Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fr. de Valk: Tories risk losing so-con support

Fr. de Valk of Catholic Insight magazine issued a press release that Deborah Gyapong published on her blog. He writes:

With its move to override Private Member’s Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act – and with the explicit statements it made while doing so – the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper may well have irrevocably alienated its social conservative support base

Lose to whom? What are so-cons going to vote for?

Sure, so-cons might vote for Christian Heritage Party candidates, as Ron Gray urges in his latest press release.

The only problem is that the CHP only runs about 50 candidates during the election. It's hard to vote for a party that has no candidate in your riding.

Sure, so-cons could stay home on Election Day.

And allow the Liberals to win?

I don't think so.

Sure, the social conservatism of the Conservative Party is a mile wide and an inch deep.

If social conservatives want to make themselves into a credible and feared voting bloc, they have to do a couple of things.

One is invest in Quebec. The reason why there is no fetal rights legislation is that there is, in essence, no pro-life movement in Quebec. There needs to be mass Evangelization and a mass education movement.

Should Quebec have a credible pro-life voting bloc, interesting things will happen on the fetal rights front. So long as Quebec pro-lifers are isolated, so long as social conservatives do not get the word out in Quebec, nothing is going to happen in this country. It's mostly delegates from Quebec that stop the Conservative party from adopting socially conservative legislation. These Red Tories practically form a bloc.

Another thing is to network and mobilize social conservatives across Canada. In my opinion, things are getting better in that department. However, I think what is needed is a "League of SoCon Voters" that tells people how to vote. All members should all vote strategically and as a bloc. Lifesite and Campaign Life Coalition already do some of that, but we need a group solely dedicated to that purpose, so that when this group goes to a candidate to ask his opinion on abortion, he will know how many votes are riding on his answer.

We also need more activists and self-starters. There are lots of pro-lifers in Canada. But they wait for someone else to tell them what to do about the plight of unborn children. They treat the fetal rights issue as one of many, not as the most important issue that needs to be advanced on a daily basis.

One suggestion I would like to make for would-be pro-life activists is to get involved in the 40 Days for Life Campaign. It's the first time it's being held in Canada this year. There are campaigns in Ottawa and Toronto. The nice thing about this campaign is that it's not aggressive or very confrontational at all. It's all about praying, fasting and witnessing. It's a good activity for newbies to get their feet wet on this issue.

Of course there's more to be said and done.

But the fact of the matter is, until we mobilize and organize and develop more clout, we won't strike fear in the hearts of the Tories.

We can do it. There are a lot of naysayers out there who will try to discourage us, but they want us to be discouraged. This is all very doable if we are willing to do those things. If pro-lifers are collectively not prepared to do those things, then nothing is going to happen. It's a question of how badly we want fetal rights legislation in this country and what we're willing to do to get it.

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