Campaign Life Coalition

Alienating social conservatives: The real reason Danielle Smith lost Alberta

Campaign Life Coalition
By Campaign Life Coalition
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April 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Alberta’s April 23 election results were disappointing for the Wildrose Party, winning only 17 seats out of 87 and returning Alison Redford’s increasingly liberal PC Party to hang onto a majority of 61 seats, down from 67. This was especially disheartening for small-c conservatives given that Wildrose was leading in the polls until the final week and a half when the race suddenly tightened. Despite the tightening, it was still expected to be a victory for Wildrose.

So what caused Smith’s dramatic meltdown of support?

If you read the mainstream media reports this morning, you’d be convinced that it was because the pro-life and pro-traditional marriage views of some Wildrose candidates turned off Alberta voters.  As a Globe & Mail headline stated, “Fear of Wildrose drove some voters to Alberta PCs”.

Was fear of social conservatism the only possible explanation for the meltdown? Does this hypothesis make sense for the most ‘small-c’ conservative province in Canada?  Does this theory (which by the way is not grounded in exit polling data but mere conjecture) make sense for what has been called part of “Canada’s Bible Belt”?

There is a more likely explanation for the meltdown, but one which the mainstream media is loath to acknowledge.  Polling data suggests that Danielle Smith seriously alienated her natural base of social conservative and religious voters when she began to publicly reject pro-life and pro-family views in early April and ultimately announced, “I’m pro-choice and pro-gay marriage” on April 10th. It was a slap in the face to traditional values voters.  Many so-cons probably decided then that since the Wildrose party would not provide a home for them, they in turn, would stay home on voting day, or even to vote for the devil they knew.

Flashpoint moments for so-cons and religious voters

To support this hypothesis, we highlight the polling numbers before and after two flashpoint moments in the campaign, which were important for ‘values voters’.

The first flashpoint was the discovery around February 23rd that the PC Ministry of Education, through amendments to the Education Act, planned to ban homeschooling families from passing on their religious and moral beliefs about homosexuality to their children, even in their own homes.  Up until that point, according to a Feb 16th Forum Research Poll, the PCs were leading Wildrose 37% - 30%.

The outcry against the PC bill culminated in massive rallies in mid-March at Alberta’s legislature against the PC plan. Homeschooling families and many other religious families, including Catholics, strenuously protested the government’s unwelcome foray into family life and against religious freedom.  The Wildrose supported them with candidate Rob Anderson backing two amendments to the Education bill, to protect religious freedom and parental rights. He also spoke at the March 19th protest rally in support of the thousands of parents who were there.

Guess what happened to Wildrose numbers during this period? They shot up dramatically past the PCs. By March 25th, the polling firm Think HQ, had the WR up by 3 percentage points over the PCs. Forum Research had WR up 10 points.  Was this pure coincidence? This massive mobilization of concerned families and religious voters certainly played a major role in Wildrose’s ascent in the polls.

Wildrose numbers continued climbing and peaked around April 2, to a 13 percentage point lead according to Think HQ (see figure 1).  The second flash point occurred April 4th when PC Leader Alison Redford began a fear mongering campaign about abortion and gay “marriage”, pointing to a conscience protection policy in the Wildrose Platform.  From then on, there was a steady drop in Wildrose support which continued right through to Election Day.

To use football terminology, this is where Danielle Smith began to ‘fumble the ball’. She started to distance her party from these views, indicating that she supported the status quo on abortion, and putting out messaging that she opposed the traditional view of marriage. This strategy culminated with her proclamation April 10th that she is “pro-choice” and “pro-gay marriage”, and in the end likely demoralized a significant part of her social conservative base.  Not surprisingly, after that unfortunate April 10th announcement, the Wildrose poll lead shriveled even faster through the final week and a half of the election campaign. Then, she shut the door on so-conservative hopes for the future by adding, “A Wildrose goverment will not be legislationg in areas of morality”.

The mainstream media will not admit to a correlation between Smith’s moving away from pro-life and pro-family positions, to her massive loss of support from her natural base. However, in the absence of scientific exit poll data to the contrary, it’s a valid hypothesis.

The Rob Ford lesson that Danielle Smith should have learned

Danielle Smith should have learned a lesson from Rob Ford’s campaign for Mayor of Toronto.  As a candidate, Ford was similarly attacked in 2010 by his pro-homosexual opponents and the pro-homosexual media, over his belief in the traditional definition of marriage.  The contempt they poured out on him was vitriolic. But unlike Smith, Ford did not react by apologizing for his principles, or by appearing to run away from them.  That would have deflated his critical base of so-con support and quite possibly cost him the election.

Instead, he very calmly and simply responded “I support traditional marriage. I always have”.  When the media kept badgering him, he very consistently repeated it calmly and unapologetically. In the end, Ford confounded all his critics and won the election by a large margin, defeating the openly-homosexual George Smitherman who was a media darling.

Here’s the point that Smith didn’t get.  In order to lead a small-c conservative movement to victory, you need the social conservative branch of that movement to show up at the ballot box (even if you don’t agree with them).  By alienating ‘values voters’, demoralizing them, and causing them to stay home on Election Day, it’s very difficult to win.

In conclusion, if Wildrose hopes to achieve victory in four years, they must learn to ignore the mainstream media, establishment political advisors, and to respect the values of all Albertans, including the millions who are pro-life and pro-family.

This Alberta post-election synopsis was produced by Campaign Life Coalition, the political arm of Canada’s pro-life and pro-family movement. To view the original article on CLC’s website, click here. CLC is a non-partisan organization involved in all levels of political elections including school board, municipal, provincial and federal, working to help elect pro-life/family candidates.


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

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By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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