Now that the Ontario Provincial Election is over and the Liberals have been swept to an overwhelming victory, it might be wise to reflect a little on the outcome. Two years ago, an organizer for the Ontario Liberal Party sketched plans for a Liberal Majority Government which included wooing the feminist vote while maintaining bedrock support from the Roman Catholic community. “The campaign plans would be successful,” he assured, “as long as the Catholics keep their heads in the sand and the bishops remain neutral on the abortion issue, while the party responds to the demands of the feminists.” Quite a scenario! I did not believe the strategy would work. So much for my expertise!
A majority of R.C. candidates for the Liberal Party tried to play both sides of the street – by telling supporters that the government could not close the illegal abortuaries or that the Liberals had been forced to make pro-abortion noises because of their unholy alliance with the NDP.
Liberal candidates, party workers and voters who are opposed to free-standing abortion clinics were told by the Peterson/Scott team that nothing could be done to close down abortuaries run by Henry Morgentaler and Robert Scott while the Morgentaler appeal is before the courts. Most, but not all of these people, believed the party line. Some of them contacted Campaign Life Coalition to get the pro-life side. They were told that the abortionists could be closed down immediately if the Attorney General (Ian Scott) wished, by merely requesting a bail review. The Liberal/NDP alliance had not requested bail conditions on the abortionists. The previous Tory government had done so. (The judge at that time refused to grant bail conditions because the Morgentaler abortuary was closed and there was no proof that the abortionists would re-open it and continue to break the law.) But the Judge said that if the abortionists were, once again, to carry on their law-breaking activities, he would certainly grant bail conditions, thereby closing the clinic. Quite a different story when contrasted with the Peterson/Scott party line, isn’t it?
One Roman Catholic priest sent out letters encouraging support for a Liberal candidate who claimed to be pro-life. That same candidate believes that therapeutic abortions in hospitals are a necessity. What a madhouse! Do you want to read more?
How about a sign for a Liberal candidate who was pro-abortion, on the front lawn of a Knights of Columbus Council Hall! A former R.C., running for the Liberals, became pro-life when calling at the homes of pro-lifers, but when asked about “choice,” the candidate said that the Liberals would push ahead with the recommendations in the Powell Report (greater access to abortion).
Some Ontarians who did not have a pro-life candidate running for their favourite political party, had another option. For the first time, Ontarians in 36 ridings could vote for candidates who were pro-life and were not afraid to proclaim it – long, loud and often. Over 48,000 votes were cast for the Family Coalition Party candidates who were all nominated during the summer months – most after the writs went down. Extrapolating the support for the FCP over all 130 ridings, the party would have received about 175,000 votes. No mean feat for a fledgling political party. But a most positive sign is the fact that 48,000 voters cut the umbilical cords to their preferred parties and cast a sure vote for life.
Calls from pro-lifers flooded the Toronto office of Campaign Life Coalition to inform us that they would reject or spoil their ballots in ridings where there was no pro-life candidate. Hundreds of pro-lifers indicated that they would not waste their time going to the polls when no pro-life candidates were running.
However, for others, for whom the plight of the pre-born child is of secondary importance compared with their preferred political party, Campaign Life Coalition became the scapegoat for their inability to elect their favourite candidate.
Forty-eight thousand Ontarians who voted for FCP or other pro-life candidates, and the unknown thousands who rejected or spoiled their ballots or refused to vote for their preferred party will be able to check their mirrors and find no blood on their hands. No new abortion facilities will be opened as a result of their votes.
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Campaign Life Coalition Toronto mourns the loss of John Deans.
For health reasons, John took early retirement from his job as an engineer with Ontario Hydro. He came to us as a volunteer after many years working with the Archdiocese ShareLife Campaign, where he served as Vice-president.
John always had the ability to bring things into focus. He kept people on track. He was our main stabilizing influence. People say that no one is irreplaceable but John is the exception that proves the rules.
His faith in God, his belief in strong families as the center of a healthy society, his concern for the poor and the distressed will always be remembered by his co-workers in the Toronto office. His wife, Roe, his thirteen children and his grandchildren will be remembered in our prayers.
We will miss you, John.
Jim Hughes is the president of Campaign Life Coalition.