The Secular Party of Australia has based its preferences entirely on secular principles, according to Secular Party president John Perkins.

“Despite the temptation to receive flow-on support from other parties, we have refused any deals for preferences at the upcoming federal election,” said Dr Perkins. “We do not compromise our major principles to negotiate deals with other parties.”

Dr Perkins explained that these principles include a change to the definition of charity and opposition to the promotion of religion in public schools. “The Australian Taxation Office does not require a religious organisation to provide any public benefit to be eligible for significant exemptions,” he said. “Merely the ‘advancement of religion’ is sufficient for an organisation to obtain exempt status.”

Dr Perkins, an economist, said that total funding for religious institutions amounts to over $2000 per taxpayer per year. He added that the amount of money spent on advancing religion means that “Australia is no longer a secular country.”

In terms of the major parties, Dr Perkins advised that the Secular Party will favour the Greens, Labor and then Liberal, with religious parties last.

The Secular Party is fielding nineteen candidates across all states and in the ACT.

Aug 27, 2013