Choosing a Government (CAG) was produced by the Social Affairs Commission of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops. It came out in June 1998 and has been widely distributed and is now being studied in various parishes.
This 12-page booklet addresses politically-correct concerns that are almost all endorsed by major and some minor political parties. The booklet forgets that there are concerns that are totally Catholic and Christian, concerns that Catholics and Christians should address when they go to the polling booth. (The only day that politicians shiver in their boots.)
CAG starts off well with a quotation from St. Paul, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God…” (Romans 13.1) But we are not obliged to leave intact unjust, immoral laws that defy the edicts of our Creator.
The booklet goes on to say, “The Church by reason of her role and competence, is not identified in any way with the political community nor bound to any political system”. Does that mean that a fascist, Nazi, or any other anti-democratic tyrannical government in power that denies people simple justice is okay?
The Church cannot stay out of politics. Isn’t the CAG booklet getting involved in politics? What it unwittingly recommends is for Catholics to get out there and vote for any pro-abortion and anti-family political party running anywhere in Canada on election day – as long as the candidates for these parties give the correct answers to easy questions in this booklet on a wide variety of issues (including a few pro-life ones).
This booklet suggests that it’s okay to vote for candidates running for these parties. Nowhere is their pro-abortion and anti-family philosophy denounced. It must mean that it’s okay to vote for them in spite of their dismal policies and their dismal records.
Nowhere in this booklet does it denounce parties who favour euthanasia or who advocate sodomy under the guise of same-sex benefits. There is an amusing over-emphasis on the importance of the individual candidate’s opinions. But after an election, the candidate soon finds out that he or she has just attended a shotgun wedding and it is the party brass who dictates. Their personal opinions and convictions, if they aren’t in sync with the party’s political strategies, get the heaveho in a hurry.
The focus of the booklet is terribly wrong. It doesn’t matter how solidly pro-life and pro-family a successful candidate is if he ends up as just another John the Baptist in the wilderness in a pro-abortion/anti-family government. The power to govern comes from the top down – not the bottom up. No one is going to ask a lowly MP whether strongly pro-abortion Judge Louise Arbour should be named to the Supreme Court of Canada.
We have a prime minister who runs around the country overriding the nominations of pro-lifers, and Catholics keep stoically voting Liberal
Once the election is over, the government becomes an unelected dictatorship with the prime minister (or provincial premier) assuming control, along with a small inner core of the cabinet, and aided by a cadre of close political advisers. Yearly political conventions are more for entertainment than for anything else. Conventions can pass resolutions, motions and amendments, but if they are viewed unfavourably by the party’s top dogs, they will never see the light of day. Private members’ bills are mostly used to gauge public sentiment.
Remember that the governments of all political stripes that we have elected have okayed the killing of two million unborn babies in the past 30 years and counting! Need I cite some of our greatest concerns? Abortion, euthanasia, the homosexual agenda, attacks on religious hospitals, pressure to introduce the abortion pill RU-486, a totally pro-abortion Supreme Court, hostile courtrooms for pro-lifers, illegal bubble zone laws that prevent counselling of pregnant women – these are our real concerns, and they are almost totally ignored by the five principal mainline parties and this booklet.
Catholics and Christians in this great country of ours, who are a hundred times more numerous than the homosexual/lesbian community don’t frighten too many politicians into doing what is right because we still vote for them. We have a prime minister who runs around the country overriding the nominations of pro-lifers, and Catholics keep stoically voting Liberal.
In this booklet you have to reach page five, Suggestion Nine, before you learn that “Governments must support life.” How is this booklet going to get the government to support life when 90 per cent of the Catholics who are its audience still vote heavily for pro-abortion parties?
Where is a ringing endorsement of the two strongly pro-life/pro-family political parties – the Family Coalition Party (in Ontario and in British Columbia) and the Christian Heritage Party (federal)?
The booklet quotes from the Second Vatican Council: “Christians who take an active part in present day socio-economic development and fight for justice and charity should be convinced that they can make a great contribution to the prosperity and to the peace of the world.”
The “fight for justice” doesn’t mean just “social justice,” but must also mean the fight for the protection of the unborn, the elderly, and the handicapped. What we have to do as Catholics and pro-lifers is to sort out our ideological enemies from our friends.
Catholics vote overwhelmingly for politicians in pro-abortion/anti-Christian political parties. They ignore pro-life parties because they do not have a candidate running in their riding, or because they are supposedly one-issue parties or horses that don’t stand a chance of winning.