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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Quebec groups launch court challenge to euthanasia bill

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By LifeSiteNews staff

As announced when the Quebec legislature adopted Bill 52, An Act respecting end-of-life care, the citizen movement Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia, representing together over 650 physicians and 17,000 citizens, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in the District of Montreal on Thursday.

The lawsuit requests that the Court declare invalid all the provisions of the Act that deal with “medical aid in dying”, a term the groups say is a euphemism for euthanasia. This Act not only allows certain patients to demand that a physician provoke their death, but also grants physicians the right to cause the death of these patients by the administration of a lethal substance.

The two organizations are challenging the constitutionality of those provisions in the Act which are aimed at decriminalizing euthanasia under the euphemism “medical aid in dying”. Euthanasia constitutes a culpable homicide under Canada’s Criminal Code, and the organizations maintain that it is at the core of the exclusive federal legislative power in relation to criminal law and Quebec therefore does not have the power to adopt these provisions.

The organizations also say the impugned provisions unjustifiably infringe the rights to life and to security of patients guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They further infringe the right to the safeguard of the dignity of the person, which is also protected by the Quebec Charter.

In view of the gravity of the situation and the urgent need to protect all vulnerable persons in Quebec, they are requesting an accelerated management of the case in order to obtain a judgment before the Act is expected to come into force on December 10, 2015.


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Colorado baker appeals gvmt ‘re-education’ order

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By LifeSiteNews staff

A Colorado cake artist who declined to use his creative talents to promote and endorse a same-sex ceremony appealed a May 30 order from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to the Colorado Court of Appeals Wednesday.

The commission’s order requires cake artist Jack Phillips and his staff at Masterpiece Cakeshop to create cakes for same-sex celebrations, forces him to re-educate his staff that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act means that artists must endorse all views, compels him to implement new policies to comply with the commission’s order, and requires him to file quarterly “compliance” reports for two years. The reports must include the number of patrons declined a wedding cake or any other product and state the reason for doing so to ensure he has fully eliminated his religious beliefs from his business.

“Americans should not be forced by the government – or by another citizen – to endorse or promote ideas with which they disagree,” said the cake artist’s lead counsel Nicolle Martin, an attorney allied with Alliance Defending Freedom. “This is not about the people who asked for a cake; it’s about the message the cake communicates. Just as Jack doesn’t create baked works of art for other events with which he disagrees, he doesn’t create cake art for same-sex ceremonies regardless of who walks in the door to place the order.”

“In America, we don’t force artists to create expression that is contrary to their convictions,” added Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “A paint artist who identifies as homosexual shouldn’t be intimidated into creating a painting that celebrates one-man, one-woman marriage. A pro-life photographer shouldn’t be forced to work a pro-abortion rally. And Christian cake artists shouldn’t be punished for declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony or promote its message.”

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In July 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to make a wedding cake to celebrate their same-sex ceremony. In an exchange lasting about 30 seconds, Phillips politely declined, explaining that he would gladly make them any other type of baked item they wanted but that he could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. Craig and Mullins, now represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, immediately left the shop and later filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division. The case now goes to the Colorado Court of Appeals as Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig.

“Jack, and other cake artists like him – such as those seen on TV shows like ‘Ace of Cakes’ and ‘Cake Boss’ – prepare unique creations that are inherently expressive,” Tedesco explained. “Jack invests many hours in the wedding cake creative process, which includes meeting the clients, designing and sketching the cake, and then baking, sculpting, and decorating it. The ACLU calls Jack a mere ‘retail service provider,’ but, in fact, he is an artist who uses his talents and abilities to create expression that the First Amendment fully protects."

Celebrity cake artists have written publicly about their art and the significant expressive work that goes into the artistic design process for wedding cakes.


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Prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner appeals her conviction

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By Tony Gosgnach

TORONTO -- As promised, Mary Wagner has, through her counsel Dr. Charles Lugosi, filed a formal notice of appeal on numerous points regarding her recent, almost two-year-long court case that ended on June 12.

Justice Fergus O’Donnell of the Ontario Court of Justice rejected every application made by the defence – including for access to abortion center records, public funding, standing for a constitutional challenge and for expert witnesses to be heard – before he found Wagner guilty and sentenced her to five months in jail on a charge of mischief and four months on four counts of failing to comply with probation orders.

He further levied two years of probation, with terms that she stay at least 100 metres away from any abortion site. However, because Wagner had spent a greater time in jail than the sentence, she was freed immediately. She had been arrested at the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site on Lawrence Avenue West in Toronto on August 15, 2012 after attempting to speak to abortion-bound women there. She then spent the duration of the trial in prison for refusing to sign bail conditions requiring her to stay away from abortion sites.

Wagner is using the matter as a test case to challenge the current definition of a human being in Canadian law – that is, that a human being is legally recognized as such only after he or she has fully emerged from the birth canal in a breathing state.

Wagner’s notice states the appeal is regarding:

  • Her conviction and sentence on a single count of mischief (interference with property),
  • Her conviction and sentence on four counts of breach of probation,
  • The order denying public funding,
  • The order denying the disclosure of third-party records,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts on the applicant’s constitutional challenge concerning the constitutional validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code,
  • The order denying the admission of evidence from experts concerning the construction of Section 37 of the Criminal Code,
  • The probation order denying Wagner her constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion on all public sidewalks and public areas within 100 metres of places where abortions are committed,
  • And each conviction and sentence and all orders and rulings made by O’Donnell.

In the notice of appeal, Lugosi cites numerous points on which O’Donnell erred:

  • He denied Wagner her constitutional right to make full answer and defence.
  • He denied Wagner her right to rely on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which permits “everyone” to come to the third-party defence and rescue of any human being (in this case, the preborn) facing imminent assault.
  • He decided the factual basis of Wagner’s constitutional arguments was a waste of the court’s time and that no purpose would have been served by having an evidentiary hearing on her Charter application because, in the current state of Canadian law, it had no possibility of success.
  • He misapplied case law and prejudged the case, “giving rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias and impeding the legal evolution of the law to adapt to new circumstances, knowledge and changed societal values and morals.”
  • He accepted the Crown’s submission that it is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts to question the jurisdiction of Parliament legally to define “human being” in any manner Parliament sees fit.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code is not beyond the powers of Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • He ruled Section 223 of the Criminal Code does not violate the Preamble to, as well as Sections 7, 11(d), 15 and 26, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • He denied Wagner standing to raise a constitutional challenge to the validity of Section 223 of the Criminal Code.
  • He ruled that Section 223 of the Criminal Code applied generally throughout the entire Criminal Code and used it to deny unborn human beings the benefit of equal protection as born human beings under Section 37 of the Criminal Code.
  • He denied the production and disclosure of third-party records in the possession of the “Women’s Care Clinic” abortion site, although the records were required to prove Wagner was justified in using reasonable force in the form of oral and written words to try to persuade pregnant mothers from killing their unborn children by abortion.
  • He denied Wagner the defence of Section 37 of the Criminal Code by ruling unborn children did not come within the scope of human beings eligible to be protected by a third party.
  • He ruled Wagner did not come within the scope of Section 37 because she was found to be non-violent (in that she did not use physical force).
  • He ruled the unborn children Wagner was trying to rescue were not under her protection.
  • He denied Wagner the common-law defences of necessity and the rescue of third parties in need of protection.
  • He denied Wagner public funding to make full answer and defence for a constitutional test case of great public importance and national significance.
  • He imposed an unconstitutional sentence upon Wagner by, in effect, imposing an injunction as a condition of probation, contrary to her constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

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Among the orders Lugosi is seeking are:

  • That an appeal be allowed against conviction on all counts and that a verdict of acquittal be entered on all counts,
  • That Section 223 of the Criminal Code be found unconstitutional  and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as well as the unwritten constitution of Canada,
  • That the sentence be declared unconstitutional and contrary to Section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the unwritten constitution of Canada or that a new trial be conducted, with Wagner permitted to make full answer and defence, be given standing to make a constitutional attack on Section 223 of the Criminal Code, with the admission of expert witnesses,
  • That the Women’s Care Clinic abortion site be made to produce third-party records pertaining to patients seen on August 15, 2012 (when Wagner entered the site),
  • And that there be public funding for two defence counsels at any retrial and for any appeal related to the case.

No date has yet been established for a decision on the appeal or hearings.

A defence fund for Wagner’s case is still raising money. Details on how to contribute to it can be found here.


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