Family Coalition Party candidates always face uphill battles during elections, considering their “minor” party status. Unfortunately, many also face the animus of pro-abortion politicians, events organizers, and media.For example, organizers at several all-candidates meetings tried to exclude Bill Whatcott, the FCP candidate in Toronto-Centre Rosedale, from taking part in debates.
Leaders of the debate at “the 519,” a taxpayer-funded gay community centre, didn’t want Whatcott to participate. Giuseppe Gori, the FCP leader, had to intervene to ensure Whatcott was allowed to debate. Apparently, the organizers were worried about the FCP “preaching hate.”
At another meeting, at Metropolitan United Church, organizers said Whatcott could not take part. He threatened to picket outside the church, and organizers relented. When he showed up wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a preborn developing child, they said he had to take it off. He refused, saying it was part of his pro-life message and voters would chose to vote for or against him in part because of the shirt.
During the meeting, he was booed by the large homosexual contingent in the audience when he promised to end spousal rights for same-sex partners. Whatcott told The Interim that the crowd “howled at the suggestion that homosexuality is a sin.” One lesbian told him that she would see him in hell.
At the Park Public School meeting, responding to a question about the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent pro-gay M vs H decision, Whatcott said he would support the legislature’s invoking the constitution’s notwithstanding clause to override the ruling. A woman stood up, swore at Whatcott, called him a Nazi, and threatened to call the police to have him charged with a hate crime.
One reason FCP candidates face such animus is that they want to bring up controversial issues such as abortion and homosexuality. Following the M vs H decision, the Cambridge Reporter asked FCP candidate Al Smith for his reaction. He said the Supreme Court decision would lead to an ever more loosely defined meaning of the word “spouse.”
The Reporter labeled the FCP “the Christian right,” and said the party’s platform is based “on far-right social conservative views.” But its attempt to paint the FCP as far outside the political mainstream pales in comparison to what Smith calls “a personal attack and attempt to disparage” him by Cambridge’s weekly newspaper, The Times.
After the election it ran a column by Margaret Barr, who attacked Smith because he “opened his big mouth and out tumbled some of the most asinine words,” and suggested readers respect “a moment of silence” for Smith’s “dying brain cells.” Barr said she was worried about the fact that Smith got 800 votes, thus disdaining the beliefs and democratic rights of those voters who supported him.
Some had positive experiences
Not every FCP candidate experienced this kind of prejudice. Gord Truscott ran in Waterloo-Wellington and told The Interim it was an overwhelmingly positive experience. The quiet, mild-mannered native of Guelph said he was treated politely and fairly at the all-candidates meetings. Truscott also noted in particular that the Liberal candidate had kind words for his fair and principled campaign.
Gori said that he tried to get on the leader’s debate, but the media consortium that handles the debate said that only parties with seats in the legislature could participate. Gori told The Interim that the establishment have an agenda that they want to advance, and it does not include the FCP vision.