Christians and the Church must step up and speak more openly and frankly about what they need in society if they want to see conservative governments return to power across Australia.
That’s the view of Andrew McColl, State Director for Queensland of Family Voice Australia.
He was reflecting on four successive defeats for traditionally conservative parties in federal and state elections over the past year. The coalition lost government nationally and in New South Wales and failed to shake Labor’s tight grip on Victoria where it also lost the federal seat of Aston in a by-election.
Mr. McColl told Vision Radio: “I think it’s only a fair question to ask. What’s happening with the Liberals, what’s happening with the conservatives in Australia and why have they been losing so dramatically? And what’s been kind of contributing to that?”
He opined that in general, conservatives have stood for the traditional family, a stable law base, small government, a balanced budget, less tax and more freedom for the individual, the family and the Church.
“I think we’ve had some rather spineless kind of leaders to put it bluntly, who lacked true conservative convictions. When these leaders don’t hold to conservative convictions, they finish up trying to kind of go along with the left. When they can’t withstand the left, they go left and they get smashed. As Tony Abbott said recently ‘Labor Light, Liberals Lose’ and that just doesn’t work very well for anybody.”
Mr. McColl believes Labor is popular because voters trust it to deliver on its promises, even though they will increase the nation’s debt, adding that the public needs to be more critical of the left’s pledges.
“What we do know is that it’s always easy to make promises to people. ‘We can solve your problems for you. Vote us in and we’ll just make things wonderful.’ Unfortunately, the left or the progressives are invariably big spenders and they are poor money managers. Consequently, we find, generally speaking, that the deficit balloons, inflation is up, balancing the books never happens and our children have to pay.”
“We tend to find that the left make their decisions based on emotion, not on fiscal reality. How do you pay for all the promises that people make to us these days in politics? It was Chesterton who made the comment: ‘When people don’t believe in God, they don’t believe in nothing. They don’t believe in anything.”
“So when our political leaders or those who aspire to be our leaders can say: ‘This is going to happen under my watch and if you vote for me, this will be so much better,’ it’s just a promise. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen. And people rather foolishly think: ‘Well, gee, he’s made some great promises. I’ll vote for him or her.’ Promises are easy to make, but they’re very much more difficult to fulfil. When the Australian voters threw out Labor and Paul Keating in 1996, it took Peter Costello, who was the Federal Treasurer at the time, 11 years to get the debts paid back that that had been accrued under Paul Keating.”
The Family Voice Queensland Director noted that conservatives need to reflect on the Menzies era.
“I would probably think that Bob Menzies was a pretty good conservative because he tended to be very thoughtful about matters like the family and small business and keeping budgets balanced and staying within the parameters of what most of us would classify as being stable government and not being excessive in his promises. And as he would know in his era, it’s much more practical and realistic to look at what you actually can probably do in the next three or five years and make some some gentle promises or gentle claims about the future without promising people that the future is going to be some kind of utopian vision that never really works out very well.”
“In fact, it mostly has dreadful consequences. Most of us would know something about the promises of the totalitarian governments back in the 20th century. They were utopian promises. That is, they were completely unrealistic in the long term. And what those people did get was very commonly — poverty, hardship, starvation and war. And even more than that, those very governments that promised them that wonderful future finished oppressing those people terribly.”
Mr McColl explained to Vision Radio that Christians have a vital role to play in getting the conservative voice heard and mobilised.
“I think what we have to realise is that rather than look to others in the political process to ask what should we be doing about this situation, I think this is where Christians and the Church must step up and begin to speak more publicly and openly and frankly about the things that they want. The Bible tells us that the Church is the pillar and support of the truth. Now, if the Church is sleeping and if Christians are sleeping and they’re not active in the political process, then that’s one of the reasons why things go downhill.”
“We as Christians have got to be thinking about our possible role in government and stepping up and telling our local MPs and our leaders, these are the things that we want to see happen with government with you and challenge them to do so. That is a very important part of the political process. Christians must learn not to be backwards in coming forward.”
“We have to protect the traditional family and be thinking carefully about what is happening to the family today. Are governments making war on the family? I think they actually are. We have other things coming into this, such as the LGBT thing, transgender and so on, which is getting lots and lots of airplay, but not too many people are — I’m glad to say there are now some — saying this is a very destructive attitude to say to teenage boys and girls you can change your sex. It simply cannot happen. A boy cannot become a girl and and a girl cannot become a boy.”
Mr McColl added that the targets for conservatives should be: “Address wasteful welfare, confront the lies of climate change and energy security, get rid of the NDIS which has proven impossible to fund, hammer Labor government’s on their debts and failure to balance budgets, let the free market operate, retain live export markets, cut government waste at all levels and push for tax cuts.
“We can just put it basically in six words: less tax, less government, more freedom. And that is what we all want to see.”
Click below to listen to the full interview.