In the last year, both Canada and United States held federal elections. Neither country elected a pro-life leader. During his campaign, Stephen Harper proved he was more progressive than conservative and Barack Obama has pledged to sign the abominable Freedom of Choice Act into law as soon as he can. But, while these elections do not offer much hope for the protection of the unborn, they do not constitute a major setback in our efforts to touch the hearts of our fellow citizens. In fact, in the U.S., Obama’s victory has proven just how mainstream the pro-life issue has become.
In a column in Newsweek, the Republican strategist Karl Rove offered his party a telling piece of practical advice: “Suggestions that we abandon social conservatism, including our pro-life agenda, should be ignored … The age of sonograms has made younger voters a more pro-life generation. And California and Florida approved marriage amendments, while McCain lost both states.” Rove, the “architect” of the GOP’s stunning victory in 2004, knows that not only is the pro-life position both morally correct and politically popular, but also that cowardly conservatives, who are embarrassed by this winning issue see it as an albatross to be tossed, rather than an issue to be embraced. And he also knows that the future is pro-life: the edifice of “pro-choice” rhetoric is crumbling before the human face of the unborn child.
American conservatives have no illusions: their march to political victory will be, if not a March for Life, a proud march with those committed to the pro-life cause. But the Conservative Party of Canada, which has yet to win a majority, is unwilling to admit that it cannot win without the support of pro-life Canadians.
Karl Rove knows that political victories without pro-life policies are temporary and hollow. Will Harper learn this and lead our country? Or will it suffer a bitter lesson for a fractured, defeated party after the political stars have realigned?