SURVEYS: AUSTRALIANS LITTLE INFLUENCED BY RELIGION WHEN THEY VOTE AND THEY WANT RELIGION OUT OF GOVERNMENT
An August 2015 IPSOS survey on behalf of the Rationalist Association n of NSW and the Humanist Society of Queensland found that only 14 per cent of Australians say their religious belief influences the way they vote.
The questions had no applicability to the largest cohort of the survey, those with no religion, 34 per cent of the sample.
Catholics constituted 21 per cent of the sample. Only 4 per cent of Catholics said they were very much influenced by their religion with 11 per cent somewhat influenced.
Max Wallace, vice-president of the Rationalist Association of NSW said the results cast doubt on the notion that there is an influential, across-the board Christian or Catholic vote in Australia. He said ‘this squares with what we know about widespread support for voluntary euthanasia and gay marriage.’
The January 2016 IPSOS survey on behalf of the Rationalist Assn of NSW and the Plain Reason organisation of South Australia, found 78 per cent of Australians do not want religion dictating social policy.
72 per cent favoured a change in the wording of the constitution to make the division between religion and government in Australia more precise.
Plain Reasons’s Brian Morris said ‘politicians, the law, media, academia and the public sector should take note of this potent community mood to limit religious influence in contemporary social policy.’