The Family Coalition Party of British Columbia, under the leadership of Kathleen Toth, was granted registration as a political party on June 17.
The new provincial party, founded on the same principles as its Ontario counterpart, was formed to provide a place for pro-life voters to register their support for traditional family values – values which recognize parents as the prime educators of their children, values which recognize the importance of protecting innocent human life at every stage. The incumbent parties (Social Credit and New Democrats) have policies which are similar on abortion, medicare funding of abortion, child care, affirmative action, pay equity and child welfare – all issues which affect the integrity of the family. Many pro-lifers had become active in the Social Credit Party when Bill Vander Zalm became leader in 1986. However, they began to recognize the magnitude of the opposition to pro-life, pro-family principles when he was forced from office.
While some returned their Social Credit memberships, some decided to retain their right to vote as delegates to elect a new Social Credit Party leader in case Mr. Vander Zalm entered the race. Others decided to wait and see who the new leader would be before making a decision.
Newly elected Social Credit Premier Rita Johnson has stated on several occasions that she id “pro-choice.” She has expressed her intention to review legislation which allows pro-life hospital boards to discontinue providing abortions and has promised that there will be no changes in the medicare funding of abortion in hospitals or clinics, so there are no expected clinic closures under this Premier.
The argument is made that the presence of the Family Coalition Party of B.C. might result in the election of an NDP government. However, local observers believe that the B.C. Social Credit Party is self-destructing because of the polarization which occurred after the leadership convention. The only issue on which members agree is “party unity,” not much of an election platform for pro-lifers!
There exists the phenomenon of some pro-life Social Crediters hanging on, hoping to receive a ‘crumb’ from the party policy-makers. Some even believe that if the status quo id maintained, there will be nothing to complain about! Because pro-life voters do not vote NDP, the Social Credit Party believes that it need do nothing to keep them ‘on side.’
Some B.C. pro-life voters have yet to decide where their allegiance lies. Some will stay home rather than vote for a candidate who sees nothing wrong with abortion, others will hold their noses and vote Social Credit to ‘prevent an NDP victory.’ It is hoped that pro-life voters in British Columbia will realize that their vote is a precious right which is meant to be used to elect legislators who will uphold the values they hold dear.
To vote for the ‘least bad’ of two choices is a sorry exercise indeed. [This was the rationale used by many federal politicians when they supported Bill C-43].
There are pro-life leaders in British Columbia who are advocating doing exactly the same thing during the next provincial election. The blame which was heaped upon the MPs, senators and bishops who supported Bill C-43 may have been justified at the time, but for pro-lifer voters to use the same excuse for voting Social Credit is hypocritical.
The board of directors of the Family Coalition Party of British Columbia met on August 3 in Vancouver to ratify party policy and assess the possibilities of running candidates for key ridings. For copies of the FCP-BC Constitution and By-laws together with instructions on how to form a riding association and run an election campaign, write to Family Coalition Party B.C., Box 6626, Depot No. 1, Victoria, B.C., V8P 5N7.