Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In the news


The Australian Democrats are refusing to publish an online survey about God and government after a campaign by Christian groups "skewed" the results. Democrats leader Lyn Allison said 40 times the usual number responded to the survey, and overwhelmingly took the position advocated by some Christian leaders. Normally the party would be happy with 1000 responses, but the church and state survey got 40,000. Senator Allison said it was ironic that a survey on the influence of churches should attract such an intense effort by churches to apply influence.

Christian groups have urged the Democrats to release the results, saying it was dishonest that a party that was founded on a claim "to keep the bastards honest" should keep the results secret because they were not what the Democrats wanted.

Christian activist Bill Muehlenberg said the Democrats wanted ammunition "so they could say it's time for you religious bigots to get out of our life. But the results didn't go the way they wanted, so they backtracked, said whoops, and pretended it never happened." He said he did not organise a campaign but, if some groups had, "it's nothing too nefarious or sinister. That's simply how democracy works in the internet age, and the other side does it all the time."



Glen O'Brien said...

That's hilarious. What's with those pesky Democrats?

Ross said...

That's what I'd like to know. From my reading of the scene, they seem to have strayed far from the ideals they were founded on by Don Chipp. The possible emergence of the Greens as the "third force" in Australian politics has forced the Democrats to the left of the political spectrum. The issue of the separation of church and state is a valid one, and worth raising, but I question the Democrats' motives for doing so.