Ontario pro-life voters are being urged to look beyond party affiliations and closely examine the positions of the candidates.
None of the three major parties – the Progressive Conservatives, Liberals and NDP – have a party platform amiable to life, although there are candidates in each of the parties that personally hold pro-life views.
On family issues the parties diverge a little. The NDP supports same-sex “marriage” and the expansion of gay rights, while the Liberal party under Dalton McGuinty has generally accepted the gay agenda, with McGuinty recently endorsing same-sex “marriage.” After changing his mind, Tory leader, Premier Ernie Eves, now opposes same-sex “marriage.” This is despite the fact that the Tories capitulated to the homosexualist agenda when they rammed through Bill C-5 in 1999.
All three party leaders support abortion-on-demand and none have indicated that they would radically alter the status quo. The NDP , however, may explore ways of making “reproductive health services” more “accessible.”
McGuinty supports “abortion rights.” McGuinty, who calls himself a Catholic, told the Catholic Register newspaper that his faith informs all that he does in politics, but that on issues of morality, he checks his religion at the door of the legislature.
As for the Tories, during the Progressive Conservative leadership campaign in 2002, Eves said he supported a “woman’s right to choose.”
The Tories, under former Premier Mike Harris, broke a 1995 campaign promise not to expand the number of freestanding abortuaries (there were five when he was elected and there are now six, despite the claims by some Tory candidates that the party has kept its promise on this issue). Also, 10 years after the NDP brought in a “temporary” injunction prohibiting pro-life activities within 10 metres of abortuaries, that egregious violation of the free speech rights of pro-lifers continues unabated. Last year, the Ministry of Health also funded a pilot project studying whether to make the abortifacient “morning-after pill” available without a doctor’s prescription.
Mary Ellen Douglas, president of Campaign Life Coalition Ontario, said that during nine years in government, the Tories have not dealt with “the serious issues at the provincial level – women’s right to know, defunding of abortion and conscience protection.”
CLC has sent a questionnaire focusing on these issues to the Family Coalition, Green, Liberal, NDP and PC candidates in each riding. Douglas encouraged pro-lifers to call the CLC office (416-204-9749), or check www.lifesite.net, for regular updates on the questionnaires for guidance on how to vote pro-life. She said CLC is also urging pro-life voters to “only vote pro-life and only vote for a pro-life candidate. Most important, go out and vote.” She said if there is not a pro-life candidate, or if the views of a certain candidate are unknown, voters can spoil or reject their ballots, or vote to defeat the incumbent, to send a message that pro-life issues cannot be ignored. She reminded pro-life voters that “abortion is a disqualifying issue.”
The Family Coalition Party is the only provincial party that is committed to protect innocent human life. In the party’s current Impact newsletter, leader Giuseppe Gori says the FCP opposes the great “moral evils” of abortion and same-sex “marriage.” But, he adds that the FCP is more than a single-issue party. “Our vision is not limited to these two stances in our detailed platform. Instead, the Family Coalition Party is a party that aims to strengthen the family in all areas of provincial jurisdiction, because the family is the fundamental building block of society and the government can never replace the family.”
CLC’s Douglas said that she is upset the FCP is dismissed as a single-issue party, even though abortion is the most important issue. She noted that the party has a platform addressing a variety of issues. She also complained that the Green party is never dismissed as a single-issue party.
Because party names are not on the ballot, voters are urged to find out the name of FCP candidates before election day. Douglas noted that the FCP has a “record number of candidates,” with representatives in approximately half the ridings.