Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ignoring The Most Important Right Of All

Great to see that the issue of fetal rights is making its way onto the mainstream media. Here's an article in the National Post written by Michael Coren, who had the courage to say what really needs to be changed in Canada.
It is tragically ironic that the most vital and profound issue facing this country is considered by many of its citizens and most of its establishment to be at best irrelevant and at worst a dangerous digression championed by zealots. The issue is, of course, abortion. And Canada is almost unique in the civilized world in having no abortion law at all. In other words, any unborn child can be aborted and in most of the country the taxpayer will finance the procedure.

Can we, however, genuinely regard ourselves as part of a "civilized world" if we treat our most vulnerable with such indifference? What is supposed to be the safest place for a human being -- the womb -- has been transformed into a slaughterhouse for humanity, with more than 100,000 abortions in Canada each year.

The biting hypocrisy of Canada's attitude toward the unborn was demonstrated particularly clearly last week when it emerged that a Winnipeg woman had been murdered in February for refusing to have an abortion. Even though the general and natural response was to regard this crime as being especially repugnant, and as the taking of two lives, her killer cannot be charged with double homicide. Instead of simply intellectualizing the instinctive and accepting the self-evident truth of unborn life, we twist and turn to deny what we know to be true.

If, for example, an obviously pregnant women sat in a bar smoking heavily and drinking profusely, the reaction would be one of disgust. If the same woman told friends that she wanted an abortion, the reaction would often be entirely supportive.
Well said, Michael!

Related post at Vote Life Canada

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bella The Movie

As many of you know, the pro-life movie “Bella” was released this past weekend in the U.S. What you might not know is that it finished in second place in box office sales, a wonderful achievement by any standards. Predictably, the critics were not amused. 64% of them gave Bella a thumbs down, despite it winning numerous awards including the People’s Choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
This movie was also mentioned at our conference. Not sure if the movie has already been released in Canada (as far as I know, it's not showing in Moncton yet). But once it's finally playing in a nearby theater, make sure you watch it and don't forget to bring your friends and family with you :)
Related post: The Beauty Of Bella (Review & Trailer)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Father Raymond J. de Souza: It's time to break the law's silence

Canada’s permissive abortion regime should not prevent laws that address crimes against pregnant women.

On Tuesday, a 17-year-old man was sentenced to six years in prison and four years probation for killing Roxanne Fernando in Winnipeg last February. It is the maximum possible youth sentence for murder.

Roxanne was pregnant at the time of her killing. Indeed, she was murdered because she chose to remain pregnant. The Winnipeg court was told that she was killed because she refused to have an abortion. It is not clear whether her killer was the baby’s father, or acting on behalf of someone else. There are two other men still to face trial.
(...)
Canada does not have any law that makes it crime to injure or kill the child during an attack on the mother.
It's interesting to check out the pro-abortionists' counter-arguments.

They suggest that we forget about fetal rights and address domestic violence instead. As if breaking a woman's leg and killing her unborn baby were crimes of the same magnitude. They mention right to reproductive choice, but overlook the rights of those women who want to keep their babies, but end up losing them without their consent. And then the abort-mongers say it loud and clear - recognizing unborn babies as persons will take away the easy access to abortions - which they believe is their right...

It's interesting to look at the examples the pro-abortionists give - such as a story of a teenager who helped his girlfriend to end her five-month pregnancy of twins. (How about just giving them out for adoption?) The pro-abortionists blame Texas law that doesn't allow aborting babies after 16 weeks (pictured). They say it's because of that law the young girl had to resort to her boyfriend's help. (As if it could make her "unpregnant", rather than a mother of dead twins.) And they call the boyfriend's imprisonment a "grave injustice"...

Well, if the pro-abortionists believe that violence against the unborn shouldn't be a criminal offense - they shouldn't be surprised when some people don't see anything wrong with assaulting those who've already been born and grown up. The first step towards ending domestic violence is extending legal protection to every life, from conception to natural death.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

National Pro-Life Conference: The Banquet

Wasn't it great to spend the evening together, among pro-life friends, enjoying delicious meal and listening to the great songs that Lorraine Hartsook was singing? Ain't it great to be pro-lifer, ain't it great? (Yee-haa! :)

Our guest speaker, Denis Savoie encouraged us to build peace through the culture of life and never forget the spiritual side in building the culture of life. He told us about the hard work the Knights of Columbus do to advance the culture of life; among other things - sponsoring the Reclaiming The Fatherhood conference in San-Francisco.

Speaking about how it's common nowadays to believe that one's religious beliefs should only be kept for Sunday service, Denis Savoie was clear that unless we stand up for our beliefs Monday to Saturday, we belittle everything we do on Sunday. He concluded his speech by saying: Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn't yet come, the only time left is now.

Then Peter Ryan, Joanne Bayfield and Jim Hughes gave some farewell remarks. We've had over 300 guests coming to our conference from all across Canada. There were more speakers than a conference of that magnitude usually presents. We had a chance to exchange a few words with those at the front lines of the battle for fetal rights. We've learned a lot during those three days - it's time to apply this knowledge now. We must keep working together, because, as the saying goes, if we don't hang together - we'll hang separately.

Of course, not everyone was there. I wish that devoted pro-lifers like Cheryl Gallant, John Pacheco, Suzanne Fortin and Tristan Emmanuel could be there too. Even Elsie Wayne - she wanted to be with us that night, but couldn't come. (Man proposes, God disposes.) But overall, the conference was a great success - our guests were sure of that. And they rewarded us with a round of applause for a job well done.

National Pro-Life Conference: Day 3 (Part 3)

Among the last events at our conference was the meeting for the National Campus Life Network, led by Theresa Matters. There we've exchanged our ideas and experience of advancing fetal rights on campuses. Most of the women who resort to abortions are of university age. University students - those are the teachers, doctors, lawyers and politicians of tomorrow. Thus, approaching students on campuses is vital to a pro-life movement.

Of course, as we all know, campuses are the most heavily guarded strongholds of our opponents. Sometimes the student unions refuse registration to pro-life clubs. Posters and literature are often taken down and destroyed within hours. So how could a group of devoted students overcome those hardships?

In order to win, we must be persistent, dedicated and strategic. Students may not have much time to think on life issues - thus time must be used effectively. Pro-lifers could try approaching sympathetic groups (like the Christian or Catholic group) for help and volunteers. We must be aware of the groups that could give support (such as NCLN or the local Right To Life group). And of course the pro-life groups working on campus must know all the rules applicable to clubs - to avoid giving the opponents at the student unions the formal reason to shut them down.

The approach could be different for each specific university. For example, if the campus is dominated by feminists, then it's better to emphasize on what abortion does to women, by bringing in a guest speaker from Silent No More or from any group that researches the link between abortion and breast cancer. If the posters are being taken down, maybe canvassing our using small surveys would be better approach. Using survey would also help identifying potential supporters as well as those who are unsure and could agree to take an unbiased look at fetal rights issue.

Many of us had lots of hands-on experience to share with others. Patrick Hanlon from Memorial University of Newfoundland told us how they've managed to increase the lifespan of their posters from a few hours to a few days by putting questions at the back. The questions read something like "Are you doing that because you can't stand freedom of speech? Is it because a picture of a fetus troubles your conscience?" That was enough for some of the students that were taking those posters down to rethink their actions.

Patrick told us about the battle that the MUN For Life group has to fight to be recognized as a club by the student union. He told us about the excuses the union uses to deny ratification to pro-lifers. (They are accusing of chasing people down the hallways trying to give them literature and even... throwing plastic fetus dolls at the bystanders.) Since the student union has refused to ratify MUN For Life, Patrick himself took the advantage, run in a "by-election" and was acclaimed. Pro-Lifers now have a voice on the student union. If that's not enough, Patrick is serious about suing the union for discrimination.

Minevra from BC told us about similar legal battle at her campus. While the legal process is slow and the union of course resorts to all legal means available to delay it even further, this brought the people and media attention to the pro-life group and to the issue of fetal rights as whole. The mere curiosity ("what's so bad about them, that they got banned by the union?") led to more students willing to take listen to pro-lifers and discuss fetal rights with others.

Yes, pro-lifers still have a long road ahead of them. Laws need to be fixed, minds need to be changes, lives need to be saved... And to accomplish all that we need to act.

National Pro-Life Conference: Day 3 (Part 2)

Up until now the subject has been protecting life at its earliest stage. But human life nowadays is also being threatened at its latest stage. The "poor-choice" camp call it the "right to die with dignity". (Notice - we have the right to life, they have the right to death.) The medical term for it - assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Alex Schadenburg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition gave us the overview of this relatively new development in the culture of death. Those who promote it, claim this is an issue of personal autonomy. But euthanasia requires another person to carry it out, therefore the belief that this is a matter of personal autonomy is false. Just as abortion, euthanasia is a matter of radical autonomy, when a person believes that others must submit to his desires even if they don't want to.

Alex mentioned how euthanasia supporters try to manipulate the statistics. (In Oregon, over 80% of the 'doctors' who give out deadly prescriptions aren't present at death and try to write off those deaths as accidents.) We've found out that in Netherlands, there are numerous cases when euthanasia is carried out without official consent, based on mere assumption that the patient "wouldn't really want to live like that".

There are plenty of facts to prove that once euthanasia is legal, safeguards will make no sense. In Netherlands, euthanasia is no longer viewed as measure to "end the suffering" in the event of terminal illness. It's been expanded to broader range of people, such as infants born with disabilities, mentally depressed/suicidal etc. Sadly, there are groups that trying to expand it even further - to all those they believe are unfit for this world.

And one more thing Alex told us. The "dying with dignity" organization claimed they are associated with the Hospice and Palliative Care association. Alex urged us to check with our local branch to see if those claims are truthful.

Then Samantha Singson gave us the overview of the fight for the right to life at the United Nations. People who represent the countries at the UN are not elected. Yet UN treaties are binding to all UN members. Samantha told us how the anti-family activists are trying to sneak the right to abortions on demand into the international treaties and how non-binding observations are pushed forward as guidelines for dropping all the restrictions on abortions - under a threat of cutting foreign aid.

Unfortunately, Canada's role in that battle is negative. It almost seems like Canada uses the UN as some sort of a trash can where our homegrown anti-family activists get dumped once they are finally voted out of power or retire from the courts. Among Canada's "achievements" - sneaking in the concepts of so called "sexual orientation" and "reproductive health services", blocking the Security Council resolution, condemning September 11 attacks, because it mentioned the right to life and even refusing to support a resolution against sex-selection abortions - just so they can keep abortions on demand not only legal, but unrestricted.

What could the pro-life movement do to turn the tide? Samantha suggests we demand accountability from elected officials. If we have a pro-life government at home, we won't have anti-family radicals representing us abroad. We must demand responsibility on foreign aid, to ensure that our donations are used to save lives, not to destroy them. We must keep ourselves informed and spread the word. Not many of our opponents can handle the truth, let alone being able to argue against it. And finally - we must pray.

(To be continued...)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

National Pro-Life Conference: Day 3 (Part 1)

The third day of our conference began with quite a nasty surprise from the Globe and Mail. Its front page article about the double life of a pedophile was illustrated by a picture of that man standing in the Life Chain holding 3 signs with pro-life messages. There was nothing about abortion in the article and the picture (completely unrelated to the text) was there just to create an impression that maybe all pro-lifers are just like that guy...

Could there be a better proof of what was told yesterday by John Henry Westen, that those running the mainstream media will do anything it takes to discredit the pro-life movement, just to be ok with themselves? But there was a silver lining in it too. Life Chain coverage rarely gets to the front page. The message on the signs - that abortion hurts women and kills children is clearly readable and may eventually touch a few hearts.

Our first speaker today was Dr. Clem Persaud, Professor of Medical Microbiology and Biotechnology, who provided us with information about the link between abortion, stem cells and breast cancer. Dr. Clem explained us what role do stem cells play, what transformations they go through during pregnancy and how disrupting the natural process through surgical abortion leaves women vulnerable to breast cancer. (While carrying pregnancy to term could actually reduce the risk even among those genetically predisposed to breast cancer.)

Dr. Clem mentioned that on average, 429 women get diagnosed with breast cancer each week and 102 women die each week from breast cancer. (This could be found on Canadian Cancer Society page.) There's more than enough evidence that abortion elevates the risk to breast cancer, but abortion is never listed even among the possible risk factors.

But what about all the organizations that protect women? Denise Mountenay was there to answer that question. She told us how the cancer society would admit that delaying pregnancy may increase the risk to breast cancer, yet they keep denying the link between abortion and breast cancer. Denise was one of many women who had an abortion and had to be treated for breast cancer.

It's been also mentioned that most of the major cancer research organizations engage in embryonic stem cell research. Among the very few that run moral research and do not experiment on unborn babies is The Cancer Research Society.

Then the Reverend John Ensor, the Executive Director of Heartbeat International told us about the importance of working within the community to combat abortions. Churches must preach the sanctity of life to their own people, since over 50% of those who have abortions, identify themselves as Catholics or Born-Again Christians. He gave us a personal example of how a poor family, unnoticed by the community was about to turn to abortions, since they had no money to raise another child; and what difference does it make when neighbors and the church turn to help.

The speech was titled "cross-bearing for child-bearing" and by bearing the cross Reverend John meant making sacrifices to help those in need to raise another child. Believing is good, but not enough, he said. Action and sacrifice is required. Everybody else makes peace with death.

National Pro-Life Conference: Second Evening

Our second evening began with some entertainment, as Ginette Landry, Sam Bourgeois and Amelie DeAcros performed a few traditional Acadian songs. But the fun stopped there and then we had to get serious.

Because the last part of our second day at the National Pro-Life Conference was dedicated to personal experience of the women who've been misled and traumatized by the abortion industry.

Denise Mountenay, the founder and president of Canada Silent No More, was the first to share her personal experience. The painful experience of being raped, becoming pregnant, having abortion, then having it again, few years later... Denise told us how her mother referred to an abortion as "operation" and the doctor regarded the baby as "a blob of tissue". She told us about the pain, the infection and the injuries she's got as a result of a "safe and legal" abortion, 'without a single coat hanger' - those are Denise's own words and I hope I wrote them down right.

Denise started the Silent No More group. A group where women devastated by the legal abortion could turn to. A group for women who've been there, done that and want to make other women aware of what they really went through. Denise says there are 2 million women injured by abortion. Silent No More is ready to reach out to each and every one of them.

A CBC documentary described Denise as a woman who is "turning her back on choice". What Denise is saying that the abortion is unchoice. She's mentioned numerous possible complications that could arise from "legal and safe" hospital abortions. (No, not the 'back alley abortions'.) There are 48 studies linking premature births to abortion, over 27 studies also linking Breast Cancer to abortion. But women are never told about the link between abortion and breast cancer, between abortion and premature birth, between abortion and sterility; let alone being told about the possible emotional consequences.

Unless the things change, Denise suggests that all the women who were left hurt and broken by the abortion industry sue the abortion providers for lying to them. Meanwhile, Silent No More runs a website - CanadaSilentNoMore.com Please find a few spare minutes to visit the website. Even if you believe that abortion is a "choice" - please check out the website in respect for women that made the choice you promote and ended up injured physically and emotionally.

Our last speaker for the day was Lorraine Hartsook. Her story is just the opposite - about a woman who's been told just few days before her marriage that she was unlikely to have any children. She wanted to become a mother, but her health condition didn't permit that. Lorraine had 12 miscarriages and went through years of medical treatment. Physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted, her life was a disaster.

In the hour of misery, Lorraine found the internal strength to turn to God. Suffering is a privilege, she said. She has accepted her cross of not being able to have children and raised two adopted children instead. Lorraine is an award-winning Christian recording artist. She told us the story of her quest for motherhood through the power of a song. And even though the CD player kept switching to the wrong tracks, her voice and her message were powerful enough to touch our hearts and to remind us that the gift of motherhood shouldn't be taken for granted.

National Pro-Life Conference: Day 2 (Part 3)

John Henry Westen, who runs the Life Site news, gave us the overview of the battle in the media. While most of us knew that the media is not favorable to the pro-life movement, not many could imagine that the disparity between the media and actual public opinion is that big. While 2 out of 3 Canadians believe there must be legal protection for human life during pregnancy, 9 out of 10 journalists support uncontrolled abortion, which Canada has now.

John gave us many examples how the mainstream media tries to portray pro-lifers as some sort of KKK extrimists; how he saw journalists walking around with the camera, purposely trying to leave all the young people out of the picture - so it looks like the pro-life movement has no appeal to the youth. But we've seen the great work John is doing with the Life Site News website. And we were glad to hear how a few devoted pro-lifers made the New York Times apologize for spreading lies about a woman who was allegedly jailed for having an abortion; how the truth and hard work helped to denounce the myth and expose the fact - that the woman was actually jailed for strangling a newborn.

Then Mary Ann Kuharsky told us how to raise pro-life children in an anti-life culture. Parents are the first missionaries of their kids, Mary Ann said. Pray together, play together, eat together, work together - those were the suggestions. Mary Ann emphasized the need of a child to be a team player, to know that this is his job around the house and if he doesn't do it - nobody else will.

Another thing Mary Ann mentioned is how inconsistent parents' message can often be. No parent would say something like "I don't want you to drive drunk, but if you do, at least try to drive where the cops aren't." Yet the advice on sexual behavior often sounds very similar to that. Mary Ann shared with us her own experience of raising 13 children, 6 of them adopted from all over the world. She told us how love and devotion helped her overcome the language barrier and many other challenges she was facing.

"Planned parenthood" doesn't believe in our children - we do, Mary Ann concluded. We expect great things from our children - "Planned Parenthood" doesn't.

I love you, I believe in you, I pray for you and I expect great things from you - that's the pro-Life approach.

Our next event was a prayer vigil at the Georges Dumont Hospital, to commemorate all the babies who've lost their lives in that hospital since it started performing abortions in July of 2006. We stood at both sides of the street, few feet apart from each other, holding our signs and praying, so it looked quite similar to the life chain. If someone had missed our message back then - he's got the chance to see it now. And the vast majority of the people were quite receptive.

(To be continued...)

Friday, October 26, 2007

National Pro-Life Conference: Day 2 (Part 2)

Getting the pro-life message out - we've had several speakers who shared their experience with us.

First was Yvonne Dumont from Pro-Life BC. She told us about the ad campaign to change public opinion in the province; how their billboard and ad campaign reach people who can't be reached otherwise. The seeds are planted and the message is delivered to the people: while there are unwanted pregnancies, there are no unwanted children!

Yvonne mentioned the group website - www.optionsbc.com. While Yvonne believes they could've achieved better results - abortions are down in BC. The statistics shows 1350 less abortions performed in BC compared to the peak in 2002. That's 1350 babies that were saved.

Then Stephanie Gray gave us the overview of her strategy to make abortion unthinkable. She suggested we look back at the historic human rights movements and see what contributed to their success, so the pro-life movement could benefit from their experience. Want to know what made let's say the abolitionists movement and later - the civil rights movement so successful in achieving their goals? They dramatized the injustice with shocking imagery. They campaigned on that imagery. They were ready to face persecution. And they succeeded. Therefore, that should be the strategy of the pro-life movement.

Stephanie dedicated a lot of time to address the concerns that confronting the culture of death visually is often regarded as "disturbing"; and that the images of aborted babies could be viewed by the children. If there is an injustice going on, would your primary concern be about hiding it from the children or about ending the injustice itself? Abortion thrives on the same notion which led to the Holocaust - that there are lives unworthy of living. So when our opponents hide that by using the word "choice", we have no other choice (yep!) except showing the people what is being "chosen".

A video, which Stephanie showed us, gave a clear picture not only of what's being done to babies under the name of choice, but that abortion is also a number 1 cause for the infant death in Canada. About 3000 children die each year from accidents and illnesses. Abortion claims over 100,000 lives.

National Pro-Life Conference: Day 2 (Part 1)

So many things, so little time to blog about them all...

The second day of the conference began with the speech of Peter Ryan, the president of Campaign Life New Brunswick. He shared his experience of defending pro-life cause. He told us how his pleas to the media to cover over 6000 abortions performed at Morguentaller's abortuary were denied three times, until the word was finally out. Peter's wife, Susy Ryan was arrested about a year ago for holding the picture of an unborn baby outside of the abortion facility and was charged with display of obscene material...

Those charges were dropped. And that wasn't the only positive development for the pro-life movement in New Brunswick. Even the woman who used to be the head of "pro-choice New Brunswick" has since softened her position on fetal rights. A delegate from PEI put in his two cents by telling us about the long struggle and numerous efforts it took to get the right people on the hospital board, making PEI the first province to stop performing surgical abortions. By redoubling our efforts we may achieve the same here in New Brunswick.

Then Natalie Hudson let us know about the problems the young generation is facing today and shared her ideas on how to bring the youth to the culture of life. Natalie is certain that the youth of today is just as curious and open-hearted as their parents, seeking their place in the word and looking for answers to tough questions - just as their parents used to. Thus, working with the young generation shouldn't be any harder than working with their parents.

Natalie told us how the school fails the students. It concentrates more on career training, rather than the developing of mind. It denies the existence of absolute truth, thus denying young people the answers to tough questions. It teaches pragmatism, rather than knowledge, that's why happiness is often associated with material goods or sexual pleasure.

Thus the whole culture of death is based on fear. Fear of losing control. Fear of sacrifice. Fear of loss of "freedom" - including the fear of being "trapped" in an unwanted pregnancy. Natalie calls to address that fear with knowledge. Young people must have a vision that is greater than just their current situation. Student must be able to have answers to their questions; and the answers are there - in the arts, in the music, in the poetry and, yes, even in the religion, as it's is a contribution of 2000 years to draw from. Natalie concluded by saying that the battle against the culture of death is not merely to abolish abortion, but to educate young hearts.

Natalie's words were complemented by Steve Dempster, representing the Atlantic Baptist University. He talked a little more about the purpose of knowledge and how the intellectual abilities are often used to destroy. Steve mentioned that instead of knowledge which connects us with real world, students are often taught moral relativism which denies the reality. Since the universe was created with certain guidelines, following a theory that doesn't pass reality test means simply pushing yourself against reality. Those who claim that sexuality has no consequences or that life doesn't begin until birth are doing just that.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

National Pro-Life Conference: Day 1

Where are we today?

That was the subject discussed at the opening session of the National Pro-Life Conference. First, Jim Hughes, the President of the Campaign Life Coalition, addressed the political aspect of the situation. Apart from reiterating that pro-lifers must double their efforts, Jim also mentioned that political changes won't be possible without spiritual changes. He stated that clergy of all denominations must be encouraged to stand up for the sanctity of life. Jim made it clear that anyone who relies on immigration to solve the demographic problem, while ignoring the issue of abortion, is in fact suggesting to rob the developing countries of their future, just because we, Canadians, have aborted ours.

Joanne Bayfield from Life Canada told us about the education campaigns, undertaken by the pro-life movement. We've heard about the Environics poll results according to which 72% of Canadians (75% of the women respondents) believe there must be legal protection for the unborn victims of crime. Joanne provided us with additional information which hasn't yet been released by the news agencies.

Thus it turns out, 62% of Canadians support legal protection for human life at some point during pregnancy. 67% believe there must be informed consent legislation, so women are provided with all the information about their baby, offered some alternative options to the abortion as well as warned about possible health consequences. Requiring parental consent for under-age girls seeking abortions is supported by 54% of Canadians. Finally, 64% disagree with abortions on demand being paid for with our tax dollars.

Joanne mentioned that many Canadians are simply unaware of the facts. For example, not many people know that Canada actually does not have any time restriction on abortions; many believe that abortions after the first trimester aren't allowed. To raise awareness of the complete lack of the legal protection for the unborn in Canada and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Morguentaller's ruling, Life Canada is launching a new educational website: www.abortionincanada.ca

Finally, Mary Ann Kuharsky, the Founder and President of Pro-Life Across America, gave us the overview of the situation from the prospective of a mother. She told us about the "Planned Parenthood" ads she'd seen. Apart from referring to babies as "loud, smelly and expensive", those ads also mention that "God had only one child" and suggest that people "follow his example". We've found out that according to the "Planned Parenthood" own statistics, 90% of the women who turn to abortion, are pressured to do so by a partner, a family member or anyone else for that matter. (Talking about "choice".)

Mary Ann told us about the billboard campaign her group runs in the US; how a simple knowledge that a baby's heart starts beating as early as 18 days after conception, could change people's hearts. She's told us about poor-choice activists blaming her of trying to impose their morality on others. Mary Ann doesn't argue with that. Yes, she says, we are trying to impose pro-life morality, because up until now it's been them imposing their morality on us and look at the mess they've got us into. But it's quite hard to say that Mary Ann Kuharsky is actually trying to "impose" her morality on others. Her billboard campaign simply calls on people to pause for a moment and listen to the heartbeat of an unborn baby.

Pro-Life Conference Has Barely Started...

...But there are so many things to write about!

We started our day with the two-hour boat cruise on Shediac Bay. Great scenery and a great entertainment. We saw, how the lobsters are caught, how they are cooked and even - how they are eaten. Yes, believe it or not, the tour guide explained us in all the details what's the best way to crack the lobster shell and how to eat it properly. The cook then gave each one of us an opportunity to test the newly acquired skills on a delicious lobster.

Then we came back to Moncton, just in time for the AGM of the Campaign Life Coalition. While it may seem like the pro-lifers fail to achieve any progress (especially, considering the election results in Ontario), Jim Hughes was optimistic.
Pro-life movement has more people than ever before, he said, as a delegate from Alberta told us about the recent life chain in Edmonton which stretched to over 3 miles and to which the public was quite supportive. Jim suggested everyone to redouble our efforts so much more could be achieved.

Then there was the AGM for Life Canada, during which some member organizations came up with their reports. A delegate of Canadian Physicians For Life spoke about informed choice and how those who call themselves "pro-choice" do everything it takes to deny women the information about the "choice" they promote. A young girl representing the Nation Campus Life Network spoke about the importance to work with university students as most of the women in crisis are that age. Here too, there's first and foremost - lack of information; those women don't know where to turn and who can help. An information from a fellow student would be more than helpful. But instead of helping, some student associations choose to ban pro-life groups from campus.

Finally - there was a prayer. A Mass for Life at the Assumption Cathedral - the very same place where a monument was erected a year ago in the memory of all the babies who died without being able to see daylight. We prayed for the people to open their hearts to the unborn children. May the Lord hear our prayers.

2007 National Pro-Life Conference

From Sea Unto Sea - For Life!
My reports from the 2007 National Pro-Life Conference.

Day 1: Barely Started | Past The Opening Session

Day 2: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Day 3: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Banquet & Closing

Conference schedule:
Thursday, Oct.25
  • 9:30 - Departure for Seaside Cruise
  • 13:30 - Annual General Meeting, Campaign Life Coalition
    (Conference registrants welcome)
  • 15:00 - Annual General Meeting, LifeCanada
    (Conference registrants welcome)
  • 17:15 - Mass for Life at the Assumption Cathedral. Celebrant, homilist: Rev. Jos. Hattie, OMI
  • 19:30 - Opening session:
    • Jim Hughes - Campaign Life Coalition.
      The Pro-Life cause in Canada:
      Where are we today? - political aspect.
    • Joanne Bayfield - Life Canada
      The Pro-Life cause in Canada:
      Where are we today? - educational aspect.
    • Mary Ann Kuharski - Keynote address:
      "From sea unto sea - for Life!"
Friday, Oct.26
  • 7:15 - Mass for Life, Assumption Cathedral
  • 9:00 - Natalie Hudson: Reaching Youths in the 21st Century.
  • 11:00 - Stephanie Gray: How to make abortion unthinkable.
  • 13:30 - John-Henry Westen: Media Wars in the Battle for Life.
  • 15:00 - Mary Ann Kuharski: Raising pro-life kids in an anti-life culture.
  • 16:15 - Departure for Prayer Vigil at Dr. Georges Dumont Hospital.
  • 19:30 - Denise Mountenay: Post-abortive voices: a New Strategy to Stop Abortion.
    Lorraine Hartsook Local Entertainment: Bring That Child To Me - a Personal Story through the Power of Song.
Saturday, Oct.27
  • 7:15 - Mass for Life, Assumption Cathedral
  • 8:30 - Prayer Gathering (Christian, non-denominational)
  • 9:00 - Dr. Clem Persaud: Abortion - Brest Cancer Link: are Stem cells involved?
  • 10:30 - Rev. John Ensor: Answering the Call - Cross-Bearing for the Child Bearing.
  • 13:00 - Alex Schadenburg: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide - Cultural Challenges and New Directions.
  • 14:30 - Samantha Singson: The Global Struggle for - and against - Life and Family
  • 18:30 - Banquet:
    • Lorraine Hartsook - entertainment
    • Donat Lacroix - entertainment
    • Dennis Savoie - Blessed are the peacemakers: Building Peace through the Culture of Life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Environics Poll: Unborn Babies Deserve Protection

OTTAWA, October 22, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In light of the recent murders of several pregnant mothers, the Canadian public is in the midst of a debate on the right to life of unborn children. Seventy-two percent of Canadians polled in an Environics poll commissioned by LifeCanada/VieCanada say they would support legislation making it a separate crime to injure or kill a fetus during an attack on the mother. Among women, 75% supported the legislation.
The Focus Canada poll of 2,047 Canadians was conducted between September 17 and October 14, with a margin of error of ±2.2% nineteen times out of twenty.

There have been five pregnant women murdered in Canada in the past three years, the most recent being Aysun Sesen, 25, of Toronto. She and her seven-month unborn child died after she was stabbed in the abdomen. Her husband has been charged with second-degree murder. However, under Canadian law the fetus is not recognized as a human being until it is born so police cannot charge perpetrators with murder of the unborn baby.
Aydin Cocelli, a family member of a woman slain while seven months pregnant has requested a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to press the rights of the babies who died before they even opened their eyes. He hasn't heard from the Prime Minister's Office yet. Hopefully the poll numbers are enough to convince Stephen Harper that legal protection for the unborn victims of crime is not that controversial, so agreeing to a meeting with Adyn Cocelli doesn't threaten the electoral success of the Conservative party.
Last year, Alberta Conservative Leon Benoit introduced a private member's bill to make it a separate crime to harm a fetus when the mother is assaulted or murdered, but the bill was defeated in the House of Commons.
In fact, bill C-291 hasn't been defeated. It was declared a "non-votable" item and dropped from the order of precedence. It could still be placed back into the order of precedence and voted on - if there are enough MPs willing to put an end to the injustice.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Multi-Cult - Still A Canadian Value?

Nearly two thirds of Canadians believe that Canada's multiculturalism policy was nowhere near successful. Sure. After "multiculturalism" has been around for a few decades, we know that it means something else than just more pavilions at Folkfest.
In Quebec, long advertised as Canada's most socially progressive province, it's being called the debate over the "reasonable accommodation" of minorities, with political parties and many non-government organizations (NGOs), academics and media now raising alarms the pendulum has swung too far in favour of accommodating immigrants and minorities.

In the Ontario election, Conservative Leader John Tory snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, despite facing a promise-breaking Liberal premier, by proposing public funding for the faith-based schools of other religious minorities, similar to how Ontario already funds Catholic schools.

Premier Dalton McGuinty, desperate to talk about anything other than his record of broken promises, successfully seized on Tory's proposal and accused him of wanting to "segregate"children by religion, thus attacking, McGuinty claimed, Ontario's "social cohesion." And it worked.
Obviously, the scandal over John Tory's proposal wasn't meant to become an attack on Canada's multiculturalism policies. It was rather a tactical error: The secular elite simply couldn't miss the opportunity to lash out at Catholics and other Socially Conservative Christian groups, even if it meant betraying their "multicultural" allies.

Now the damage has been done. We've heard that segregation by faith is bad. But then - so is the self-segregation by culture among immigrants which is being referred to as "diversity". We were shown a mock video of Osama bin Laden endorsing John Tory's proposal. We were hinted that Islamic schools might be teaching extremist views at taxpayers' expense. But that sends a clear message that some cultures aren't really that beneficial for Canada.

If so - then maybe there should be a set of rules and values the immigrants would have to adopt? And if you say yes to that then it means that a mere immigration paper isn't really enough to make one Canadian... And so it will go on, until the final question is asked: why would we need a theory which implies that traditional Canadian values aren't enough to make our country great?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How To Argue With An Atheist

Just can't overlook this text. Excellent review of two books: What’s So Great about Christianity and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible. The books answer plenty of atheist’s pet questions about the existence (or non-existence) of God and denounce the allegations that Christianity is oppressive, regressive or that it impedes science.
4. When they get sweaty and tell you that the Bible breeds intolerance, refresh their memory with the fact that only those societies influenced by biblical teachings (in North and South America, Europe, and Australia) today guarantee freedom of speech and religion. Period.

5. When one of them queues up and quips that the Bible opposes freedom, smack ‘em with the fact that the Bible’s insistence that no one is above the law and all must answer to divine justice led to theories of universal human rights and…uh…limited government.

6. When they tell you that Christianity and the Bible justify war and genocide, unsympathetically remind them that societies which rejected biblical morality in favor of a more “rational” and “scientific” approach to politics murdered millions upon millions more than the Crusades or the Inquisition ever did. Hello. “Atheist regimes have caused the greatest mass murders in history,” says D’Souza. Inside D’Souza’s book you’ll find little gems like, “The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Galileo affair, and witch hunts together make up less than 1% of the murders that have occurred during modern atheist regimes like Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.”
I guess the 6 examples alone that Doug Giles provided in his review (I only quoted the last three) would be enough to get an average secular fundamentalist running low on arguments.

Doug suggests the books are especially beneficial for high school and college students to draw upon when their secular anti-God fuming delirious instructors start railing against God and Christianity. I couldn't agree more.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Taliban TV — In Canada

A CHP Press Release in response to Rick Mercer comparing the Family Coalition Party to the Taliban few days before the Ontario election.
Let’s be clear: the Taliban are oppressive bullies who won’t allow any other point of view. We don’t have an official party like that in Canada.

We do, however, have a powerful unofficial party like that: the networks of militant homosexual activists who try to silence any critical comment. Aided, of course, by the major television networks—which repeatedly exhibit their pro-homosexual and anti-Christian biases—like the CBC (with Mr. Mercer’s rant) or CTV, which (as a sponsor of Toronto’s obscene “gay pride” parade) can no longer be trusted to report objectively on contentious issues like special rights based on sexual appetites.

So, Canada: welcome to Taliban TV—starring Rick Mercer!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

When is the Person Day for the unborn?

By 1927, the women have garnered support all across Canada. They petition the nation's Supreme Court. After five weeks of debate, the appeal is unanimously denied.

Shocked, the women take the fight to the Privy Council of the British government; in those days Canada's highest court.

On Oct. 18, 1929, they win.
It happened 78 years ago today. The Privy Council ruling overturned the Supreme Court decision. Unlike most of the politicians today the Councilors didn't believe that the "courts had spoken" and that Supreme Court was always right. They saw the injustice and they did what it took to correct it.

Today, there are still people that are deemed "unpersons" under Canadian law. Every year, over four hundred thousand Canadians must live through 9 months of having no legal protection whatsoever. Those are the unborn. Over 100,000 of them don't live to see daylight. Once again, it was the Supreme Court that upheld the injustice. But this time Canadians have no right to appeal.
from Confederation until 1947, we Canadians had the right to appeal decisions of the Supreme Court to the Privy Council. The most famous example of this right being exercised was in 1927-29, after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that women were not ‘persons’; five Alberta women whose statues now grace Parliament Hill—the ‘Famous Five’—appealed that decision and won.
The Preamble to the Charter mentions the supremacy of God. But the charter itself has established the supremacy of the Supreme Court - which is deemed infallible. Could a belief that a certain branch of the government is never wrong (in this case - the judiciary) have ever resulted in anything good? It's time for Canadians to reclaim back their right to appeal the Supreme court decisions. It's time for the Person Day for the unborn.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This Fall It's Shopping, Not Voting

Looks like an early election (just two or three weeks before Christmas) is off the agenda. The NDP is not going to support the Liberal amendment to the Throne speech (so it will be defeated) and the Liberals are not going to vote against the throne speech as whole (so it will pass).

Sure there will be other confidence votes too. Such as the vote over the new "omnibus" anti-crime bill and probably the "ways and means" motion after the fiscal update in early November. But it's unlikely the Liberals would vote down the anti-crime bill (which is a part of the throne speech) just weeks after abstaining from the vote on the speech itself. Same with the fiscal update. If there are any tax cuts proposed in it, the Liberals will find a way to get around without voting down the "ways and means" motion. Unless of course they want those tax cuts to become a campaign issue in an election to which the Liberals are not ready.

So, the fall sitting will be short (just 6 or 7 weeks), yet productive. The government will try to get the job done, coming up with new initiatives and finishing what couldn't be done in the previous session, while the Liberals will have to cut back on filibustering and get busy sorting out their own affairs first.
Unless the Liberals recover their footing, Parliament appears to have elected a majority Conservative government in legislative power if not in democratic seats.
Sounds good enough for me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Throne Speech - So Far So Good

Finally - a strong Conservative platform being brought forward. Broad based tax cuts as well as the remaining 1% cut to GST. Anti-crime bills, including the bill to raise the age of consent will be reintroduced as one "omnibus" bill and voted on - as a matter of confidence. There will be no compromise on faceless voting this time - the government is determined to close the loophole once and for all. Senate reform - the bills will be reintroduced (hopefully - as a single bill to address the criticism). Instead of unrealistic Kyoto targets - actual measures to reduce air and water pollution, that are going to achieve far greater results on the long run. And finally - Canada is going to stand up for its lands in the Arctic and its peacekeepers in Afghanistan.

In brief - so far so good. And, from what's being reported on the National as I write this blog post - it seems there are still some chances that this is going to be the order of business for the 2nd session of the 39th Parliament, rather than a Conservative party platform for the upcoming Federal election.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Censorship Champion? Pure Webster!

Posted on Free Dominion couple hours ago:
Richard Warman is continuing his campaign of harrassment and attempted intimidation of Free Dominion. We were served another set of papers from the Censorship Czar moments ago.

As in the first set, Warman is threating to sue unless his demands are met.
Same as before, he doesn't like the harsh language used to describe his activities (apparently he believed that after his previous complaints FD users would be praising him) and he's upset about being described as an enemy of freedom, a censorship champion and an anti-free speech campaigner. He considers that defamatory and libelous and he wants a complete retraction to be published on FD website - otherwise Warman threatens to sue.

Defamatory? Libelous? Why doesn't he check out the good old Webster?
Censor: 1) A person who inspects printed matter or motion pictures with power to suppress anything objectionable.
I wonder what in this definition doesn't fit Richard Warman. Looking at his record on Wikipedia - that's exactly what he's been doing. Does it make him less of a censor because the matter he inspects is not printed on paper but published electronically? And sure, he may not (yet) have the actual power (or authority) to suppress anything he finds objectionable, but as a lawyer, he's got all the skills and he's always there to help those who actually have the power to do so.

But wait... Maybe it's the second meaning of "Censor" that troubles him?
2) One of two early Roman magistrates whose duties included taking the census.
If so - then I'm ready to publish a retraction:

Dear Mr. Richard Warman! When I call you a censor, I never mean the early Roman magistrate.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

If only Vikings had SUVs

They would be still living in Greenland and Vinland. At least thats how it looks like if you listen to the environmentalist fanatics of today who blame any temperature deviations on man-made cause such as emissions from our cars, industries and airplanes. But if any climate change is strictly man-made - what caused the "Little Ice Age" that drove the Vikings out of North America?
Climatic deterioration began in the 1200s; glaciers expanded in Iceland and in the Alps. Vineyards had declined in Germany by the 1300s and had completely disappeared in England. Fishing replaced cereal grains as the main source of food in Iceland, and sea ice expanded southward between Greenland and Iceland. Around 1340-50 the more northerly of the two Greenland communities was abandoned to the native Inuits. In the 1347-50, bubonic plague swept through Europe and killed one in three people, but it is unknown whether the plague reached either Iceland or Greenland.

The last reliable account of Norsemen living in Greenland comes from 1408-10, when a wedding took place at Hvalsey Church–see Fig. 19-8. Based on archeologic evidence, it seems that Norsemen continued to live in the vicinity until about 1480. However, when the region was next visited, by German merchants in 1510, only Inuits were found living among the ruins. The harsh climate after 1300 was undoubtedly a factor in the demise of the Norse settlements. Cold climate reduced dairy production, and extensive sea ice hampered essential trade with Europe.
Poor Vikings! If only they had planes and SUVs they could have saved their communities by causing a global warming which would have offset the Little Ice age. Poor descendants of Erik the Red were unlucky to be born centuries before the internal combustion engines were invented...

By the way, just from the name alone, Greenland once used to be green - thus much smaller part of it was covered by the glaciers. How much higher were the sea levels back then? I don't have all the numbers but it appears that the threat of the humanity drowning because of the rising sea levels is greatly exaggerated. Just as the whole idea that human activity can actually cause a "global warming".

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another Opinion On MMP Referendum

An essay on the Countering the Nanny State blog outlines several reasons that contributed to the defeat of the electoral reform in Ontario.
Too many generals and not enough foot soldiers. I think Dennis Pilon, assistant professor of political science at University of Victoria and author of The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada's Electoral System said it best, "I don't think ever so much money has been wasted in educating people so poorly." I mirror his criticisms as I found there were too many conflicting arguements from pundits, bloggers, journalist and academics. I know it's easier said than done, but it would have been much better for the public, in this case Ontarioans, if the YES side could have settled on one arguement. However, because they failed to do so, I found the message became more and more undisciplined and confusing the closer the referendum date drew near.
I think NB Taxpayer is right. Myself I can add that McGuinty government was nowhere near interested in electoral reform, dragging their feet on the Citizen's Assembly until they couldn't delay it any longer.

The date of the referendum was set to coincide with the 2007 election. But the citizen's assembly wasn't convened until late 2006 or so. They were given about 2 months to study electoral systems and about 4 months (not much considering their sessions were once in every 2 weekends) to develop a proposal for Ontario and come up with a final report. The report was there right before summer vacations and a brief campaign in September was clearly not enough to explain the proposal to everyone. No wonder that many voters had to look for additional information on the internet. (Since late September my blog was receiving dozens of hits a day from people who used Google search, trying to find some information on MMP.)

The assembly could have been in place as early as in the fall of 2004. They could have spent the winter and spring of 2005 studying various systems and then having a whole year to develop a proposal for Ontario. The final report could have been released in September of 2006, giving Ontarians more than a year to find out what they would be voting for.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The 2% solution? Looks more like the 2% problem.

Glenn Hubbers believes he's found a reason why Canada should be forced to meet Kyoto targets. Even though Canada is only responsible for 2% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and meeting Kyoto targets would only reduce that number by 0.6% (30% of the 2%), Glenn Hubbers believes it's still important.

To further explain his opinion, he uses this analogy, comparing Canada (a country with high per capita emissions) to a high interest credit card which better be paid off first despite the relatively low balance.
Consider this analogy. If you are in debt, say you owe $3,000 on a credit card at 18%, another $10,000 on an unsecured line of credit at 10%, and then have your $150,000 mortgage locked at 6% for 5 years, and you find yourself with a bit of extra money, which debt do you pay off first? The entire financial industry would advise you to pay off the highest interest rate loan, regardless of the relative balances that you owe.
True, but at the same time, paying off a high-interest credit card doesn't mean neglecting other debts. If a financial adviser suggests that you skip a few payments on a $150,000 mortgage to pay off a $3,000 credit card - then you must be his mortal enemy, because nobody would suggest that to a friend. Yet Kyoto, which leaves out such major contributors as China and India, proposes just that.

Then, according to the analogy, the guy actually finds himself with a bit of extra money. Where did Glenn Hubbers see the extra money? I don't see any. I see $467Billon Federal Debt, over a million Canadians unemployed (with a few more millions overworked and underpaid) and our industrial sector being hit extremely hard with the cheapening US dollar. Thus, looking back at the analogy, the guy is not suggested to use some of the extra funds to accelerate debt repayment. He's actually suggested to cut back on essential household expenses just to get out of debt faster.

Moreover - Kyoto, which doesn't factor in Canada's population growth (from 27M in 1990 to somewhere near 34M by 2012), could be compared to a financial plan which recommends a family to cut spendings by nearly 1/3 without even considering how many children they have. How many families would like that kind of planing?

What a financial adviser would recommend in this situation is to consolidate all the debts into a single $163,000 mortgage and use the difference in the minimum monthly payments (in this case it would be approximately $200 a month) to accelerate the debt repayment, getting the client out of debt few years earlier. Surprisingly enough, that pretty much resembles the Conservative government approach to emission cuts. Instead of starving Canada's economy to meet unachievable targets in just 4 or 5 years, the government focuses on measures that would encourage energy-efficient technologies, combat air pollution and achieve better results on a long run.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thoughts On Ontario Election

37% was enough to give the NDP a majority government back in 1990. But when it comes to a referendum, 37% means failure and there's no denying it. The MMP is gone for good and Ontario will keep enjoying majority governments won with about 40% of the popular vote. Too bad that 63% of Ontarians (81% if you factor those who didn't vote) are ok with that.

Voter turnout was the lowest ever. As many as 48% of the registered voters chose to stay home, letting the remaining 52% elect pretty much same Parliament as four years ago. The Green party nearly tippled their vote, coming very close to winning a seat in Bruce — Grey — Owen Sound. I may disagree with most of their policies, but I'm taking my hat off in honor of a job well done.

FCP slightly increased its vote count, but a swing similar to the one in 1990 didn't happen. Shows that a powerful trademark and media silence aren't easy to fight. With the MMP voted down, the party can no longer look forward for a few "list" seats in 2011 and must be prepared to fight for local seats. Which means more work for the leader and the grass-roots members in the 1455 days left until the next vote.

Finally, as a last glimpse of the electoral system Ontario is not going to have - what would the results have been under MMP. The local vote would have given the Liberals 60 seats. PC would have got 39 seats (of them 22 locally), NDP - 20 seats (8 locally) with the remaining 10 list seats going to the Green party. This didn't happen however and it's unlikely to happen anytime soon because so many Ontario voters simply chose to stay home and let others decide for them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Action Alert: Support Pro-Life Radio Station

Just received this on Facebook. Not sure if a message from someone not living in the area actually counts, yet supporting a pro-life radio station is still worth the few minutes spent.
Please Send a Message to the Broadcasting Regulator in Support of the Proposed Christian Teaching and Hymns Radio Station.

If you have had enough of media that refer to abortions and euthanasia as “choices”, please pray and send a message to the CRTC to help bring the proposed pro-life teaching and hymns station to the Ottawa airwaves. The CRTC is responsive to the desires of people like you (and your friends and relatives of any age and any place of residence; please ask them to write too!). The CRTC needs to know that you want a Christian radio station in Ottawa that meets the needs of mature Christians. It will take you only a few minutes to help sanctify the airwaves!

Please send a message before November 8th stating that you want the proposed Christian teaching and hymns station on the air. Tell the CRTC in your own words why this new station would be a positive addition to your radio choices. You can send your message:

• on-line at the CRTC website, click "Next" at the bottom right, select My comments are in: "Support" in the drop-down list, and fill in the window below it with your reason for supporting the proposed Christian teaching and hymns station for Ottawa, select and copy your comment into an email to bob@chri.ca. In Step 5, fill in your contact information and check where it asks you to copy your comment to the applicant.
• by mail to CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2 (copy to CHRI-FM, 1010 Thomas Spratt Place, Suite 3, Ottawa, ON K1G 5L5)
• by fax to Secretary General (819) 994-0218 (copy to CHRI-FM, 613-247-7128)

If by mail or fax, your message should start with: Re: Positive Intervention for Ottawa, ON Application 2007-0072-5 for a New FM Station

The first or last paragraph must state one of the following:
• I want to appear at the public hearing
• I do not want to appear at the public hearing. or
• I will appear at the public hearing if requested by the Commission.

I earnestly thank you for preparing that message and for your prayers.

Your brother in Christ,
Bob Du Broy,
Vice President, Strategic Planning
Christian Hit Radio Inc.
bob@chri.ca, 613-261-8472

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

MMP At A Glance 4: Myths And Facts

From the recent FCP press release:
At election time, the new ballot will have two sides (one ballot, two votes). On the second side voters will elect the package they like (party, party leader and party list). The electorate will have several options to choose from (all the registered parties, currently 9 but could be more). These party list candidates are elected by all the people in Ontario (e.g.: about 6 Million voters) and are accountable to them.

If a bad apple is in the party list, then the whole party suffers. If a party list candidates does not perform, then voters will not vote for that party the next time around, thus it is the interest of the parties to choose the best criteria to select the best candidates.

TO SUMMARIZE:
  • Local candidates are elected individually by local voters in a riding.
  • Party list candidates are elected as a group by all the voters in Ontario.
  • Local candidates are accountable to local voters (about 50,000 voters)
  • Party list candidates are accountable to all the voters in Ontario (about 6 Million voters)
Frequently asked questions and frequent objections to the Mixed-Member Proportional system:
- "The new system will reduce influence from rural voters"
Answer:
The number of people in each riding, rural or not, is maintained approximately the same, as in the current system.

- "The party list candidates will come from the city"
Answer:
There is no such requirements. For example, all of the people in the FCP Executive come from outside Toronto.
It is the interest of each party to use people of talent wherever they are.

- "The new system will impose conditions for selection on the party list, based on sex, ethnicity, race and sexual orientation."
Answer:
There are no such requirements.
The rules for selection of the party list have to be published by each party before the election, as well as the candidate names in the list.
The voters have the last say and will judge, with their vote at election time, whether the rules as published by the political parties are acceptable to them.

Monday, October 8, 2007

An Extension Of A "Right To Choose"?

The Ottawa Sun reports:

"A 26-year-old Kanata woman faces a charge of second-degree murder after police allege she gave birth to a baby boy, killed him and put him in the trash.

Police Staff-Sgt. Monique Perras said Angela Kuehl was arrested yesterday morning without incident and charged later that afternoon following a five-month investigation into the death of her newborn."


As the Sun reports in another story, women who kill their newborns are seldom severely punished. As Kirsten Kramar, a sociologist with the University of Winnipeg, told the paper, "Women who commit this crime [infanticide] are not a danger to society. Sending a woman to prison to serve hard time is not a deterrent to other women." So that makes it okay for them to kill their kids? Just consider it an extension of a woman's right to choose.
If poor-choicers believe it's ok to kill unborn babies - why would they oppose killing a newborn? The same arguments abort-mongers use to justify murdering a baby before his first breath (whom the law regards as "unperson") could be used to justify murdering a baby after his first breath. Even if the baby is already considered as person by the Canadian law, we've got plenty of bleading-heart-Liberal judges that twist the law and devalue human life; suggesting by their lean sentencing that baby's personhood is still less worthy than ours, thus it can't prevail over his mother's desire to get rid of him.

Who is going to be next "less-equal Canadian", whose murder won't be a big deal in the eyes of our "progressive" judges, as long as it's done for someone else's convenience? Are you sure you'll never become one of those "persons unworthy of living"?

Justice begins with the unborn!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Two Steps To Advance Fair Voting In Ontario

First - support Mixed-Member Proportional system in the referendum. Even if you believe there's room for improvement - this is the best option for Ontario as of now. Once the MMP is adopted, it would be possible to bring in open lists or provide for other improvements. But if MMP is voted down - this will shut the electoral reform debate for good. Unless you want the first proportional voting in Ontario to be postponed way into 2020s - support MMP.

Second - vote your conscience. There's no need for strategic voting this time. The Liberals got enough left-wing votes to win and the PCs with their attempts to look "centrist" (if not further to the left than liberals) hardly deserve the right-wing vote. Instead of supporting the "would be acceptable" front runner - vote for a candidate who actually represents your views. Let the vote splitting work in your favor for a change. If Ontario elects a minority government on Wednesday, the province may have its first voting under the new Mixed-Member Proportional system as early as in October of 2009.

P.S. As the election campaign is coming to an end, I'd like once again to wish all the best to my friends at the Family Coalition Party. You've done a great job and I hope that at least one of you gets to represent Ontario pro-lifers in the Parliament.

Who Is To Blame For The Debt?

This was the main question in a discussion which followed the CTV article on last year's surplus. Of course, supporters of each party blame the other party for letting the debt swell to over $500B. Dave in Surrey suggests that "if it wasn't for Martin as finance minister we would be dealing with Mulroney's 50 billion dollar deficits". Another user, Brent, replies that "Tory government of 1984-1993 ran a surplus before you factor in debt interest" and suggests that public debt went out of control "because inflation and spending rose very quickly in the 70's. So quickly Trudeau had to rescind his 'no wage & price controls' promise." So whose fault it really was?

Let's look at the Federal spending and revenue table, provided by the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation. Looks like it was common for the governments before 1975 to run an operating surplus. But this operating surplus wasn't enough to cover interest charges on public debt, thus government had to get further into debt to pay the interest on what it was already owing. Then, after 1975, program spending swell way beyond the government revenues and the debt started accumulating much faster.

Between 1961 and 1975, the debt nearly doubled (from $14.8B to $28.4B), but the debt- to-GDP ratio nearly halved (from 36.3% down to 18.9%). In the remaining years of Trudeau government, the debt went up more than 5-fold (from $28.4B to $157.2B). Debt to GDP ratio more than doubled, reaching 39.1%. Mulroney government did manage to bring back the operating surplus, but didn't go any further than that, letting the interest charges (which had grown to tens of billions by then) triple the debt.

Yes, it wasn't until Paul Martin's war on deficit when the debt-to-GDP ratio started going down (peaking at 68.7%), which was later followed by the reduction in the actual (dollar) amount of our debt. To be even more fair to Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, I'd say that yes, they could have fulfilled their campaign promise to get rid of the GST instead of cutting the deficit (GST revenues were less than the deficit, so this would have been much easier task too), but then we would've had a $750B-$800B debt with interest payments over $60B a year.

One more thing that is worth mentioning when debating public debt:
In 1975 the debt held by the Bank of Canada was 21% of the total national debt. However, over the past 25 years, conservative and liberal governments' monetary and fiscal policies have reduced the proportion of the national debt held by the Bank of Canada from 21% to o­nly 5%, shifting the debt to private banks and non-residents, thus costing the Canadian treasury a loss of $6 billion per year in unnecessary debt (interest) payments.
To summarize: Trudeau government is to blame for boosting program spending beyond reasonable limits. Mulroney government is to blame for not doing enough to prevent the runaway interest payments from increasing the debt even further. Trudeau government is responsible for shifting the borrowing from the Bank of Canada to commercial banks. Mulroney government is responsible for borrowing to pay the interest to commercial banks, rather than using the Bank of Canada to consolidate public debt. Pierre Trudeau was a Liberal. Brian Mulroney was a Progressive Conservative. Thus - both parties are equally responsible for the financial mess they left after themselves.

Friday, October 5, 2007

"Choice" To Vandalize

Poor-choice vandals strike again in Ottawa West - Nepean, damaging few signs of the FCP candidate John Pacheco. Usually they were simply knocking them down. This time vandals used spray cans to alter the signs as they saw fit - blanking out the name with the website address and writing "abortion" "Choice" over the picture of a 20-week unborn baby.

No, this wasn't a picture of aborted babies; the kind that some pro-life groups use to show what abortion really is and what kind of "choice" the poor-choicers actually stand for. This was just a picture of a baby; if it wasn't for the caption at the top of the sign, not everyone would even notice that the baby on the picture still has a few months before his first breath. So what was wrong with that? Apparently, a mere picture of a baby is too irritating for abort-mongers.

Yes I understand that there is an election campaign going on, therefore some may "choose" to vandalize their opponents' signs... But how come the FCP signs are the only ones that are being vandalized?

FCP is often regarded as a "fringe" party. A couple weeks ago some guy who commented on my blog asked me how much was I going to bet that Family Coalition Party would actually elect a candidate in this election. While I'm not making any bets, I'd say the chances are there and the fact that John Pacheco's signs are being vandalized over and over shows just that. Otherwise - even a poor-choicer would realize it doesn't worth the effort.

Another question - is FCP the only party those poor-choice thugs disagree with? Could it be that a guy with a spray can happens to be a supporter of the Liberals, the PCs, the NDP and the Greens all at once, so he only vandalizes the FCP signs? Or is it because the other four major parties are virtually indistinguishable from each other and, in fact could be called Liberal, Liberal Light, Liberal Pro and Eco-Liberal?

I guess - that's actual the reason. The FCP is the only party that proposes real solutions to fix Ontario's healthcare and education, rather than merely suggesting to throw in more cash. Our opponents know that once the word is out, there's no way their ideological rhetoric can compete with the common sense, the natural law and the culture of life. That's why the pro-abortion activists choose vandalism.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

MMP At A Glance 3: Would Be Results

What would have been the results if the 2003 Ontario Election had been held under the proposed Mixed-Member Proportional system? Back in 2003, the Liberal candidates won in 72 ridings (out of 103), PC candidates - in 24 ridings and NDP - in 7. Under MMP there would be only 90 constituencies. Of course, it would be quite difficult to calculate the exact vote transposition, especially if the new constituencies haven't yet been drawn. So let's just assume that each party wins a similar share of the constituencies. Thus, the Liberals would have won 63 direct seats, the PCs - 21 and the NDP - 6.

What about the party list vote? Many just assume that it would mirror the local vote, to keep the things simple. With the small party vote discarded, the Liberals end up with 48.5% of the "qualified" vote, PCs - with 36.2%, NDP - with 15.3%; which entitles the parties to 63, 46 and 20 seats respectively. Since the Liberals already won their 63 seats in local ridings, they get no list seats. The PCs that only won in 21 ridings, get 25 list seats to bring the total to 46. The NDP with their 6 local seats receive the remaining 14 list seats to bring the total to 20.

But what if the Green party passed the 3% threshold? (It was just 0.18% short.) The total number of "qualified votes" would go up, so the Liberal share (~47%, rather than 48.5%) would only entitle them to 61 seats, while they've already won 63. Of course, the extra seats can't be taken away. That leaves the opposition slightly underrepresented: The PCs and the Greens each would end up one seat short (PC: 44, Greens: 3 instead of 45 and 4), while the Liberals would be 2 seats overrepresented. However this slight over-representation can't even be compared to a 70% majority, which the Liberals won under FPTP with the same number of votes.

But what if the vote splitting had been much bigger? After all, those who voted strategically on a local ballot could still vote their conscience on a party list ballot. In the last election, there were many NDP and Green party supporters who voted Liberal, to block a PC candidate from winning the riding. With strategic voting unnecessary on a party ballot, the Green party could have won about twice the number of votes and the NDP share would have been higher too. Let's assume, it was 5.75% for the Green and 17% for the NDP, leaving the Liberals with 41.7%. (The numbers for the local ballot don't change, so the Liberals still have 63 local seats.)

At the other end of the spectrum, there was the FCP. It only ran 51 candidate and got about 0.8% of the vote. Let's assume that FCP would have got 1.5% if they had run full slate and their share too would have doubled (just like the Green party) if it hadn't been for strategic voting. Let's give them 3.05%, with the remaining 32.5% going to the PCs.

41.7% of the vote would entitle Liberals to only 54 seats. Since they've already won 63, the opposition would end up with 9 less seats; not to accommodate the smaller parties, but to compensate for the 9 extra seats the Liberals won in the local constituencies. (Fully proportional results would have been: Lib: 54, PC: 42, NDP: 22, Green: 7 or 8, FCP: 3 or 4.)

I guess, if that had been the actual outcome of the 2003 election, it would have encouraged smaller parties to put more emphasis on a local campaign, rather than let the people vote strategically on a local ballot and count on a party ballot alone to deliver 100% proportionality.