Queensland’s state election on 31 October is approaching fast, and it’s set to be one of the most significant in our nation’s history. Wendy Francis, Queensland State Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, says this election is going to decide issues around life that will have an impact on the rest of the country.
Labor has won all but one of Queensland’s elections in the last three decades. But talking to Neil Johnson on Vision’s 20Twenty, Francis explained that if they are returned to government, the Liberal National Party (LNP) will consider prohibiting abortions for sex selection, medical assistance to abortive babies who are born alive, and mandatory independent counselling to screen for coercion.
Proposals from One Nation, the Katter Party and the Democratic Liberal Party (DLP) go even further, and though they’re minor parties, they can still contribute to the conversation. Francis says that with the LNP returned to government, we could see the first time in our nation’s history when pro-life legislation improved rather than getting worse.
We’re seeing unprecedented signs of that potential, with opposition leader Deb Frecklington sitting front and centre at a press conference with Catholic bishops who had taken a rare opportunity to speak out against abortion. Cherish Life Executive Director Teeshan Johnson was also recently featured in mainstream news media, discussing issues related to abortion.
Of course, politicians took the chance to condemn and belittle Johnson on social media, but Francis pointed out that whenever they did that, they also shared the article. “I just thought ‘thank you Lord. You’re getting that message out, even via people who are quite opposed to our message’.”
As election day approaches, the Labor government’s strategy for avoiding a second wave of Covid-19 is bound to be another deciding factor. “Up until recently,” Francis said, “I think people were really quite pleased with the border closures, because they felt that we were being kept safe.”
Lately though, Francis says people are noticing a lack of compassion, and a lack of consistency. We’re happy to see Tom Hanks hanging out on the Gold Coast. “But don’t treat him differently to anybody else, and particularly someone who needs to go to her Dad’s funeral for instance.”
“So I think the tide is turning on that. And also when we see what’s happening in Victoria, and some of what seems like overkill in handling from the police, I think Queenslanders are starting to say hang on a minute. We really don’t want to go down that road. And I think they’re starting to push back on this whole strong borders thing.”
With Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk taking up a lot of news coverage addressing the pandemic, it’s been difficult to get a read on opposition leader Deb Frecklington. Neil asked Wendy for her thoughts. “Our answer, as Christians, is not found in a Party, as such. But I think it’s really important that we examine the policy.”
“Look at the LNP policies at the moment. They want to remove gender fluid education from our high schools. They’ve made a promise to do that. They’ve made amazing promises, unheard of before, regarding pulling back on abortion legislation.”
They are very strong on wanting to stop the sexualisation of society. We’ve got Scott Morrison leading the way on that. He wants to bring in age verification laws to stop children being confronted with pornography when they’re on the web. It’s not necessarily about the people, although there are a number of very good candidates in the LNP at the moment. But if we look at their policies, we really don’t have an option this election.”
Of course Christians may hope to make some kind of statement about our views through our ballot papers. Francis says the Federation Party, which arose following the demise of the Australian Conservatives Party, and the DLP both have strong Christian values. There are other elements, certainly of One Nation, and the Katter Party, that do come from our Judeo-Christian heritage, but probably not quite as strong as Federation and the DLP.”
In order to keep us up-to-date, the Australian Christian Lobby has created a website, at QLDVotes.org.au, featuring information about all the available candidates, and videos from some of them describing their values. “So it’s really a one stop shop for anybody who’s interested in the Queensland election,” Francis said.
Whether or not you’re in Queensland, we think this election could be the beginning of a national change for the better. We’ll be keeping you updated on developments, and praying for a positive result.
Tune into 20Twenty and join the conversation with Neil Johnson, weekdays on Vision Christian Radio. Click here for your local times.
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