and the state elections
by Dwight A. Randall
The swing to the Liberals
that resulted in a convincing win at the state election on 9 March 2013 was like a tidal
wave. It came at the expense of the
minor parties and independents.
At the final count
the Liberals are up 8.7, the Nationals are up 1.2, while Labor is down 2.7, the
Greens are down 3.5, and “Others” (including Australian Christians and Family
First) are down 3.7.
Bearing that figure
of -3.7 in mind, it is encouraging to note while Australian Christians’ vote in
the Lower House did fall on average when compared against the 2008 state
election, that fall was significantly less than might have been expected.
For example, Jamie
Van Burgel, standing in Armadale, received a vote of 7.0%, only 0.3 below what
he achieved in the previous election.In
what is hoped will be the first of many future outcomes,
Jamie achieved a higher vote in Armadale than the Greens candidate!
standing in Darling Range, received a vote of
5.0%, only 0.1 below the result in Darling Range
Lois Host, standing
in Mirrabooka, received a vote of 4.6%, +0.8 on a comparative result in
2008.Against a negative tide of -3.7,
Lois achieved a higher result!
Christians stood candidates in each of the six Upper House Regions in Western Australia.
I was Australian
Christians’ lead candidate in the East Metropolitan Region. In the 2008 state
election I was eliminated with 0.52 of a quota (1 quota is required to be
elected).The sixth and last spot, which
I had hoped to win in 2008 was won by Alison Xamon, a member of the
Greens.In this election I was excluded
at the 13thand final count.At this count Alison Xamon had 0.57 of a
quota, the Labor candidate Amber Sanderson had 0.70 of a quota, and I had 0.73
of a quota.As the Greens were the
lowest of the remaining three, their vote was surrendered to Labor, thus
electing Labor’s Amber Sanderson and excluding me.
If there is a point
to celebrate here, it is that the Green’s member Alision Xamon will not be
serving a second term.In fact, the
Greens have been reduced from four to two MPs in the Legislative Council, and
none in the Legislative Assembly.The
loss of Alison Xamon in the Upper House in East Metro, and the failure to elect
Cameron Poustie in North Metro (where Ray Moran
stood), directly resulted from Australian Christians fielding candidates in
both of those regions! After the 2008 state elections the Greens clearly had
ambitions of becoming the third major political force in the Western Australian
Parliament.After the recent state
elections, these hopes appear to have been dashed. As the Greens’ values,
particularly on matters of sanctity of life, marriage and family are the
antithesis of Christian values, this is a matter for thanksgiving.
Christians did not elect any candidates to the Upper House at this election,
their standing at this election did make a positive difference.
In the Lower House,
it appears that the Liberal Party won the seat of Belmont with Australian Christians’
preferences flowing from AC candidate Steve Klomp.
The Liberal Party
retained the seat of Eyre with Australian Christians’ preferences flowing from
AC candidate Brett Hilton.Graham
Jacobs, who has served in the Lower House for four years, is a committed
Christian and is 100% pro life.
The Liberal Party
won the seat of Forrestfield with Australian Christians’ preferences flowing
from AC candidate Troy Eikelboom.The
former Labor candidate favoured WA’s abortion laws and seemed undecided in
relation to euthanasia.
The Hon Michelle
Roberts (Labor, Midland), who has voted consistently pro-life since 1998 when
abortion was legalised in WA, retained her seat with Australian Christians’
preferences flowing from AC candidate Isaac Moran.
In closing, I would
like to make two observations.The first
is that it appears to me that the name change from the Christian Democratic
Party to Australian Christians did not harm the party, and may have benefited
it already.Under the new name, for
example,Australian Christians fell by
0.77, while Family First (with no name change) fell by 1.35. In addition, while
Australian Christians overall vote was down somewhat, due in the main to the
massive swing to the Liberals and against minor parties, when all things are
considered, AC weathered the storm better than could have been hoped for. As
the name Australian Christians becomes
established in the minds of Western Australians over the next years it will become a genuine asset for the party.Many people have expressed their support for
the new name and are pleased with the re-branding of the party.
The final point I
want to make is that it is clear to me that unless Australian Christians can
get more traction with Christian people the task of electing people to
parliament will remain difficult.This
is where supporters can be a huge help to us in the time leading up to the
Federal elections later this year, and in the next four years leading up to the
2017 State election.Talk to your
family, friends and members of your church about the importance of voting for a
Christian party that will represent them. Warn them of the risks of apathy.
Explain to them that whether we like it or not, we are caught in the midst of a
mighty battle for the hearts and minds and souls of Australians. This battle is
not only being fought out in the media and in our educational institutions, but
also in politics. We cannot afford to remain removed from this great battle for
the future of our great nation. With God’s help we can win this battle if we
will simply engage and persevere.
Randall has served for several years as the
President of the Christian Democratic Party and then Australian Christians