Former Nationals leader, Deputy Prime Minister, and committed Christian, John Anderson, will put his name forward for pre-selection to become the party’s Senate candidate at the next federal election. The National Party in NSW is expected in coming days to announce the Senate pre-selection to be held in April. The Nationals have one sitting senator in NSW, Perin Davey, who is not up for re-election. If on a joint ticket, the Nationals get the number two position on a joint coalition ticket, their senate candidate is overwhelmingly likely to be elected. Mr Anderson’s candidacy was prompted by a range of people asking him to run. “Last year I was asked to consider how I could best help the Party and I undertook to carefully and honestly consider what I could do,” Mr Anderson said.

“After careful thought, and much encouragement from others, I feel it is right for me to at least offer to play for the team that I once captained for another season.” Mr Anderson is adamant that he would not seek the leadership of the party or a senior cabinet position. He wants to make a contribution from the backbench. Mr Anderson will seek to emphasise the role of the National Party in representing regional Australia, but also its historic position as a full partner in national Government. “Given that we live in times of great danger and that the nation faces serious challenges and many difficult decisions in the next few years, the role the Party plays in Australia is and will remain as important as it ever has been.”

Mr Anderson said that Australia’s “freedom and prosperity” are “under enormous pressure from those who seek to denigrate or even attack them, from both within and without.” “Yet at the very time when we need more than ever to pull together in pursuit of our common interests, we are deeply divided by the poison of identity politics which so powerfully pits us against one another and denigrates our past. “I believe that the times we live in are such that each of us must now ask ourselves what we can and should do rather than simply what we would like to do.” Mr Anderson, 64, retired from parliament in 2005 after a successful stint as Deputy Prime Minister. He was held in the highest esteem by John Howard and by his National Party colleagues.

In recent years he has re-entered public debate through newspaper columns, television appearances, public addresses and a highly successful web site in which he interviews prominent conservatives in Australia and overseas. He has expressed concern about Australia’s defence preparedness and the growing strategic challenges the nation faces. A pre-selection for a winnable Senate seat could well attract a substantial field of contenders in the National party. But none would have Mr Anderson’s pedigree.

Source: National Alliance of Christian Leaders

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