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Evangelicals urged to vote for civility

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has released an election kit that laments the absence of abortion as an election issue and calls for civility in politics.

The kit contains a primer on the Canadian parliamentary system and fact sheets on topics including “Respect for Human Life,” “Family Integrity,” “Religious Freedom in Canada,” “Prostitution and Human Trafficking,” and the environment.

The kit also features a statement by EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger, who says: “There are [a] variety of important issues being debated in this election and at least one, abortion, will likely be absent as no party seems willing to dissent from the status quo.”

Clemenger adds that, “coming out of what many have said was the most rancorous of Parliaments – where the rhetoric was often debilitating and caustic, when the tendency was to define oneself or one’s position by belittling or marginalizing the other – and in a highly pluralized society in which we are groping for that which defines us as a nation and the basis upon which we can strive together for the public good, we need politicians who practise and will foster civility.”

The fact sheet on abortion states that “life is a gift from God that should be respected and protected through all of its stages, beginning at conception” and urges evangelicals to ask candidates “What do you believe should be the legal status of the unborn child?” and “Would you support the introduction of legislation to regulate and limit abortion in Canada?”

In the 2004 election, Conservative candidates made a number of controversial comments on such social conservative hot-button issues – comments that for the most part haven’t been repeated in subsequent elections.

Tom Barrett is a contributing editor at The Tyee.

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