Australian Commentary (59) Lessons in Educational Politics

The Wentworth by-election of October 20th gave Australians a lesson in educational politics. Why?

Anyone familiar with the demographics of Wentworth (an inner city seat in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney) would know it’s reputed to have one of the highest population of homosexuals in Australia. The seat was vacated by the former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, when he resigned from the Parliament.

The new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, had only been in the job for a couple of months, and had a slender majority of one, in Parliament. Sitting governments in Australia generally lose some votes at by-elections. Lose Wentworth, and he could be out of a job. The independent candidate for Wentworth, Kerryn Phelps, was a well known, high profile lesbian doctor, while the Liberal candidate, Dave Sharma, had no political pedigree, experience or profile. He was up against it, and he knew it.

Added to that, Liberal polling in the seat indicated they could win 45% of the vote, so it was looking tough. To make it worse, the Malcolm Turnbull refused to endorse the new candidate, avoiding the campaign. Could anyone figure out which way this would go?

A week before the polls, the Prime Minister (who professes to be a Christian) did what so many supposedly conservative political leaders have done, once in power. He walked away from his conservative base, in my opinion trying to placate the sizable homosexual minority in Wentworth. He announced that he would be introducing legislation to the Parliament that would prevent private schools from refusing admission to a student, on the basis of their sexuality.

Now I work for a school, but never go to school classrooms. I’m much more interested in home schooling, not just for the student, but the family and the church. But this wanton interference in the running of schools which the PM is promising is astonishing, and unwarranted.

Legal? Perhaps. Moral? I doubt it.

A form of foolish centralisation? Absolutely.

Another reason to keep your children out of school, and the politics of government funded education? Yes.

Christian Prime Minister-really? Show me the Christian part.

This is what spineless political leaders do, when they are desperate to win elections. Whatever their ethical views are, they get sacrificed on the altar of political success, because their ultimate view is:

Ethics don’t matter.

Yes, the Liberals have traditionally been better than Labor, but I’m no lover of the Liberals, because Wentworth’s example shows us they will happily sacrifice ethics on the altar of power, because power is their ultimate goal, despite what they say. They are only as conservative as their pursuit of power permits them to be.

Would you ever want your child’s education to be dependent on government funding, when political leaders are like that? A week later, Morrison’s down in the polls. Sorry, Scott.

And the Bible warns us of this:

Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, win whom there is no salvation (Ps.146:3).

This is why Cory Bernardi may well get more of a hearing amongst conservatives, because the Liberals (even with a leader who professes to be a Christian) cannot be trusted to stand their ground.


Can I prove that Scott Morrison’s promise worked against him in Wentworth? No. But the Bible never teaches us to try to placate the enemies of God, and we should never try. In fact, it warns us that,

Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel (Prov.20:17).