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Letter from a Conservative Voter to Prime Minister Harper

(A supporter from Lethbridge Alberta sent ARCC a copy of this letter and gave us permission to post it.)

June 2010

Dear Mr. Harper:

I am writing to convey my extreme displeasure at how the Conservative government has handled Canada's G8 initiative on maternal health.   I am very sad that Canada would pursue a policy on the world stage that is at variance with the right Canadian women enjoy at home to make their own reproductive choices. As well, it does not offer support for promoting these same rights for women in the developing world.  This seems to be a hypocritical double standard which is both insulting to women in the Third World and dangerous to their health, and disrespectful to women in general.

I am concerned that this G8 initiative might be the start of a creeping attempt to promote an anti-choice environment in Canada.  If that were the case, I would most certainly become politically active to prevent this from happening.

The fact that Canada currently has no laws governing abortion allows all Canadian women to act in accordance with their own beliefs. I am strongly in favour of this. Indeed, in Canada, the success we have had in bridging diverse points of view is one of our greatest political achievements - a tolerance to differences and a willingness to create robust institutions which safeguard and support diversity

I would point out that this letter is from a Canadian who is fiscally conservative and is normally open to the views of the Conservative party. However, with the recent cuts in funding to women's groups and centres, with lop-sided positions like refusing to fund abortions in developing nations, and an increasingly divisive and "brinkmanship" style of government, I am becoming severely disenchanted.

This also comes at a doubly difficult time for me because a candidate has come forward to replace our retiring MP whom I respect and whom I would normally want to give my support.  I am in two minds now of what to do because, even if I support her bid to become the Conservative candidate for our riding, in the present situation, I do not feel that she can count on my support at the ballot box.

In closing, I would like to quote from a entry I found on the web in the public comments section of an article dealing with the current government's reaction to the current fiasco over Canada's G8 maternal health initiative.

"Canadians need to know where the government actually stands on any issue. The Harper government has an obligation to be transparent and accountable with Canadians. If they are against abortion, then say so. If they support abortions, then say that too. Hiding positions to cling to power is not acceptable in a democracy like Canada.

So, I expect honesty on this issue from the government of Canada. I will vote accordingly."

Yours very truly,

Elspeth J. Nickle

cc. Rick Casson, MP, Lethbridge Constituency
cc. Lorna Peacock, potential Conservative candidate for Lethbridge Constituency
cc. Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada
cc. Womanspace Resource Centre, Lethbridge, AB