Pro-life supporters sometimes have a difficult time putting a positive face on what appears to be a steady diet of distressing news. A case in point is the recent federal election which saw the Chrétien Liberals returned to power for at least four more years of middle-of-the-road opportunism.

Although the significance of a reduced majority won’t be lost on the government, there is little to indicate the Liberals will deviate from the values-neutral legislative path they have followed since 1993.

Another cause for concern is the election of 20 New Democrat Party MPs. Most observers see the NDP strength in eastern Canada as nothing more than a reaction to the Liberals’ empty promises. Nonetheless as the standard-bearers of the abortion-contraception-gay rights mentality, a revitalized NDP poses new problems for anyone concerned with promoting a culture of life.

Prior to the election call, a number of Liberal candidates told Campaign Life Coalition volunteers not to expect any legislation which would provide greater protection for unborn children in this country. This sad reality becomes even more worrisome when one considers that the Liberals’ Parliamentary priority list includes some form of assisted suicide legislation and further support for the gay/lesbian agenda. How can anyone concerned with the sanctity of life and the preservation of the traditional family unit feel at ease against such a scenario?

But if there is one thing the pro-life community has learned since 1969, it is that the siege mentality is defeatist and counterproductive. If we measure success in small bundles, then perhaps there are just enough positive results from the election to keep us inspired – and active.

Certainly the rise of the Reform Party to official Opposition status is noteworthy. While we still have problems with Reform’s policy of settling moral questions by way of referenda, there is no doubt a Reform opposition will bring new urgency to right to life and family issues in the next Parliament.

Secondly, as Campaign Life Coalition’s post-election analysis indicated, there were 120 Members of Parliament elected who are opposed to abortion. Another 130 members of the House are on record as opposing doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia. If these MPs, especially among the governing Liberals, can remain firm in their resolve, we may have reason to believe that some of the worst elements of the government’s legislative agenda can be resisted.

As well, some 90 members of the latest Parliament have not indicated a position on pro-life, pro-family issues. This represents a sizable portion of Mps who through effective lobbying and persuasion, could be educated to a pro-life point of view.

The next time Canadians go to the polls will mark the first federal election of the 21st century. Many of the mainstream parties focussed on the “new ideas for a new century” theme in their campaign literature. Regardless of the achievements of our fin-de-siecle Liberals, wouldn’t it be refreshing to have a renewed respect for all human life become the issue in the first campaign of a new millennium?