The coming election has, once again, raised many questions in the minds of pro-lifers. It is no secret that many people have lost trust in politicians, the type of Parliamentary system which has developed in Canada over the last thirty years, and in our Courts. How can we best use our votes? J.H., Victoria, B.C.
Voting is a right and a privilege, and no one can tell you how to vote. That having been said, however, there is a cardinal rule, observed by all truly pro-life people, world-wide: any candidate who is pro-abortion or pro-euthanasia is automatically disqualified from holding any office of power. Euphemisms such as “pro-choice” should not hide the truth; they mean that the candidate is anti-life and pro-death.
Any candidate who believes that it is perfectly all right for a doctor to kill a pre-born child because it is ‘unwanted’ is a danger to society. The same argument of ‘unwantedness’ can be used (and is being used) against the old and frail, and the handicapped. These arguments led to the Holocaust in Nazi Germany.
The Clinton effect
People who claim to be pro-life but vote for known pro-abortionists because of “other issues” such as trade, taxation, the economy, etc. should look at what has happened south of the border. Clinton had a relatively small majority and many of those votes came from nominal pro-lifers who forgot abortion and left the pre-born baby to its fate outside the voting station. But Clinton did not forget abortion. Not only did he show glee as he revoked all the decrees that had been made to afford at least some protection to some of the unborn, but he took pleasure in rubbing salt in the wounds by arranging the signing to coincide with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and the pro-life march in Washington D.C.
Anyone who voted for Clinton shares the responsibility for the babies’ deaths which followed.
There is, however, another lesson to be learned from the USA. President Clinton has not had everything his own way. Congress has acted as a brake. And it is important to note that the President has been opposed, by his own party, as well as by Republicans. Congressmen in the House of Representatives and Senators are accustomed to voting according to their consciences or in response to the wishes of the people who elected them. Canadian MPs once did the same.
Following the system
It is time to return to an orthodox Parliamentary system. In Britain, on which the Canadian system is based, MPs are free to vote according to their consciences and/or their constituents’ wishes in all but three cases: a vote of confidence; the Budget: and or, an important money bill. It is instructive to contrast the way in which the cabinet members who were pro-life behaved over Bill C-L3 and the vote in Westminster over the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill – a bill to protect human embryos from experimentation.
The Minister of Health (Mr. Kenneth Clark) said in the Parliamentary Debate (Hansard, Feb. 13, 1985):
“…Not only would it be impossible for the Government to claim that they had come to a collective and disciplined moral judgment of the matter, it would be quite wrong to do so. At the end of the debate, I expect that Ministers in the present Government will probably be found in both Division Lobbies. It is obvious from the debate that many members of my party will be found in both Division Lobbies voting against each other. On this occasion Ministers are behaving as Members of Parliament, representing their constituents and answerable to them, but they are also exercising their own judgment on the issues and that is how the House will divide at the end of this debate.” It is true that this was a Private Member’s bill, but the Conservative Government’s Bill to allow Sunday shopping was defeated by Tory Ministers and back-benchers, allied with Labour MPs (backed by the Trade Unions).
The leaders of the three main national parties in Canada are all pro-abortion – there is no pro-life hope there. There is hope in electing strong pro-life Mps, men and women we can trust, with backbones, who will not be afraid to speak out for truth and justice for all, and who will return Parliament to its proper role. After all, if MPs have only to nod when the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition say so, we could save 293 MP’s salaries and pensions. Parliament should be where the people speak – let’s make it so