Losing Our Democracy – Lyle Shelton

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Old and new parliament houses, Canberra

‘Canberra is broken’

We’ve had leadership coup after leadership coup on both sides of politics – Canberra is broken, there doesn’t seem to be any answers.

“Our nation is drifting badly and we’ve gone past the point where we can just sit in apathy and have a nice life and expect the country will run smoothly.”

A champion of the marriage debate late last year was Lyle Shelton who warned the freedoms of Australians were being trampled upon.

At the time Lyle was head of the ACL, the Australian Christian Lobby.

Australian Conservatives

Now, in the wake of the loss of the natural and Christian definition of marriage, Lyle has embarked on a new endeavour and re-entered the fray of politics by another door.

I could see that we had been let down by both sides of politics. By Labor particularly which has now adopted the Greens social policy.

Lyle is seeking election under the banner of the Australian Conservatives led by Senator Cory Bernardi.

To that end he’ll be seeking pre-selection to be their senate candidate at the next Federal election due early in 2019.

That’s on the proviso the Turnbull government goes full term which Lyle expects it to do.

Coalition to go full term

“They’ve had a terrible time of late,” said Lyle. “The same sex marriage debate last year was considered by them to be a big distraction from their jobs and growth agenda.”

“Then there was the tragedy over Barnaby Joyce’s marriage breakdown and the ongoing soap opera, so they are looking for clear air to try and govern.”

They’ll want to go full term to try and show the Australian people they can govern and get all this behind them.

Lyle’s now the Communications Director for Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives.

Senator Cory Bernardi

But is this new party simply an addition to the Liberal Coalition or will it be courageous enough to be a critic of all sides of politics with its conservative opinion?

Martyn Iles – ‘Incredible intellect’

For Lyle personally the ACL had been part of his life for ten years, five as its Managing Director.

He said he didn’t want to leave the ACL until there was someone ready to fill the role. That person being Martyn Iles – an appointment highly approved of by the out-going MD.

Martyn Iles is an outstanding Godly young man, a lawyer with an incredible intellect …. the team at ACL is in great hands.

But it was the marriage debate that triggered Lyle to make a decisive move towards the furnace of Australian federal politics.

“I could see that we had been let down by both sides of politics. By Labor particularly which has now adopted the Greens social policy.”

“All the radical gender ideology aspects, anti-freedom of speech, anti-religion, that’s all Labor policy now.”

A contest for ideas

As for the Coalition, Lyle’s of the opinion they’re not much better.

“They’re drifting the same way and I feel what Cory Bernardi is doing waving a flag for genuine conservatism that aligned with my values.”

Politics is a contest for ideas and sometimes you’ve got to get involved in the actual political fight … that’s where I felt drawn and called to.

Lyle Shelton is answering the call for an authentic genuine conservative voice that’s considered to fit well with Australia’s foundational Christian ethics.

“It very much fits with my view of politics but I don’t assume that all Christians are conservative or right wing or left wing.”

“These are terms that political junkies use but they don’t always fit neatly in those boxes.”

‘You’re a bigot and a homophobe’

“But we have shifted dramatically to the left. That’s taken us down a path where we’ve seen marriage redefined, we’ve seen freedom of speech and freedom of religion come under enormous pressure.”

“We’re seeing radical gender ideology being imposed on us where now you can be in trouble for not going along on this idea you can be a boy or a girl and not necessarily what your biology says.”

If you don’t believe that then you’re a bigot and a homophobe and you can be in trouble with the Human Rights Commission for saying otherwise.

Lyle Shelton’s also aware of the drift towards bigger government and higher national debt.

“That’s three-quarters of a trillion dollars-worth of debt. And we’re now in the grip of an energy crisis in the most resource-rich country in the world,” Lyle outlined before describing what this means to him.

Leadership coups

“As a Christian, as a citizen of this nation I’m deeply worried about the lost decade of politics that we’ve had.”

Julia Gillard & Kevin Rudd

“We’ve had leadership coup after leadership coup on both sides of politics – Canberra is broken, there doesn’t seem to be any answers.”

I think we’ve got to see a return to what I believe are conservative values – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, free enterprise, limited government, stable families, civil society groups.

“Also churches and clubs playing their role and not looking for the government to do everything.”

“This is what has attracted me to the Australian Conservatives,” Lyle declared, saying in addition that Christians and all citizens should be involved in politics.

Christians and politics – ‘Get involved’

“That’s the way we sort out the contest of ideas. We don’t take up arms, we don’t fight each other, but have a battle for ideas in the public discourse.”

If Christians are drawn to the Labor Party or the Liberals or Nationals, they should get involved and have an influence for Christ in those parties.

“Obviously I’ve made a decision about the political philosophy I think that most aligns with my values and my faith.”

“(Australian Conservatives) are not a Christian party. We’re broad-based, although we are unashamedly based on Judeo-Christian values…”

“…and we see those values are what has shaped Australia and Western civilisation and we want to champion those values.”

Lyle said that while it’s a distinctive of the Australian Conservatives, his main concern is Australia’s current direction.

Failure of leadership

Our nation is drifting badly and we’ve gone past the point where we can just sit in apathy and have a nice life and expect the country will run smoothly.

Lyle again mentioned Australia’s broken and lost decade in politics.

He said a lot of the problems were due to the breakdown of the political culture and the failure of political leadership.

“In the old days and America’s foundations, people took up arms to fight for the things they believed in.”

But Lyle is certainly not advocating violence other than to say there’s a need to take up a partisan approach.

“Instead of taking up arms, get involved in the political fight to use that metaphor, and that’s what I feel I need to do.”

If you would like to listen to the full audio interview click play below

Footnote:

Lyle Shelton

Lyle Shelton is an Australian political activist and prominent social conservative. He served as managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) from 2013 to 2018.

Lyle was one of the leaders of the “No” campaign in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

In 2018, he resigned from the ACL to become federal communications director of the Australian Conservatives political party.

https://www.conservatives.org.au/lyle_shelton

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