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Catholics lobby offers tips for letters to local candidates

The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) is encouraging individuals to write to local candidates in the 9 October Federal Election to gain commitment on issues Catholic leaders and organisations are highlighting as important.

Some Catholic leaders and organisations are stressing that taking the election seriously is in itself a moral imperative. Bishop Kevin Manning of the Parramatta Diocese wrote in a recent pastoral letter that while he was not telling anybody how to vote, Catholics should "think about issues of public morality" when making their decision.

A number of Catholic organisations have joined together with other groups to form the No More Poverty coalition, which is urging electors to ask candidates: "Do you care about the level of poverty and disadvantage in Australia? If so and if elected, what do you intend to do about it?".

Other groups such as Catholic Health Australia, NetAct and the Social Action Office of the Queensland Leaders of Religious Institutes, have issued pre-election kits that include detailed discussion of policy issues.

PolMin has published a practical guide that includes a step by step set of instructions on how to write to local candidates. Coordinator Victoria Kearney describes PolMin's method as a "fun and practical way for community members to effectively lobby candidates this close to an election".

Memorandum of Understanding and Achievement For All Local candidates - Explanation (Australian Political Ministry Network)
Memorandum of Understanding and Achievement For All Local candidates - Form letter (Australian Political Ministry Network)

Western Sydney bishop tells voters to choose carefully (CathNews 6/9/04)
Catholic Health says Medicare investment key election issue (CathNews 30/8/04)
Poverty emerging as major election issue (CathNews 30/8/04)
No More Poverty
Catholic Health Australia Election Package
NetAct Election Kit
Social Action Office - Federal Election Campaign
Australian Political Ministry Network - PolMin

21 Sep 2004