With talk of a federal election filling the airwaves and newspapers, the question again arises in pro-life circles – what choices do we really have at the polling booth?
With the exception of the Christian Heritage Party and a handful of pro-life candidates from the Liberal, Reform and Conservative parties, there is little to inspire the pro-life voter seeking to elect a House of Commons that will stand up for the protection of unborn children.
Many of our religious and moral leaders have reminded us that people cannot in good conscience vote for a politician who supports abortion, assisted suicide and other anti-life practices. There is an implicit complicity in supporting even a moderate pro-abortion candidate. A writer in this month’s issue of The Interim (page 5) says the lesson of Pontius Pilate, who attempted to wash his hands of responsibility in the death of Jesus Christ, is especially apt as we consider our electoral choices.
As well, Dr. James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, and a syndicated columnist for this newspaper, offers a key message at election time: “Some would ask, ‘Shouldn’t we vote for the lesser of two evils when the choice is between pro-abortion candidates?’ I believe not. To compromise on so fundamental an issue gives [pro-life politicians/parties] no incentive to defend the pro-life position. By voting for a moderate pro-abortionist who might be more desirable in the short-run, we squander our influence on decision makers. Rather, when a significant number of votes are cast for a third/pro-life candidate, even in a losing cause, that fact will not go unnoticed by political leaders. They will be more likely to court our support in the future, especially if they lost the last election. That’s the way the game is played.”
The “single-issue voter” tag should not discourage voters from seeking out the most pro-life candidate in each riding. If in fact we are single-issue people, what better issue than the defense of the most vulnerable members of our society. Democracies have prided themselves on providing safeguards for their weak and defenseless minorities. It would be refreshing to have more of our political leaders (and would-be leaders) look to the unborn as worthy of protection from the purveyors of abortion, contraception and the burgeoning culture of death.
Try as they might however, some pro-life voters simply won’t have the opportunity to support a pro-life candidate in their riding. In past elections, these voters have abstained, or have written “No pro-life candidate” on their ballot. Some pro-life voters, faced with the lack of favorable candidates in their riding, might work to unseat the incumbent, if that particular MP has proven unsympathetic to pro-life aims.
Whatever course is followed, there is little doubt that another Liberal majority would not bode well for pro-life interests. Unless we’ve missed something, the party leaders seem committed to the moral relativist path that has undermined family life for the last few decades. Faced with such a scenario, the least pro-lifers can do is work to keep life and family issues prominent in the public agenda.