Saturday, 27 November 2010

10 years ago: Liberal Party of Canada's anti-Christian hate campaign produces electoral success

On November 27, 2000, the Liberal Party, under Prime Minister Jean Chretien, won a majority government in the Canadian federal election. The Liberals, who had also obtained majority governments in the elections of 1993 and 1997, won 41% of the vote and 172 of 301 seats in the House of Commons, an increase of 11 seats from the time of the dissolution of Parliament. The Canadian Alliance, under the "leadership" of the hapless and hopeless Stockwell Day, won only 66 seats, although Mr. Day himself was successful in being elected to Parliament for the first time. All but 2 of the CA’s seats came from the four western provinces, while the Liberals took 100 of 103 seats in Ontario. The Bloq Quebecois won 38 seats, the New Democratic Party 13, and the Progressive Conservatives, led by former Prime Minister Joe Clark, won 12.

The election marked a low point in the history of Canadian politics. During the federal election campaign of 1993, a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament from Winnipeg named Dorothy Dobbie questioned whether Reform Party leader Preston Manning should be allowed to sit in the House of Commons because of his Christian beliefs. The Globe and Mail, "Canada's (i.e., Toronto's) National Newspaper," is not known as a supporter of Christianity, but even the G&M was critical of Ms. Dobbie's anti-Christian bigotry. She lost her bid for re-election to a Liberal candidate, and received only 12.3% of the vote. In 2000, the Liberals outdid Dorothy Dobbie, ran a nationwide campaign against the religious beliefs of the Leader of the Opposition, and were rewarded with a majority.

I’m not a fan of Stockwell Day, and there were plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize him (e.g., his unimpressive résumé and poor judgement), but the Liberals waged a vicious campaign of hatred against the professed Christian beliefs of Mr. Day--a campaign which would have been regarded as completely unacceptable had it been directed against a believer in any other faith. For instance, Liberal backroom boy Warren Kinsella, who claims to be opposed to bigotry (he wrote a book titled Web of Hate), went on television waving a stuffed "Barney" toy to ridicule Mr. Day’s belief in the biblical account of creation. The anti-Christian hatred expressed by the Liberals was so bad that the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, an organization that addresses issue of concern to Christians but doesn’t support a particular party (in contrast to the Christian Coalition in the United States, which tends to be the religious wing of the Republican party), publicly expressed concern over the tone of the campaign. Mr. Day, who had once pastored a church in the community of Bentley, Alberta (population <1,000)--and had received mixed reviews upon his departure--proved thoroughly inept at defending the faith, and allowed the Liberals to define him and the direction of the campaign. David Kilgour, a former Progressive Conservative who had joined the Liberals after the PCs got tired of him and kicked him out, was re-elected in Edmonton Mill Woods. He claims to be a Christian, but in keeping with his career pattern of cowardice (like U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, he approached issues as if they all posed great moral dilemmas, but always voted in the direction that would preserve his position and political career), refused to speak out against his party’s anti-Christian campaign. I began to feel very uncomfortable living in Trudeaupia (formerly Canada), under a rabidly anti-Christian government (ironically, Mr. Chretien’s surname means "Christian"). The Liberals are now in opposition--the Conservative Party of Canada, formerly the Canadian Alliance, has had a minority government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper since 2006--but there’s always a possibility that they could regain power, especially since the Liberals and the NDP have shown themselves willing to cut a deal with the Bloq Quebecois to defeat the government and seize power when it’s convenient for them. I have yet to hear of the Liberals apologizing for or moderating their anti-Christian views; Warren Kinsella is out of favour with the current party leadership, but that has more to do with his incompetence than with his hatred of Christians. For this Christian to vote for the Liberal Party of Canada would be akin to a Jew voting for the Nazis.