sex relationships.
Just weeks after the church in Britain was told "you won't have to comply" a court case is looming. Even worse, perhaps, is the fact that those taking the case DARE to call themselves 'Christian'. They need to read their BIBLE, not follow their hearts because, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Acts 8:22 Clearly states “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you”.
Spread the Word - Peter Stokes.
The ABC has launched a 'Vote Compass' for the coming federal election. The Vote Compass asks you for your views on a range of policy issues - and then compares your results with the policies of the three major political parties - Liberal, Labor and Greens.
The Vote Compass is not intended to tell you HOW to vote - rather the developers aim to help you compare your views to the policies of the parties.
To see the Vote Compass website - click here.
The Vote Compass is similar to other political spectrum questionnaires I have done in the past - such as Political Compass.
On another note, I would recommended the 'Worldview Test' - from Brannon Howse's Worldview Weekend, that assesses how Biblical your worldview is across a range of areas - click here.
The ABC is promoting the Vote Compass extensively - and more than 376,000 people have already completed the Vote Compass since it was launched early this week. Periodically the Vote Compass site has collapsed due to the heavy use!
The site says, "Vote Compass is an educational tool developed by a non-profit group of political scientists and hosted by the ABC. Answer a short series of questions to discover how you fit in the Australian political landscape." The site has been developed in association with the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney.
Whilst one might be inclined to be sceptical about filling in a survey that tells you which Party your views most closely align with, we completed the survey in order to check what it does and inform you about how it works.
The Vote Compass survey
The Survey consists of 30 questions across a range of issues such as economic management, immigration, defence, conscience issues such as same-sex 'marriage', abortion and euthanasia, climate change, agriculture, indigenous issues and education. The response options for most questions are 'Strongly disagree, Somewhat disagree, Neutral, Somewhat agree, Strongly agree and 'Don't know'.
Some questions ask for a 'quantity' - in those cases, responses range from 'Much less' to 'Much more'.
Optional sections - importance of issues & Party leaders
Once you have completed the Survey, there are several 'Optional' sections'.
The first section asks how important each of the 'areas' - such as immigration or climate change - is to you. These responses can be used on the Result pages to see how this 'weighting' affects your results.
The second optional section asks you to assess the leaders of the three parties - Labor, Liberal and Greens - with respect to how closely you identify with them, and your assessment of their trustworthiness and their competence. This is an interesting exercise in itself, and it will be used in the research being done by the political scientists.
Demographics - optional section used for 'research'
There is then another optional section on 'Demographics' with details about yourself, which will only be used for 'research purposes'.
Then you get to see the 'RESULTS'...
This in the form of a graph with two axes crossing at right angles.
The ABC's Vote Compass has economic management on the horizontal axis - 'Economic left' and 'Economic right'.
The vertical axis has 'Social liberalism' at the top and 'Social conservative' at the bottom.
The graph shows a dot to indicate where you are placed - and also where each of the three parties are placed. Liberal is in the 'Economic right, social conservative' corner, Labor is in the 'Economic left, social liberalism' corner, and the Greens are in the same corner but further to the left and the top of the graph. The 'Results page' also gives a percentage that shows how closely you align to each of the Parties.
You can then click a button to see how the graph changes when it takes into account your responses to how important each of the issues are to you (Weighted result).
The Results page also allows you to look at each of the 30 questions - and compare your position with the position of each Party. You can also compare the positions of the three parties on each of the questions.
There is an option to have your results emailed to you - this provides a link to access the results. When I tried the link it wasn't working, perhaps due to usage of the site - so if you want to keep the results, you could copy the graph and results page and other information you want before closing the site.
Given the publicity that the Vote Compass has received, and the large number of people who have already completed the survey, it is important that we know what it is about as our friends and neighbours will be completing it.
The Vote Compass is not intended to tell you 'HOW' to vote. It is NOT a 'How to vote' card!
However, it does encourage us to think about some of the key challenges facing our nation and our responses to those issues. It also enables us to have a brief overview of where these three Parties stand on those issues.
The Vote Compass allows us to give our view on the trustworthiness and competence of the three leaders of the Parties, which provides useful information for researchers.
Some of the questions are quite vague and the response can seem vague as well - this survey is quite generalised in many respects and doesn't deal with details of some issues.
On other issues, such as same-sex 'marriage', abortion and euthanasia the survey asks very direct questions about whether we agree or disagree with them.
Are the results reliable? We found our survey 'results' to be generally what we expected in terms of where we stand on moral and economic issues.
The Vote Compass only assesses the policies of three Parties. All the other Parties could be represented on the same graph. Since they are not available on the Vote Compass, the user could assess where those parties might lie - for instance, the Australian Christians and the Sex Party would be in very different corners of the graph!
We found the Vote Compass to be a useful tool - so long as we treat the results 'lightly' and don't use it to tell us HOW to vote.
That requires a lot more effort in finding out about Party policies and the views of individual candidates! We'll have more information about that in the coming weeks.
If you would like to do the Vote Compass survey, click here.