In recent weeks, there have been numerous nomination meetings across the country and we are both surprised and pleased with the number of pro-life candidates who are winning their respective party’s nominations. We are pleased for obvious reasons: the more pro-life candidates there are, the greater the chance of electing more pro-life MPs, and the more pro-life MPs there are in Parliament, the closer Canada gets to having legislation banning or restricting abortion. We are surprised because of apparently erroneous reports that pro-life Canadians are giving up on politics. The death of pro-life political activism, we are happy to find, is greatly exaggerated.
The most impressive victory for pro-lifers is the re-nomination of Liberal MP Paul Szabo in Mississauga South. The strongly pro-life MP won a hotly contested battle with Paul Martin-supported Charles Sousa. The Interim was at the nomination meeting and saw van loads of ethnic voters, mostly Portuguese and Muslims who were signed up by the dozens, stream in to support Sousa. It was classic ethnic block voting. But by the end of the evening, it was good old “retail politics,” where the well-known, hard-working, dedicated candidate won the day. Szabo won because he is a good MP and through the hard work of unknown but dedicated pro-life, pro-family and Christian voters who admired Szabo’s stand on the issues through the years. His constituents owed him a debt of gratitude for his ceaseless dedication to being a voice for the voiceless in our Parliament. Pro-life, pro-family and pro-church voters made the difference in the nomination and ensured that his voice will continue to be heard in Parliament.
Likewise, pro-lifers signed up and showed up for nomination meetings from Atlantic Canada through Ontario to British Columbia. One Conservative MP (Val Meredith) even complained that her opponents “cleared the churches” to help defeat her in South Surrey-White Rock-Langley. Meredith was a pro-life, pro-family MP who too often was at odds with other pro-lifers. Her hands were on the knife in then Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day’s back in 2001. Often she wasn’t present for crucial votes, such as M-83 last fall. At the end of the day, local pro-lifers decided that there were more representative candidates and they helped defeat the incumbent.
Then there is the case of Lois Brown in Newmarket-Aurora, a new riding in Ontario. She had the chance to defeat Belinda Stronach, an abortion supporter and advocate of same-sex “marriage,” who was busy campaigning for the Conservative party leadership. Stronach’s local riding nomination battle became very close and garnered national media attention. Brown informed Campaign Life Coalition that she was pro-life but ultimately, would not sign her name to one of CLC’s candidate questionnaires. As a result, CLC could not help her. Brown lost 512-412. CLC’s database for the region contained many more families than the 100-vote difference by which Brown lost. Many local pro-lifers supported Brown’s candidacy, but she was not effective enough in reaching out to social conservatives to win the nomination.