We here at Troppo Armadillo are much more deeply civil, but I must agree Tim has a point. Wallace unsurprisingly claims that “Christians have had a significant impact on the result” of the federal election. But Wallace ignores the fact that Family First got some piddling proportion of the national primary vote, and only won a Senate seat in Victoria because the ALP stupidly preferenced it ahead of the Greens. Instead, Wallace claims the god-botherers had a big impact on the election result because:
Nearly 6000 attended more than 30 Australian Christian Lobby “meet your candidate” forums mainly conducted in marginal seats around the country, and thousands of voters guides were distributed through church networks nationally. Of those seats where the ACL campaigned, more than 60 per cent recorded two-party preferred swings to the Government above the national average.
It’s not surprising that Wallace would try to convince politicians to treat the god-botherers as a serious threat, but I doubt that Labor strategists with even a modicum of statistical literacy will be tossing and turning in bed or contemplating urging Mark Latham to rock along to his local Assembly of God and start speaking in gibberish and falling over backwards (to the extent that he doesn’t occasionally do that anyway). If 60 per cent of seats where ACL campaigned recorded two-party preferred swings to the Government above the national average, that means 40 per cent didn’t. And by how much in each case? And what other reasons might there have been? This is a classic piece of “data-mining” of the most primitive kind.
I certainly hope people like Wallace aren’t taken seriously by politicians. The Family First mob might well have reasonably enlightened stances on refugees and Aboriginal reconciliation. They might even be persuaded to oppose the abolition of cross-media ownership rules (although I doubt it). But they will certainly have appallingly illiberal views about things like homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, censorship and sexual freedom generally. They’re a small fanatical bunch of sanctimonious, narrow-minded, sexually-repressed, god-bothering arseholes who want to impose their stupid, ignorant values on the rest of us decent, tolerant, pleasure-loving Aussies. They should piss off back to the Bible Belt of America, where all this ignorant wankery originated. But I say that with a deeply civil spirit.