Submitted by Editor on Fri, 01/10/2004 - 18:44

Family First Party rejects party labelling as undemocratic

Family First Party leaders today expressed disappointment at the unfair labelling of its party in the media and the personal scrutiny being applied to individual candidates.

Cherrie Newsham

Thursday 30 September 2004

Recent media reports have labelled Family First Party a "Christian party" and, in some cases, an offshoot of mainstream Christian church, Assemblies of God.

Lead Queensland Senate candidate, John Lewis, said that the labelling of the party bordered on slander and that the level of scrutiny being applied to individual candidates' religious beliefs was both un-Australian and undemocratic.

"We have said from the outset that the family values and positive and practical policies of Family First Party would attract the support of Christians and we welcome their support," said John Lewis.

"To label our party Christian because of this support is an attempt to discredit the many hard-working families who want to build a strong future for Australia and happen to have mainstream Christian beliefs."

John Lewis said that he was disappointed that some sections of the media saw merit in scrutinising candidates personal religious convictions over and above the carefully thought out policies being put forward by the party.

"Yet this is the kind of logic fuelling sensationalist media representatives at the moment when they choose to investigate and publish the personal religious convictions of Family First Party candidates," John adds.

"Whilst having a policy stance that is in total contrast to the Greens, Family First Party would not endorse media scrutiny of Greens candidates' personal sexual orientation in an attempt to find a label for their party," said John Lewis.

"The most democratic approach is to actually campaign on the policy level and how our policies and other parties' policies will ultimately effect the success and wellbeing of Australian families."

Family First Party has witnessed an amazing groundswell of support from voters across Australia since former Assemblies of God president, Andrew Evans, was elected to the South Australian senate in February 2002.

"It would be a shame," said John Lewis, "if Family First Party's outstanding record of representing families in South Australia was overshadowed by an unhealthy scrutiny of the personal and often mainstream Christian beliefs of its candidates and supporters."

Mark Badham, Qld Media Coordinator 0412 234 440



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