Elected politicians get a pretty bad rap.
Continuously, year after year, politicians rank amongst the least trusted profession in surveys, right in between lawyers and used car salesmen.
But what we should realize as pro-lifers is that elected politicians sacrifice an awful lot with very little thanks and we, as a movement, should be first and most consistent voters to thank our elected politicians when they vote the right way.
For most of us, when we apply for a job we will interview with a person, bring a resume and a few letters of recommendation.
But for politicians, it is a much different route. Their interview process is not two hours’ worth of interviews, but two years; and not with just a few people, but with a few thousand. Their resume isn’t just a piece of paper of what they decide to disclose, but every little fact both professionally and personally (who amongst us doesn’t have a few skeletons in the closet?). On top of that, their letters of recommendation are not from former employers, but from key party officials and veteran politicians, whose endorsements are sought by dozens, if not hundreds, of other people.
Did we not mention that part? If you get elected and get the job, you’ll have to move your life to Ottawa. For many Members of Parliament, this means moving their entire families to a completely new city where they have very few connections to begin with, especially for new Members of Parliament. This often causes great stresses on the lives of their loved ones and can lead to familial breakdowns. And unlike most other jobs, telecommuting is not an option.
Average work day
Most people think that Members of Parliament call the shots and make their own work rules. This could not be further from the truth. Members of Parliament meet with a great number of people when working in Ottawa and in their home ridings. They are meeting with business leaders, municipal politicians, provincial politicians, advocates for certain causes (think of us at RightNow) and other members in their caucus.
They have to go to the House of Commons for Question Period, debates and votes. They have meetings of whichever committee(s) they sit on (yes, often times Members of Parliament will sit on more than just one committee), that can meet for up to six hours in one sitting. They must come to all of these meetings prepared and well briefed.
While we may complain of overtime on our eight-hour shift, most Members of Parliament are working around 12-16 hour days.
What does this mean for pro-lifers?
First and foremost, if we ever run into a Member of Parliament (or provincial politician) or someone who has run for public office, thank them, regardless of which party they ran for. Their commitment to their political beliefs and the constituents they represent (or wish to represent) is both commendable and sacrificial.
Secondly, we should find pro-lifers who are cut out for the job as a Member of Parliament to run for public office. The job of an MP, as you can see, is grueling and often times thankless. It takes more than just a person to be pro-life to be supportable, it is important that we find well-rounded candidates whose families are able to make this sacrifice to run for office. Otherwise, both their careers and family ties can end very badly.
Finally, if you have a pro-life Member of Parliament (or a pro-life provincial representative in your riding), ask them how you can help. Members of Parliament often rely on their political party’s riding Board of Directors to help prepare for the next election campaign so that they (the pro-life politician) are able to carry out their duties as an elected official.
RightNow is grateful for all the elected pro-life politicians we have and all the pro-life candidates who run for office, regardless of whether or not they are successful. The best way to help them get elected and stay elected is to join us to try to make their lives a little easier! Join us now on how you can make a difference!