Christian Democrats and preferences

In the 2007 federal election the Australian Shooters Party directed its preferences in NSW straight to the Christian Democrats.

The CDP shares with the Shooters Party a dislike of Greens extremism. The Shooters Party and CDP often work together in the NSW Legislative Council to oppose Green extremism. However, the CDP is fundamentally an anti-shooter, authoritarian party. Both the two CDP MPs, Fred Nile and Gordon Moyes, are on the record as such.

On 19 June 2008, speaking about a bill to introduce some modest amendments to the Firearms Act and Regulations, Gordon Moyes said this:

Reverend the Hon. Dr GORDON MOYES [3.58 p.m.]: I wish to speak on behalf of many Christian people who do not approve of this bill. I would like to state personally that I do not approve of shooting as a sport, and I wonder why it is an Olympic Games event. I do not like the concept of the spread of firearms. I do not like the concept of children being trained to shoot. I do not advocate banning guns from the community, but I will not support an extension of their availability, or encourage shooting in any form except within the armed forces. I do support, and have always supported, John Howard’s limitations on firearms, and I will not do anything to roll back those limitations. And I will not support the Government’s amendment to the bill because I believe that in any form the bill is repugnant.

On 3 July 2003 Fred Nile spoke to the Firearms Amendment (Prohibited Pistols) Bill, which introduced new impositions on target pistol shooters including calibre and barrel length restrictions and limits on magazine capacity. He said:

Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE [2.33 p.m.]: The Christian Democratic party supports this bill, which, as honourable members know, is based on an agreement reached at the Council of Australian Governments on 2 December 2002. The bill fully implements the national agreement, which places a range of restrictions on handguns used by target shooters. They include restricting handguns that can be used for target shooting to a maximum of.38 calibre, restricting semiautomatic handguns with a barrel length of 120 millimetres or more, and restricting revolvers or single shot handguns with a barrel length of 100 millimetres or more. This is uniform legislation, so the amendments proposed by the Greens and the Australian Shooters Party—probably coming from two opposing points of view—cannot be accepted if we are to have uniform legislation based on the national agreement.

There has been some controversy about a new competition, which I have only just become aware of, called the International Practical Shooting competition, in which the competitors use.45 calibre handguns. It is a bit like what we see on television with the training of squads to combat terrorism. Apparently some people engage in this as a sport, using a handgun to shoot at moving targets while passing through a constructed range in the form of a building. I am not too sure whether that is a desirable sport; I have some reservations about it.

I understand that the police, the army, and particularly the SAS have to be expert in handling guns, but it seems dangerous to allow people, who may be unstable, to learn handgun skills that they could use in an antisocial way. Nevertheless, I understand that requests were made to the Premier and that the Premier wrote to the Prime Minister requesting that he consider including this activity as an accredited sport. There is even some talk that it may become a recognised sport at future Olympic Games. That would seem to be a strange development.

The national agreement includes a provision for a prohibited pistols buyback. This is one of the strangest parts of the legislation because there have been a lot of reports in the media that because the value of some pistols has increased—the Glock was mentioned—and because the Government pays the current price, some people will make a profit out of the buyback.


Pistol holders must ensure that their pistols are not stolen and used for criminal activity. The bill prescribes a 12-month probationary period for first-time handgun sport or target licence holders; that no handguns can be owned in the first six months of the probationary period, and that only two handguns of certain types may be owned in the second six months; and that handgun target shooters meet nationally agreed minimum participation rates in club competitions and events. It is also essential that people who own handguns must be mentally stable. In previous debates I have promoted the notion that all licensed pistol holders should be required to be a member of a recognised club that has strict membership requirements. Any member who displays strange or Rambo-like conduct will be kicked out of the club and lose his or her licence. That would be a sensible form of self-regulation.

The Christian Democratic Party supports the bill, or, rather, we do not oppose it, because some controls are necessary. However, we feel that the bill focuses on the wrong people: it should focus on criminals.

The scheme should be carefully monitored to ensure that no person makes a profit from it. We support the bill.

The people who run the Shooters Party aren’t geniuses, but they should have got it by now – shared opposition to the Greens is not the same as support for their own point of view.

In the 1999 NSW state election, Shooters Party preferences were responsible for the election of the anti-shooter Unity Party. If the anti-shooter CDP had won a Senate seat in the 2007 federal election, it would have been with the help of Shooters Party preferences.

It’s about time the Shooters Party learned something about politics.


8 Responses to Christian Democrats and preferences

  1. Lyall says:

    Dream on the shooters arenot making the calls on all this preferance thing, one man is

  2. Reverend the Hon. Dr GORDON MOYES [3.58 p.m.]: I wish to speak on behalf of many Christian people who do not approve of this bill. I would like to state personally that I do not approve of shooting as a sport, and I wonder why it is an Olympic Games event.

    That is a pretty hard core position against guns. I would think that most Australians accept shooting as a sport even whilst perhaps disagreeing about the specifics of firearm regulation. He would seem to be “out of touch with community standards”.

  3. Bob Green says:

    Alex Mitchell wrote about the CDP in Crikey today:

    In extraordinary developments inside the Christian Democratic Party, Rev Fred Nile has become President for Life and his critics have been purged.

    Nile’s political coup occurred at the CDP’s annual conference held at the Meroo Christian conference centre in the Blue Mountains on the weekend of August 22-24.

    The biggest casualty in the executive elections was party vice-president Rev Gordon Moyes, the other CDP MP in the NSW upper house.

    Although from the same party, Nile and Moyes are miles apart politically. Nile resigned from the Uniting Church in 2003 over the ordination of gays while Moyes has taken a leading role in advocating a more inclusive Christian agenda for gays and support for people with HIV/Aids.

    Nile has campaigned against Muslim immigration and for a ban on the chador (headscarf) worn by Muslim women while Moyes has supported inter-faith understanding, particularly between Christians and Muslims.

    The conference also dumped party secretary Ken Gregory, a party stalwart of 15 years’ standing, and state treasurer Arie Baalbergen who served in the trenches of Christian politics for 20 years.

    Another casualty was executive member John Phillips who had supported three office workers who made complaints about workplace harassment inflicted by a senior party official (not Nile).

    In the bloodletting, the CDP has also lost state director Phil Lamb and office manager Ben Carpentier, both veterans of federal, state and local election campaigns.

    Nile’s latest ally is Dutch-born Wally Vanderpoll, the NSW state manager since August 4 who has vowed to “uphold Australia’s Christian heritage and reinforce our proven Judeo-Christian moral principles in Australian society”.

    A former Young Liberal, Vanderpoll has the stamp of approval of Nile’s other leading lieutenant, Michael Darby, the hard right-wing maverick who was expelled from the NSW Liberal Party last year.

    Prior to the March 2007 state election, Darby was defeated by Michael Baird for Liberal pre-selection for the seat of Manly. After the loss, Darby went off in a huff and spent the campaign supporting Nile whose main platform was imposing a 10-year ban on Muslim immigration to Australia (which John Howard declined to condemn).

    Darby is the son of the late Douglas Darby, Manly MP for 31 years (1947-78), and a former researcher for right-wing rabble rouser and radio ham Alan Jones.

    Under the newly-formed Nile-Vanderpoll-Darby leadership the political trajectory of the CDP is clearly mapped out: more criticism of gay people and Muslims and full support for the entire US “moral majority” agenda.

    Nile, who is pleased to refer to himself as “the father of the NSW parliament” is, at 82, old enough to be the father of Premier Morris Iemma, Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and federal Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson.

    He has earned a special place in the affection of the Labor Government by voting in favor of its most controversial — and often unpopular measures — and chairing committees of inquiry to rescue the government from political embarrassment.

    His CDP critics are seething. One of them has suggested the party change its name. He told Crikey: “It is no longer Christian and it is no longer Democratic. It should be re-registered as the Fred Nile Party.”

  4. Jim Pirie says:

    Like all those who stay in the one place in politics they think they are right all the time and can not be done without, Howard would be the classical example and so on down the line to the minnows of other small parties who knew it all and refused to listen to reason.

  5. Richard says:

    President for life? the last time I heard that one was Idi Amin, another nice christian gentleman.

  6. Aurora says:

    I know Fred Nile and Gordon Moyes personally. Gordon Moyes is a snake of a man and was stabbing Fred in the back at every opportunity. Fred tried and tried to reach out to him, but he was determined not only to get rid of Fred but to completely change the CDP.
    You are making judgments on someone you know nothing about.
    I thought you all were fighters. You’re as PC and feminized as the rest of society. Yes Fred Nile had every right to fight for his life and for the life of the party he’s been the backbone of for over twenty years. He has fought off plenty of others by the grace of God and now Moyes is history. I’m really glad he’s gone. Thank God!!
    By the way, Richard is comparing Fred Nile to Idi Amin. That’s pretty rich, Richard.
    I thought this might be a place to find fellow Conservatives. I see I was wrong.

  7. Jimbo says:

    Moyes sounds alright but I think the Shooters really have to ask the question if it’s worth staying in bed with a parliamentary harlot like Nile- particularly when you read about underhanded things like this-

    Surely there are other groups to preference before this mob?

  8. Greetings to Gun-owners blog. Why on earth do you describe me as “hard-right”? My defining characteristic is anti-authoritarianism. A small amount of research will confirm that I have no argument with gun-owners, and that I have never been expelled from the Liberal Party.

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