There is a myth in Australian politics that minor parties have limited influence and value. Even some Christians never consider voting for a party like the Australian Christians, believing we can’t really make a difference at the ballot box.
Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.
Historically, smaller political parties have played an outsized role in Australian’s political landscape, especially in the Senate. Australia’s preferential voting system means that smaller parties can win seats even if they don’t receive a majority of the primary vote.
Once elected, members of smaller parties sometimes hold the balance of power. They have the opportunity to form alliances and negotiate with the larger parties to pass important legislation.
There are many historic examples of smaller parties that have shaped the national debate and even influenced the agenda of the major parties.
While the Australian Christians don’t necessarily endorse the outcomes in each of the examples below, we take encouragement that minor parties can make a major difference. Consider that:
In 2011, the Australian Labor Party secured support from the Greens to implement plain packaging for tobacco products, making Australia the first country to do so. This policy aimed to reduce smoking rates by making cigarette packaging less appealing.
The Shooters Party and similar groups have influenced discussions around gun laws. In some states, they have been successful in seeing certain firearm restrictions relaxed for recreational shooting and hunting purposes.
In 2017, pressure from the Australian Greens and other crossbench senators led to the Banking Royal Commission, which uncovered misconduct and malpractice within the banking industry.
In 2019, the ALP enrolled the help of crossbench senators to pass the Medevac legislation, which allowed for the transfer of sick asylum seekers from offshore detention centres to Australia for medical treatment.
Some minor parties have successfully opposed carbon pricing mechanisms and other climate-related policies, removing undue burdens on businesses and consumers.
This is only a sample list of the big difference minor parties have made in the Australian political landscape.
Now consider that the Australian Christians are standing for something far more important — values with eternal implications that shape the very fabric of our country. This is why we covet your support. With your help, we can make a big difference as we stand for pro-life and family values, religious freedom, education, support for vulnerable populations, and so much more.
An amazing opportunity is before us.
We get to represent Christian values, providing a platform to advocate for and promote Christian values, ethics, and principles in Australian society.
We get to influence policy debates, participating in elections and engaging in political discourse to stand up for religious freedom, family values and other important causes.
We get to encourage civic engagement and political participation among those who share our Christian values, helping them actively shape the direction of the country.
We get to put pressure on the major parties, showing them why they need to take our concerns more seriously.
In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus said,
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
At the Australian Christians, we take Jesus’ command seriously. We invite you to join us in our mission to be salt, light and a city on a hill in Australia’s political scene.