This is your opportunity.
The result for Warringah on election day is a forgone conclusion, Tony Abbott will win. The conservative parties have always won Warringah. So on the face of it it would seem that your vote is a meaningless formality. But no, there is more! I am standing to provide electors with an opportunity to make their opinion known on matters of concern which you might share with me: the essential principle that government should be neutral on matters of religion. If you support my sentiments and the sentiments of the Secular Party of Australia, don’t waste your vote on a meaningless ritual. Vote 1 for Kenneth Cooke and then give your second preference to the major party that you would be least unhappy to see governing Australia.
This is your opportunity to say no to governments who treat children of non religious parents as second class by providing them with meaningless alternatives to Scripture Classes. The existence of the School Chaplaincy Program and Special Religious Education (Scripture) classes in public school implies that the Government has decided that citizens who have a belief in a god, and more specifically a belief in a Christian God are more worthy than those who do not It is not the place of government to decide on matters of morals where the morals held do no harm to others in the society. It is governments role to protect the person and to facilitate the right to food, shelter, good health and education. Beliefs are personal. Some chose to congregate in a shared belief in a supernatural father figure. Others do not. It is not for government to decide that one system of belief is better than another.
This is your opportunity to express dismay at the $31 billion in tax concessions and government grants which go to support the non religious arms of religious organisations; money which would be better spent reviving our moribund state education system or providing for the needy in our society.
It is an opportunity to say that education and a basic understanding of the natural sciences is more important than belief in dogma handed down to us in a bronze age text. The world faces serious problems of environmental degradation and overpopulation while an archbishop tells his congregation that humans are more important than the environment and that all we need do is trust in God to provide. Humans are an integral part of the environment and we will suffer as the environment suffers. The ALP sold its soul to Senator Fielding when they made a preference deal with him at the 2004 election. Australia is paying the price in terms of delayed action on climate change. We need to take advice from our scientists and not from an archbishop or from a fundamentalist christian senator who believes that the world was created six thousand years ago and then goes on to claim that the science on climate change is still undecided.
Make your dismay known. Vote for government with a true separation of church and state and government decision making based on reason not a desire to curry favours with religious groups. Vote 1 for Kenneth Cooke, your Secular Party Candidate for Warringah. Then give your second preference to the major party of choice to form government.