It is time to remove politicians who are unwilling to end the brutality of abortion from the corridors of power. The quiet life of a private citizen is much more suited to those who are “personally opposed” but are unwilling to act. However, we cannot criticize politicians who check their conscience at the door of the House of Commons if we ourselves check our consciences before going to the polling booth. In this election, we must not compromise ourselves; we must demonstrate the conviction that we hope to find in our leaders; we must not vote for pro-abortion politicians.

This may seem to be a hard-line. And we may be tempted very strongly to make exceptions, to tell ourselves we will vote the ‘right’ way next time or to justify to ourselves that the party is more important than the candidate. But we cannot afford to make these exceptions; a generation of cowardly politicians has taken away our right to choose – the right to choose for ourselves which issues we will vote on. Unfortunately, for conscientious Canadians, there is only one issue, the issue imposed upon us by a secular culture in a selfish age, the issue of abortion.

Although this seems to be a narrow, limiting perspective, it clarifies our judgment as no other issue can. After all, doesn’t a politician’s stance on this issue give a window into his judgment in all other matters? Indeed, this issue offers politicians of every party a decisive test. For the true conservative seeks to protect life, and the true liberal seeks freedom for the weakest and vulnerable; a real populist would stand up for the unborn against threats of moral danger, and a real nationalist would defend his nascent citizens from the first moments of their lives. And what authentic environmentalist would not seek to change the cold, inhospitable climate in which the unborn child is seen as one more mouth to feed, rather than a precious gift to embrace?

In the words of Bishop Robert Vasa: “When we have someone who has (the wrong) stand on a disqualifying issue, then the other issues, in many ways, do not matter because they are already wrong on that absolutely fundamental issue.” Indeed, in the upcoming election, pro-life Canadians can be confident that any politician with the courage to stand up for the sanctity of life will show sound judgment on less pressing issues as well. In the same way, we can be confident that any politician who is unwilling to oppose his party, or indeed his constituents, in defence of human life can hardly be trusted on other issues. A candidate’s stand on abortion tells us a lot about his or her character.

The familiar adage that we get the leaders we deserve takes on new meaning in a democracy. Instead of being an expression of fatalism, during an election, the old saying reminds us of our solemn responsibility and instills in us a sense of profound hope. By holding our elected officials to the highest possible standard, we earn for our nation leaders who are worthy of our support, and worthy of our trust. But unless we are willing to refuse the easy compromises of worldly wisdom and political calculation, the old saying turns into a hard saying. In this election, let us stand up for the politicians who, in turn, will stand up for the unborn.