The people of Australia will decide who will lead the nation at the Federal election on Saturday 2 July 2016. Many people have written to us asking us who to vote for. We cannot tell you who to vote for because the Canberra Declaration is a non-partisan Christian ministry. But because our focus is promoting and protecting Christian values we want to offer guidelines on how to vote. In line with our mission statement we strive to 'educate' those who have signed the Canberra Declaration about the issues we face. We work with all parliamentarians who make a stand for Australia's Christian heritage and Christian values of life, marriage, family, faith and freedom.
The heartbeat of the Canberra Declaration in regard to marriage and family is clearly heard in the seminal vision statement called The Australia We Live To See.
The last paragraph sums it up well, "We live to see an Australia where the family, founded by the marriage of a man and a woman, will once again be protected, honoured and advantaged as the primary focus of the affairs of the nation; where our family relationships will be treasured; where mothers and fathers will be supported in the noble task of raising children; where we use our talents to build a better world as an enduring legacy for our children and grandchildren."
Thankfully, each election time, our sister organisation the Australian Christian Values Institute releases the Christian Values Checklist. The Australian Christian Values Institute has been serving the Australian community since 1999. It has made a significant contribution to the ongoing protection and promotion of Christian values in our nation through these Christian Values Checklists, William Wilberforce Awards, the Australian Christian Values Award and various submissions to parliament.
Click the table or this link to read details of 21 Christian values assessed
and the back page of explanations
Like the Canberra Declaration, the Christian Values Institute believes that Australian values are in large measure Christian values. These are the values that made Australia great. The Preamble to Australia's Constitution 1901 says, "Humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God". Alfred Deakin, one of the fathers of Australia's Constitution and Australia's second Prime Minister, offered the following prayer after the Constitution was finally ratified. "We pray that it may be the means of creating and fostering throughout all Australia a Christ-like citizenship."
Sir Henry Parkes, known as the Father of Federation (1901) had a vision for Australia as "one people with a destiny... As we are British people - we are pre-eminently a Christian people - as our laws, our whole system of jurisprudence, our constitution... are based upon, and interwoven with, our Christian belief..."
The team at the Canberra Declaration join with founding father, Sir Henry Parkes, in his dream that "the day will come when justice and fair play will triumph in this land: when great bodies of Christians, who now seem half asleep, will bestir themselves".
There are two versions of the above Christian Values Checklist ready for you to download and distribute to your friends depending on which state you live in. You can even distribute the two versions. It is up to you!
Click table for WA and VIC or this link to read details of 21 Christian values assessed
and the back page of explanations
You can see that there are a number of minor Christian-values-based parties included on each sheet. Sadly, not all the parties can fit on the one page sheet, so you will have to do your own research for other candidates and parties you may wish to vote for. For example, Katter's Australia Party is an option for Queensland voters.
As we have previously shared, the new Senate voting laws have made it much more difficult for the smaller Christian and conservative parties to win a seat. It is therefore critical that you vote for at least 6 parties above the line to really make your vote count for Christian values.
If you decide instead to vote below the line, then number at least 12 candidates below the line including those from Christian-values-based parties.
But if you want to ensure that those parties or candidates that are not Christian-values-based, like the Sex Party or the Greens, are put last, then you should number either ALL the boxes above the line or ALL the boxes below line.
Yours for Christian-values-based Government
Warwick Marsh & David Rowsome