Federal Election 2010: The policies of the major political parties relating to some life, marriage & family issues

12/08/2010

The Life, Marriage and Family Centre in the Archdiocese of Sydney invites you to carefully consider the following issues prior to exercising your vote on 21 August 2010 (information as at 6 August 2010)


Pope Benedict XVI
 
“As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable:

  • protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;
  • recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family - as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage - and its defence from attempts to make it juridically
  • equivalent to radically different forms of union; and the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.

These principles are not truths of faith, even though they receive further light and confirmation from faith; they are inscribed in human nature itself and therefore they are common to all humanity. ”

Pope Benedict XVI , 30 March 2006 (1)


  

 

Liberal/National Coalition

Labor

Greens

Abortion
No party policy.
Conscience vote.
Labor “support[s] the rights of women to determine their own reproductive lives, particularly the right to choose appropriate fertility control and abortion” (2), but has allowed its members a conscience vote in the past.
“The Greens will ensure that all women have access to legal, free and safe pregnancy termination services including unbiased counselling.” (3)
Euthanasia
No party policy.
Conscience vote.
No party policy.
Conscience vote. 
Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown tried in 2007 and 2008 to introduce legislation to legalise Euthansia.
They are still hoping to have this put into law "provided we Greens are returned in stronger numbers.” (4)
Marriage
“The Coalition believes overwhelmingly in the institution of marriage and, in 2004, acted to define in legislation the common understanding in our community of marriage which is 'the union of a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life'.” (5)
“Labor does not support same-sex marriage. Labor has, in the past, supported the introduction of provisions in the Marriage Act which state that Marriage is 'the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life' and, in office, we will maintain this provision.” (6)At the ALP National Conference in 2009, the party platform on marriage was amended to remove specific reference to ‘a man and a woman’, and replaced with "Labor's commitment to maintaining the definition of marriage as currently set out in the Marriage Act".
“The Greens want the legalisation of marriage regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Without universal access to marriage for all, we do not have relationships equality. The Greens also support the introduction of civil unions as an alternative to marriage. The Greens have tabled a private members bill for same-sex marriage in Parliament and have used every opportunity to campaign for same-sex marriage in the media and community.” (7)
Pornography
The Coalition will not introduce a mandatory ISP (Internet Service Provider) filtering system and instead supports the use of home PCbased filters.
The Government is committed to introducing a mandatory ISP filtering system, following a review of the classification system that is currently underway.
The Greens support a national approach to "the regulated sale of Xrated material.” (Points of sale are currently limited to the Northern Territory and the ACT.)
The Greens are opposed to mandatory ISP filtering.
Drugs
The Coalition’s National Illicit Drugs Strategy focuses on reducing supply through law enforcement, reducing demand through education and healthcare, and strengthening and supporting families
Labor will focus on prevention, early intervention and reducing harm through a comprehensive strategy of education, health and support services and law enforcement.
The Greens will “increase the availability of harm reduction programs, including needle and syringe exchanges and medically supervised injecting rooms and implement a rigorous scientific trial of prescribed heroin to registered users in line with the proposed 1996 ACT government heroin trial.” (8)

Religious Schools

Coalition policy is to provide a choice of government or non-government schools. The Coalition has promised to continue indexation of funding for Catholic and other non-government schools.
“The right of families to choose non-government schooling should be supported by public funding that reflects need and is consistent with the creation of a diverse and inclusive society.” (9) The Government has committed to continuing indexation of funding for Catholic schools until the end of 2013.
The Greens will "abolish the Commonwealth Government's inequitable schemes for funding private schools... including the socioeconomic status (SES) and 'funding maintained' formulae." (10)The Greens will “extend to private schools the anti-discrimination measures that apply in public schools.”(Current law enables religious schools to preferentially employ staff who are willing to support the school’s religious ethos). “The Greens want…the education system to provide age-appropriate information about the diversity of sexuality.” (11)

References

1 - Address to the members of the European People’s Party, March 30, 2006
2 - Labor Party Platform, Chapter 6, http://www.alp.org.au/australian-labor/our-platform/
3 - Australian Green Policy, Women, http://greens.org.au/sites/greens.org.au/files/policydownloads/D5%20Women%20June%202008.pdf
4 - Address to the National Press Club, July 2010, http://greensmps.org.au/content/speech/senator-bob-browns-address-national-press-club-july-2010
5 - Coalition response to Australian Coalition for Equality election 2010 survey, http://www.movingforward.org.au/coalition.html
6 - Labor Party response to Australian Coalition for Equality election 2010 survey, http://www.movingforward.org.au/labor.html
7 - Australian Greens response to Australian Coalition for Equality election 2010 survey, http://www.movingforward.org.au/greens.html
8 - Australian Green Policy, Drugs, Substance Abuse & Addiction, http://greens.org.au/policies/care-for-people/drugs-substance-abuse-and-addiction
9 - Labor Party Platform, Chapter 5, http://www.alp.org.au/australian-labor/our-platform/
10 - Australian Greens Policy, http://greens.org.au/node/771
11 - http://greens.org.au/policies/care-for-people/sexuality-and-gender-identity


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