Here are some handy resources to help you decide who to vote for in next week's Federal election.
1. The Salvo's election statements are available at http://www.salvationarmy.org.au/salvwr/_assets/main/lib60420/election_2007_web.pdf , and were created to draw the political parties' attention to the needs of those who are marginalised in Australia. It's not light reading, but it does give a good background to the important issues.
2. The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has developed a website which contains responses from six political parties to 25 issues ranging from homelessness and refugees to family life and film classification. It also includes other useful election information and resources. Check out the site at http://www.australiavotes.org/ . (A word of warning though: ACL tends to be well-and-truly right of centre, and traditional and conservative in its view of who Christians are. This is clearly reflected in the questions it asks. Nevertheless its a useful resource for the discerning mind.)
3. The Centre for an Ethical Society, birthed a year ago out of Australia's three biggest mainline churches, Catholic, Anglican and Uniting, has rated the four major political parties against its 'Good Samaritan Index'. Out of a possible 80 points, these are the scores of the major parties:
The Democrats - 77 points
The Greens – 74 points
Australian Labor Party – 66 points
The Coalition – 37 points
To find out more about the index and how each party performed in such areas as poverty reduction, refugees and peace-making go to their website at http://www.ces.org.au/.