How many of you have become frustrated because all your work to influence Canadian governments to apply civilized morality in their legislative work seems to fall on deaf ears? I hope I'm not the only one who feels that way sometimes. I'm supposed to encourage you to keep up the good fight because our work ultimately will not be in vain. But it's not always easy.
Sometimes, however, we are rewarded with success and there are two exciting reports I want to bring to your attention in this respect. The first one is the tremendous results achieved in the campaign to kill, or at least emasculate, Elections Canada's anti-family child rights vote that it initiated in cooperation with UNICEF. The other is the speedy response by Internet book distributer Amazon.com to public opposition its distribution of pro-pedophilia material.
Reform MP Eric Lowther must be very encouraged at the grassroots response that has taken place to the campaign he started this summer against the UNICEF-Elections Canada sponsored child rights vote that was scheduled for Nov. 19 of this year. Mr. Lowther has collected an impressive list of school boards and individual schools from across the country that decided either not to hold the vote or to seek the mind of parents before deciding whether or not to take part.
Nobody knows how many parents raised their concerns about the UNICEF vote with their schools, or other education officials, but what we do know is that many of these people listened to those parents and heeded their concerns about the advancement of an agenda that is hostile to traditional family values. What is perhaps most interesting is the extent of opposition to the vote in British Columbia, a province currently in the hands of a government that is openly hostile to family values and parental rights.
Amazon.com cleans up its act
In October, Charles Colson terminated his partnership with Amazon.com when he discovered that the Internet book distributor was selling pro-pedophile material such as a book called Varieties of Man-Boy Love. On his Nov. 10 radio commentary, BreakPoint, he said Amazon decided to drop the book, and he attributed the company's change of heart to the actions of his listeners. Several of them contacted Amazon regarding the matter, and at least one listener, and probably more, redistributed Mr. Colson's original commentary to friends, encouraging them to contact Amazon. Others sent it to opinion-makers, including Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who "recounted the entire story over the air, expressing her own outrage over a company that, in essence, supports illegal behavior," Mr. Colson wrote.
Power to the people
What these two examples of public protest demonstrate is that people can have an influence on public policy and public morality, but they also illustrate another very important point: pressure tends to be most effective on lower levels of government and, in the case of the private sector, when it threatens the pocketbook.
I know that not all pro-lifers are conservatives or "right-wingers" as I am, but it is situations like this that reaffirm my commitment to conservative values, one of which is a "decentralized" political system, which simply means that more power should reside at lower levels of government, which by definition are "closer to the people" and, therefore, more easily influenced.
New gag law in the works
Last issue, Winifride Prestwich gave us a thorough examination of the history of gag law legislation in this country. As she noted the Liberals have resurrected this anti-democratic agenda in a bill which proposes a number of reforms to the current Elections Act. The bill was reintroduced immediately in the current Parliament as Bill C-2 and falls within Don Boudria's portfolio. Ted White is the Reform Party critic for the bill and he strongly opposes the gag law provisions. He can be reached at: (613) 995-1225 or, in BC, at (604) 666-0585. Once again, the National Citizens Coalition is also vigorously opposing the measure.
It was sent to the Standing Committee on Procedures and House Affairs for public hearings which wrapped up at the end of November. It may well be in second reading in the House of Commons by the time you read this, or even in the Senate, having passed in the House. The government apparently wants to pass the bill before Christmas.