The Treasurer's debate
The latest election event (the ongoing Latham circus, brought to you courtesy of channel 9, aside; what a classic example of media irresponsibility in reporting what should not be given air!) was the Treasurer's debate, which most of the papers seem to think went to Hockey on style, Swan on content. You can read all about it in The Age.
Australian bishops' conference guidance
Meanwhile, our bishops have issued some guidance on how to tackle the process of deciding your vote:
“We are privileged to live in a democracy such as Australia where voting matters. We urge all people to take their vote seriously. We urge them to think carefully about the issues that are relevant in their local area and nationally. We urge them to think about the issues that are not just important for them but for the whole of Australia”.... the Church proposes that politicians, political parties and political campaigns should all be judged against six essential criteria. Those six essential criteria are:
●The right of every person to human dignity;
●The right of every person to adequate food, shelter and protection;
●The right of every person to equality of access to education, health, employment and basic services;
●The right of every person, both present and future generations, to live in a safe, healthy and secure environment;
●The right (and the duty) of every person to contribute to society to the extent that they are able;
●The right of every person to live according to their own beliefs, to the extent that those beliefs do not impact upon the rights of others.
Particular issues that Catholic Church Agencies see as important include:
Health: A Health System that is efficient and accessible for all; properly funded mental health services and an improvement in aged care services.
Social Justice: Human dignity demands that a wealthy country such as Australia must define its priorities so that those who cannot cope in society are helped through government spending by those who can;
Migrants and Refugees: All those seeking to live in Australia should be treated with dignity and in accordance with international law;
Overseas Aid: Increase Australia’s overseas aid to 0.7% of GNI as a step towards recognising Australia’s plenty in the midst of great need;
Women: To protect their dignity, steps must be taken to protect women from all forms of violence; pay equity should be improved and paid parental leave is an important step forward.
Indigenous Australians: Until the most disadvantaged of our Indigenous citizens move beyond 3rd world living conditions, all Australians must feel ashamed and work together to change their conditions.
Disability: People with a disability are entitled to a quality of life equivalent to that of other Australians; serious effort must be made to improve access to services for people with disabilities and their carers.
Environment: The debate about the environment must shift to consideration of the needs of future generations, not just to avoiding present inconveniences.
Education: Schools funding should be available equitably and respect parental choice.
Religious Liberty: In a society with a variety of faiths and non-faiths, we need to be respectful of others.
Human Dignity: The value of human life must be respected at every stage."
Catholicism in Europe
Meanwhile, if you are tired of the election campaign (and who isn't) do go and read the interesting article in the Economist on the resurgence of traditional catholicism in Europe.