Voters in Atlantic Canada are generally disillusioned with government and politicians.  :They are grumbling that nothing will change regardless of who wins on October 25, and many don’t seem terribly interested,” reports the Charlottetown Guardian.

George Gilmore, president of New Brunswick Right to Life says, “People are especially discouraged that government and politicians don’t listen to them.”

This attitude, plus the economic situation, makes working for life harder, notes Herman Wills, President of Campaign Life Nova Scotia.

“Strange that our leaders can’t realize that when we kill babies we kill consumers.  Maybe the economy will have to continue to collapse until people wake up to that,” he muses.

“It’s hard to sell voters on the importance of social issues such as pro-life, if they have no jobs,” he says.  “In this election even pro-life people may vote by their wallets, not by their hearts.”

Paul Cheverie, PEI President of Campaign Life Coalition, sees it a little differently, “Because Atlantic Canada is largely rural,” he says, “candidates are generally well known, and it is not hard for voters to determine their position on life issues.  After that, pro-lifers feel free to move on to the next issue – employment security.”

George Gilmore says just surviving has become difficult for pro-life groups.

“Despite the times, membership has not decreased.  Our faithful supporters are still here.  But they are being taxed to death, and while they continue to donate, disposable income is next to nil.”

Because New Brunswick’s pro-life movement has no political wing, activity is restricted to educational efforts.  “Even in that,” Gilmore says, “the economic situation makes it hard to do the kinds of things we would like to.”

PEI Right to Life is conducting a signature campaign and an information and education program designed to inform the unaware and arouse the complacent.  Henry Morgentaler’s court action against the province has stirred people up and that may affect the federal vote says President Kim Dewar.

“People here are strongly and passionately opposed to Morgentaler’s bullying, and they have inundated local officials with letters and phone calls.  There may be a carry-over effect.”

Dewar and Paul Cheverie are not surprised that most PEI candidates are perceived to be pro-life.  Party organizers here know that most Islanders are not inclined to support candidates whose decisions and voting patterns are likely to jeopardize traditional respect for life, home and family.

“They know that abortion is not wanted here, and that Morgentaler is not wanted.  They know that 5000 people have signed a petition to say so,” says Cheverie.  Nevertheless, his workers are carefully double checking each candidate’s degree of commitment.

So too are Herm Wills’ workers in Nova Scotia, where an encouraging proportion of the candidates in the 11 ridings are solidly pro-life.

“But even people who consider themselves pro-life, are not fully aware of the situation,” says George Gilmore.

Few realize that while abortion numbers have been creeping upward everywhere – 12 % in Ontario, 22% in Quebec – they have leapt a whopping 68% in New Brunswick during Premier McKenna’s time.

“Not everyone is sufficiently concerned about elections.  But we are all concerned about our family.  And we know that without the family there is no survival for our culture and our civilization.  Perhaps we need to focus more on helping people realize that anti-life policies have a direct effect on their own families,” suggests Herm Wills.

All of these leaders agree that in this election there is little choice among the major parties.  Their national leaders are committed to unacceptable values, and no matter which party wins, anti-life, anti-family trends are likely to continue.

The best strategy, many feel, is to vote for the candidate most likely to continue to stand for the values for which they were elected, and to carefully monitor their performance following voting day.