Campaign Life Coalition

Alienating social conservatives: The real reason Danielle Smith lost Alberta

Campaign Life Coalition
By Campaign Life Coalition

April 25, 2012 ( - 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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Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

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By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

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By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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