By Kate Rooney
Calare electorate’s Christian Democratic Party candidate Shuyi Chen could not be interviewed for The Junction, reportedly being out of the country. When The Junction sought to find and interview the candidate in the week starting May 6, a representative from the head office of the Christian Democratic Party said Shuyi Chen will “hopefully” be back in Australian in time for the election.
While the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) bases its policies on Christian values, its website and campaign materials state that its followers’ needs and values will always be met. Headed by the Reverend Fred Nile, a member of the NSW Parliament’s upper house, CDP policies include zero tolerance for domestic violence. It has pledged support for frontline services including safe and accessible housing for men, women and children who have been affected domestic violence. This includes lobbying government agencies and supporting organisations.
It is also focused on education programs around early detection of domestic violence to help support victims, with attention on anger management, and drug and alcohol abuse, which are often sources of domestic violence.
The party also pledges a zero tolerance for child pornography, listing this as their second priority. This comes from statistics that indicate that the average length of imprisonment for NSW child pornography offences is 12 months. The party says it will lobby to have this sentence increased in relation to child pornography as well as child sexual abuse. It supports harsher penalties for those found guilty as well as supporting various child abuse programs to help victims and prevent this crime.
The party supports having one law for all Australia. It says CDP says the standard of law should be consistent with the national identity and culture of Australia’s foundation. This law should be regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity. The CDP says it aspires for equity for all.
The driving force behind the party is its Christian-based ethos, seen via work such as Fred Nile’s Religious Freedoms Bill which is not succeeding passing through the NSW Parliament. It includes rights for schools to more freely choose staff (or more specifically exclude staff) and removing all “Safe School” Transgender (Gender Fluid) programs from all Australian schools.
Another plank in the party’s policies is their opposition to abortion. The CDP asserts that human life begins at fertilisation and that abortion should be banned within any society that strives towards justice and compassion. They state that abortion should only be considered in the event that the mother’s life is at risk. As an alternative to unwanted pregnancies, the CDP supports adoption agencies and helping care for the women in these situations.
The party is also against euthanasia whether active, passive, voluntary or involuntary.
Further down on their list of policies include their support for valid scientific research for the impact of climate change, increased drought relief for farmers and the sustainable use of the environment. These policies support the conservation and sustainability of our natural resources and a long-term strategy that aims to encourage farmers to be better prepared for future droughts. They aim to develop a program that will help farmers and their families remain on their land and earn a sufficient income.