Politics, who needs it?
Well, we do. I know that there are many pro-life people who, for various reasons, do not get involved politically. Some of these reasons I’ve heard are, It doesn’t do any good. I’ve got too much on my plate actually trying to save lives. I don’t want to offend anyone who might have different political views than me. I just don’t get what I’m supposed to do.
I get it. I understand the temptation to ignore politics, I mean, we’ve seen how divisive it can be. And I don’t know about you, but being a pro-life person already brings enough division into my life, so I get why there are those who don’t have the energy to get activated politically.
But we are doing the movement a huge disservice if we don’t get involved, and that’s because it is relatively easy to effect political change.
I know you will point to the lack of success we have had in Canada and scoff at my last sentence. After all, don’t we all sign petition after petition, and even attended rallies or marches? Don’t we all vote for the pro-life candidates that we know of (at least, I hope we do)? But the problem is we need to be more strategic on how we go about this in order to effect real change. All of those things are good, but the first place we should start is a place that many ignore. It’s getting a solid pro-life person nominated as a candidate for the political party of your choice.
This is the area where relatively few people can make a huge impact. Just think. Let’s say we have the goal of having a pro-life prime minister. That goal starts with getting a pro-life person as a candidate in a local riding. And then, once that person is in place, the next step is to support that person in a leadership race of the party. And once they are leader, well, we have to make sure that party is successful. Presto! Pro-life Prime Minister!
But it all starts with the original step, that of getting a pro-life candidate to run in the election in the first place. And it is this step that we too often fail.
Here in Alberta our provincial pro-life group, The Wilberforce Project, has been doing a great job in educating us on the importance of this first step. They have pointed out that you need relatively few people involved to effect change at this level of the political process, compared to how many you need to elect a party to power. So, strategically speaking, it makes sense for us as movement, who have relatively few people and scant resources, to focus on this part of the process.
I have been greatly encouraged to see this strategy bearing fruit here in Alberta. Due to The Wilberforce Project’s efforts, we are starting to see success in getting pro-life candidates nominated in various nomination races and even elected in by-elections.
The first step is buying a membership in a political party in order to have the right to vote on nominees. Unfortunately, this is where many pro-lifers balk. “I’m just not political,” they say. Or, “I don’t want to get bombarded by fundraising appeals.” Or, “I don’t want to be a member of Party X, I want to support Party Y.” That last one resonates the most with me. After all, if I am never going to vote Liberal (or pick whatever Party you vehemently disagree with) because I don’t agree with their platform, why would I want to get a membership in the Liberal Party?
Here’s the thing. You might not agree with the Liberal party platform, but there might be a pro-life person who does, and who is running for the nomination in their local riding. And if we don’t support that person and do everything we can to make sure that they are the candidate for the Liberal Party in the next election, we are failing the pro-life cause.
We need to look at this through a pro-life lens, not a partisan one. Buy memberships in ALL the political parties You are allowed to do that in Canada. That gives you the right to get involved in their nomination races, and even, in some cases, in their policy development for their Party. It gives you more credibility to comment on their policies and to encourage more pro-life friendly ones if you are a card-holding member.
Instead of despairing that there are no good candidates to vote for, let’s do everything we can to make sure that our passionate pro-life people who put their names forward as nominees for their parties are supported.
The most important political race going on right now is the leadership race for the Federal Conservatives. That is because whoever wins this race has a good chance of becoming Prime Minister at our next election. It is vitally important that pro-lifers get involved, especially because there are several good pro-life candidates running for the leadership. RightNow Canada has put together a guide for us on how the leadership race works and has given us recommendations on how to vote.
Check it out, and go buy your membership by March 27th. Future generations are counting on us, let's not let them down!