As we report on page three, a trio of principled pro-life Conservative MPs, all from British Columbia, recently announced their retirement from federal politics. They were each, to a man, the kind of politician our first editorial calls for: ones “who have the courage of their personal convictions, and who reject the fool’s counsel of compromise.”
While we do not begrudge a well-earned respite from the often crushing demands of a political life, it is always sad to see a pro-life politician return to civilian life. The pro-life movement and the unborn can ill afford the loss of principled politicians who are willing to stand up for the unborn and those vulnerable to euthanasia.
But that sadness doubles with the news that one of the exiting MPs is Stockwell Day. For 25 years he has stood up for moral sanity, never hiding his views, and taking more than a few arrows from the media, partisan opponents and even some political allies. He was a socially conservative leader within the Progressive Conservative caucus in Alberta politics, earning the support and even adulation of social conservatives when he ran for leader of the Canadian Alliance in 2000. His pro-life views were no doubt part of the reason his opponents – across the aisle and within his party – so fiercely attacked him.
When he lost the leadership of the party to Stephen Harper two years later, he began a fine balancing act of supporting his party and leader, and holding true to his conscience. By all accounts he never compromised. He voted pro-life and pro-family 100 per cent of the time since becoming a cabinet minister and sources tell us that he was one of the few ministers who raised moral issues within both caucus and cabinet.
His leadership will be missed in the political arena, but we trust that we will not lose his voice entirely. And while we wish him adieu in riding into the sunset today, we look forward to his contributions to his country tomorrow.