From Mrs Dominica Roberts SIR – Hugh David (School Board, March 27) is right in saying that abortion is not the only issue in elections. There are, however, some views so contrary to natural human justice that they should disqualify a candidate in the eyes of all, and especially of Catholics. Racism is one such, and support for abortion, human embryo destruction and euthanasia is another.
But the idea of a “wasted vote” is not correct. In a marginal constituency one’s vote does help to determine who is elected, and one might reasonably vote for a “less worse” candidate. In many constituencies one party has such a large majority that there is no reasonable likelihood of anyone else being elected. In these places everyone’s vote sends a message, either of approval, or of warning that at the next election the seat may be at risk, or of support for a specific policy as in the ProLife Alliance or UKIP or the Green Party. No vote is “wasted”. Mr David speaks slightingly of the late great Cardinal Winning “banging on” about not voting for a party or candidate who supported abortion. If enough voters made pro-life matters the priority they ought to be in this country, we could win for vulnerable unborn human beings the single most basic right, on which all others depend, the right not to be killed. In the south of the United States in the Sixties it was single-issue voting which obtained civil rights for black people. The result in the Glasgow East election was affected by the abstention of Catholics who would normally have voted Labour but were shocked at the anti-life sentiments of the candidate.
The Labour Party is officially proabortion, but there are honourable exceptions, as well as the valiant Labour Life Group, which deserve our support. The Lib Dems are proeuthanasia, and there are both pro-life and anti-life MPs in all parties. When, in my own constituency in the 1997 election, all the major parties’ candidates were strongly pro-abortion, and I was, as Mr David says, effectively disenfranchised, I joined the newly formed ProLife Alliance (PLA) and have since stood as a pro-life candidate in three General Elections and one European election. Perhaps that was an extreme reaction; we must all vote for candidates whose individual voting intentions are as near to good as we can find.
The PLA has since then had to stop being a political party, when the bureaucratic demands of the Electoral Commission became too onerous for our small band of volunteer workers to cope with. We have become an effective human rights group in defence of human lives neglected by many others, for example Amnesty.
Yours faithfully, DOMINICA ROBERTS Bracknell, Berkshire