CLC planned to endorse Rob Clarke as our “Preferred Candidate” for Sask Party Leader due to his perfect voting record as an MP, and because he had maintained his pro-life convictions under media scrutiny better than (albeit not very well, if truth be told) two other allegedly pro-life candidates.
Unfortunately, Clarke dropped out of the race.
The remaining leadership candidates to replace Brad Wall during the Saskatchewan Party’s January 27th leadership convention are thoroughly unimpressive with respect to pro-life-and-family issues.
Allanah Koch, Tina Beaudry-Mellor, and Gord Wyant are proud supporters of the “right” to kill children in the womb. Ken Cheveldayoff and Scott Moe are very weak on our issues and cannot even be considered fully pro-life.
Both Cheveldayoff and Moe have vowed to continue the Saskatchewan government’s status quo of abortion-on-demand, in which thousands of preborn children are killed annually, and fully-funded by taxpayers.
FRONT RUNNER WALKS-BACK PRIOR STATEMENT
Cheveldayoff recanted his previous stance that abortions should only be licit in situations where the mother’s life is in jeopardy. After media pressure about his pro-life position, he issued a “clarification” that he actually believes abortion should be allowed for non-health reasons too.
“'In jeopardy' is reflective of many factors and age levels, not always health-related", Cheveldayoff told reporters.
Of course, the minimalist criteria of “non-health reasons” opens the door to abortion-on-demand for any reason or no reason at all, as we’ve witnessed over the past 48 years. In practice, that gets interpreted to mean how a baby could affect a woman’s education, career plans, romantic relationship, finances, and stress level, not just the so-called “hard cases” of rape and incest.
To be fair, Cheveldayoff has maintained that he would permit “free and open discussion in caucus” about abortion. So has Moe. So have the pro-abortion candidates Wyant and Beaudry-Mellor, who promised to allow a free vote on abortion if the issue comes up.
Therefore, Moe and Cheveldayoff aren’t offering pro-lifers much more than the pro-aborts. Their promise of free discussion in caucus can hardly be considered heroic, nor likely to advance the pro-life cause any more than if a pro-abort candidate wins.
Additionally, both men have made pledges and/or taken actions that undermine the pro-family side of our social conservative movement. Cheveldayoff attended Saskatoon’s Gay Pride flag raising ceremony, whose stated purpose was “to celebrate the city's sexually diverse community”.
At a leadership debate, both men reportedly “pledged support” for gay pride activist clubs in Saskatchewan schools. Known as Gay-Straight Alliances, these clubs typically agitate for the normalization of the homosexual lifestyle and transgender ideology. The clubs routinely seek to vilify teachers, parents and other students who believe in biblical marriage as “bigots”.
To the contrary, these candidates have frantically distanced themselves from the pro-life principles they expressed in the past. They’ve aligned themselves obediently to the demands of the pro-abortion media. That doesn’t bode well for our issues in the future.
The reality is that if a candidate doesn’t have the fortitude to stand on principle during a leadership race, it’s unlikely they’ll suddenly acquire it after becoming leader. Excuses for maintaining the status quo will always be present, including “the next general election”.
MAKING THE PRO-LIFE VOTE A THING OF GREAT VALUE
CLC cannot in good conscience give an endorsement to weak leadership candidates who’ve already vowed fealty to the abortion status quo, and to programs which undermine parental rights and the natural family.
Furthermore, we believe that the pro-life movement is best served by ensuring that politicians place an extremely high value on pro-life votes. Our support must be seen as a prize worth paying for.
Conservative politicians must not be allowed to take pro-life support for granted. We must not lead them to believe that our votes can be purchased with a mere bit of lip service about what’s “in their hearts”, but devoid of any meaningful policy commitments. We should not give away support in exchange for a patronizing pat on the head that promises us nothing, or very little.
CLC believes we must be very strategic about supporting political candidates. To gain our support, they must provide legislative and policy changes to the status quo. They have to understand that if they undermine or abandon pro-life and family principles, we will deny them our support by withdrawing our votes, volunteerism and donations.
NEGATIVE EFFECT OF WATERING DOWN OUR STANDARDS
Federal and other provincial conservative politicians are watching this race. If they observe that the pro-life vote can be won by simply asserting that one is “personally pro-life” but will nonetheless support abortion, these others will do the same. Politicians often take the path of least resistance.
Throwing our votes at conservative candidates in exchange for little or nothing serves to breed a dismissive attitude towards pro-lifers that is already epidemic: “Who else are pro-lifers going to vote for?”
YOUR VOTING DECISION
It goes without saying that the three pro-abortion candidates cannot be supported, but as outlined above, neither can CLC endorse voting for either Cheveldayoff or Moe, in spite of their claims of being “personally pro-life”.
Supporters can consider using this race to send a message to all the candidates, plus all the conservative politicians watching across Canada: “There is a cost to not supporting pro-life-and-family voters. If you want our support, show us policies to earn it”.