In a joint statement, Mr. John August, NSW Secretary of the Secular Party of Australia, and Dr. Philip Nitschke announced a joint promotion agreement.
The Secular Party is a new arrival in Australian Politics. We are fielding Senate candidates in six states, challenging the religious influence on politics in Australia, and championing individual freedom against increasing religious influence.
Dr. Philip Nitschke is a director of Exit International, a group spearheading Voluntary Euthanasia in Australia, running a continuing program to inform people of their options at the end of their lives. Dr. Nitschke is contesting the Victorian seat of Menzies in the lower house.
There is a great deal of overlap in our policy aims; the Secular Party sees the rejection of Voluntary Euthanasia laws by Australian Parliament as a narrowly based intervention made for religious reasons rather than an endorsement of people’s freedom and autonomy.
Exit International deals at the coalface with Australia’s strange and draconian laws regarding censorship, personal autonomy , and the carriage of internet traffic. Australia is in no way a totalitarian state – but given the increasing number of such laws which have been slipped in without the notice of the Australian Public – by golly – we are inching our way in that direction.
It was the Kevin Andrews’ Private Member’s Bill supported by many on both sides of parliament – that led to the overturning of the world’s first Voluntary Euthanasia law, the Northern Territory’s Rights of the Terminally Ill Act in 1997.
Kevin Andrews’ seat is Menzies. This is the seat which Dr. Nitschke is contesting to underline the general support that Australians have for Voluntary Euthaniasia and the fact that elected representatives make these laws contrary to community feeling, illustrating the sway that the religious lobby have on politics in Australia.
There has been a groundswell of disatisfaction with the Howard Government, and both the Secular Party and Dr. Nitschke are both aware of the long history of religiously motivated intervention and special treatment on the part of the Howard Government. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that Kevin Rudd and other senior Labor Party politicians are all hostile to Voluntary Euthaniasia.
The Secular Party of Australia wishes Dr. Nitschke the best of success in his Menzies campaign, and Dr. Nitschke wishes the best to all Secular Party candidates over Australia. We hope that collectively we will show how strong the influence of religion on politics in Australia is, and just how desperately it needs to be eliminated.
Contacts : Philip Nitschke 0407 189339 John August 0419 683353
Philip Nitschke Menzies Campaign
Nov 6, 2007