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Victorian bishops tell voters to take state election seriously

The bishops of Victoria have issued a joint statement to remind voters of their responsibility to carefully evaluate social policies of candidates' social policies before voting in this month's state election.

Ruling Labor Premier Steve Bracks is expected to be returned easily in the 30 November election after an administrative blunder last week suggested incompetence on the part of the Liberal opposition.

Catholic Social Services Victoria issued its guide to the election yesterday. The document was headed by a letter signed by Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne and the bishops of the state's three country dioceses.

The bishops stressed voters should make up their own minds, but that they shouldn't do it lightly. They said that voters "have responsibilities", and that the election is "a chance to review government policies and to judge how best to advance the wellbeing of all Victorians".

"The principles of Catholic social teaching have been developed over many years, and find their roots in the Gospel and tradition of the Church," they said. "We are called to evaluate social polices based on these teachings."

The bishops suggested we should not take democracy for granted. It is "hard earned", and its processes - at once robust and fragile - exist "to promote human freedom, responsibility and participation in social life".

Catholic Social Services

Catholic Social Services Election Guide - PDF | Word
Catholic Social Services
Election 2002 Victoria (ABC)
Bracks announces November 30 Victorian State election (

22 Nov 2002