If political conventions have acquired a reputation for being sources of hot air, there was one in Toronto on November 3, 4 and 5, 1988, which was a generator of fresh air. The Family Coalition Party of Ontario meeting at the Skyline Hotel approved its Constitution, dealt with thirty-five pages of policy resolution, and elected a new executive.
The Family Coalition Party recognizes that there is no human authority that does not come from above. It is not (please God) a vehicle for ego trips. Hence, its non-stifling, refreshing, liberating character. It is not rudderless.
“The chief purpose of the FCP is to defend and enhance the dignity the dignity of every human person – man, woman, and child – from conception to natural death.” So began the policy resolutions and so they continued through family matters, education, health disabilities, law, economics, energy, the environment, northern affairs. Discussion was lively engaging vital questions such as what is meant by a “right,” by “natural law,” by the family itself. How to eliminate discrimination against the family, against children (the younger the child, the greater the discrimination), against mothers (homemakers), against the elderly? What is the difference between objective truth and one’s (subjective) sense of that truth? When is amniocentesis a valid procedure? How to deal wit the dangers of nuclear power? Do unions exist for the good of the workers? How to defend the family farm?
The lion’s share of the time was spent on the policy resolutions. If their framers deserve high praise, and they do, even greater credit, if possible must be given to those who chose the speakers. Lawyer Angela Costigan graced Friday’s lunch. Professor William Marra of Fordam Univeristy, New York, spoke at Friday’s dinner, and Farmer/Writer/Speaker John Phillips spoke at Saturday’s lunch. Party President Vince Higgins observed how different they were and, at the same time, how excellent. Judging by the reactions to the speakers there was no disagreement with the assessment.
Let me say simply that these three speakers, in addition to the retiring party president Vincent Higgins, party leader Don Pennell and others made us aware that respect for human life is an issue so wide and deep that there is no aspect of human affairs that it does not permeate. Probably the best evidence that that fact is known even to abortionists is their attempt to pretend that ours is a narrow focus, a “single issue.”
It is ironic that this is being written on the eve of a federal election being fought on the basis of a single issue which nobody understands and whose only explanation from the candidates is, “Trust me!”
Our issue is one which everybody understands but with which politicians, are afraid even to mention, even though it is the issue which explains all other issues. There now exists a brave little party, a David amongst Goliaths, the only party for which other issues are not divorced from the issue of human life itself.