BRISBANE, August 23, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Australia’s “mainstream” political conservatives are upset at the creation of a new, pro-family party that will appeal to social conservatives who often say they are left out of the debate in politics. However, for this party, economic concerns are a major concern while abortion is a non-issue.
Bob Katter, a federal politician frequently described in the media as a “maverick”, insists that his new party, like the country, is founded on “Christian values”. Katter, however, was quick to state that the party has no policy on abortion and will be focusing on opposing “big business” concerns.
Katter, a Catholic and independent member of the Australian House of Representatives since 1993, registered the party with the Australian Electoral Commission in June under the name Katter’s Australian Party. The nascent party says that Australia was founded on a core of “Christian values” that still “defines the culture of the nation”.
The party’s policy on the family states that “laws in their enactment and application must support and uphold marriage” and it has pledged to resist attempts to implement same-sex “marriage”.
“Marriage is the union of a man and a woman, ideally for life. It is in the best of interests of children that they are nurtured by their father and their mother and laws concerning children should be based on the best interests of children.”
Katter’s party made headlines this week by dropping a candidate, former police officer Jason Somerville, who had asked if the party MPs would be allowed a conscience vote on “gay marriage”.
“I was told that basically it’s founded on Christian values and that on votes such as same-sex [marriage] that we’d have to vote with the party, which was against it,” Somerville told Ten News. “I was told that I wasn’t the type of person he wanted to have in the party.”
The party’s state-level partner, Aidan McLindon, has spoken out against abortion, though Katter has cautioned that the party does not yet have an established policy on abortion. McLindon, whose Queensland Party merged with Katter’s, said today that candidates must subscribe to 21 core values and principles.
“There’s 21 core values and principles in this party and if the candidates don’t agree to those then there’s no point in them joining with a party that they fundamentally disagree with,” McLindon told reporters.
Asked about abortion, McLindon said, “As far as I’m concerned I’m proud to say that any life should be protected, just like people jump up and down ‘save the whales’.
“Well guess what, I’m going to jump up and down and ‘save the humans’ - they have a right to live like you and I.”
During the press interview, however, Katter was quick to move the party away from any specifically pro-life position. “Everyone has their own very strong views on issues of that nature, but you know, that’s not where we’re coming from my friend and don’t you try to steer us into that lane,” Katter said.
“We’re not running in that lane whatsoever. We’re in the lane of fighting off the big corporations and it’s about time some of you spent a little bit of time worrying about whether Qantas is going to be an Australian airline or a foreign airline.”
In addition to the party’s pro-family policies, they want to reduce payroll taxes for businesses and cut the “carbon tax” levied against businesses in the name of environmentalism. Katter objects strongly to the incursions of the “nanny state” into the private lives of Australians. An article on the party’s website says, “Laws exist constantly telling us where we can and can’t go, what we can and can’t do and when we can and can’t do it.
“The difficulties involved in taking your kid fishing, visiting a national park, lighting a camp fire and boiling a billy, along with the restrictions on what you can do on your own land, have progressed to see us live in not the ‘free country’ we like to claim, but in an overly controlling nanny state that treats us like children, incapable of making decisions.”
The party’s “Core Values and Principles” state, “Government interference in people’s lives must finish at the family fence or property boundary.”