Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown’s flip-flop on sex-ed may have been a cynical political ploy, but pro-life and pro-family Canadians must resist cynicism about politics. It is true that many politicians are self-serving and opportunistic, including sometimes our friends and allies. It is our job in the pro-life movement to keep their resolve, to have courage in the face of partisan and media criticism, and to do that right thing whether or not it is politically expedient. This is often difficult work, but it must be done.
As Campaign Life Coalition encourages its supporters to take out memberships in the federal Conservative Party and Alberta Progressive Conservative Party to support pro-life leadership contenders, CLC hears a now too-familiar complaint: what if our favoured leadership candidate abandons their principled position? Our counsel is that unfortunately this happens, although seldom as craven as Brown’s flip-flop.
Most of those pro-life men and women who run for political office continue to uphold their principles, to varying degrees, over time – some better than others. But what is the alternative? Abandoning the political arena completely to those who do not share our values?
There are pro-life candidates running for leader federally (Brad Trost, Pierre Lemieux, Andrew Scheer) and provincially in Alberta (Jason Kenney). They deserve our support. If they falter, they will hear from us – and you. If they flip-flop on important moral issues, they will not only have betrayed their own conscience and social conservative voters, they will have betrayed the trust that all voters have given them.
We also encourage pro-lifers within other parties to stand up at the riding level to speak up for pro-life and pro-family values and to put their names forward as candidates for riding executive and nominations for elected office. Most of our efforts are within the parties on the Right because the NDP and Liberals have made their parties outright hostile to social conservative voters. It would be political suicide to abandon the Conservative and provincial Progressive Conservative parties because of a setback on sex-ed. When abortion advocates and gay rights activists suffer a political loss, they redouble their efforts. In this case, their example is worth emulating.