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Assembly calls for campaigns with vision

THE UNITING Church in Australia has called on politicians running in the 2010 federal election to share their vision for Australia and not to limit their discussions to cheap populism and slogans.

Uniting Church President Rev Alistair Macrae said he believes Australians are eager to hear messages of hope for the future and expressed his disappointment at the tone and quality of political debate thus far.

“I’m hearing plenty of sound-bites but no real substance,” he said. “Australians are looking to our politicians to display real leadership and talk honestly about their vision for our country.

“Instead we’re seeing cheap political point-scoring that’s not connected to any substantial vision for our future.

“Political candidates are asking us to trust them with our future.

“We need to hear what they believe and what they genuinely hope to achieve.

“Australians deserve better than to be patronised by cheap promises and slogans designed to do nothing more than win votes,” he said.

The Uniting Church has articulated its vision for Australia’s future in a series of election resources titled Building an Economy for Life.

These resources invite people to consider their vote in light of the values they hold as Christians and the ideas they have about the kind of Australia they want to build.

The resources address key election issues including the state of Indigenous health, welfare management, climate change, rural Australia and asylum seekers.

They have been distributed to Uniting Church congregations and agencies throughout Australia.

“Our 2010 Election Resources articulate Christian concerns for the future of our country around the theme of ‘the economy’, ” said Mr Macrae.

“They are based on the idea that the economy is not an end in itself but a tool that should be used to ensure that all people are treated with dignity; a tool for building a country where the values of justice, equity, hospitality, generosity, peace and care for the natural environment find expression in what we prioritise for action and how we direct our services,” said Mr Macrae.

“It is time to hear the deep aspirations and vision of the candidates and the parties that are asking for our votes.

“Now is the time for authentic leadership that offers genuine hope for a vibrant and flourishing future.”

Building an Economy for Life Election Resources are available at http://www.assembly.uca.org.au/election2010