Catholic Social and Political Activism


All-Candidate's Debate: John's Opening Statement

The text in italics represents our angle on how the speech proceeded. The text in red represents the part of John's speech where he raised his voice and got gritty.

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Good evening everyone. My name is John Pacheco. I am the Family Coalition Party Candidate for Ottawa South.

Ladies and gentleman. This provincial election is really about ONE central issue:

preserving the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

Thuderous jeers start. Clapping and support counter it. The moderator tries to get a hold of the crowd. Lasts about 15 seconds. John continues as the Liberal drones settle down.

This is a definition of marriage that has stood throughout history and various cultures. Long before the French and the English walked this land, our First Nations forefathers and mothers understood this definition of marriage.

I am also here tonight to honour all of those politicians who served public office with personal integrity and dignity like Mr. McGuinty’s FATHER who served this constituency so faithfully for so many years.

John could sense the anticipation of the crowd. Huh? Where is he going with this.

He was a wonderful example of an authentic politician. He believed and lived his faith on Sunday - the way he did on Monday. If he believed something personally, he would stand on it publicly. There would be no compromising his conviction for political gain. You see, for him, ripping apart a child in the womb was just as wrong in Church as it was on Queen’s Park.

Pandemonia breaks out again. The Liberal pro-aborts screech in horror. John's supporters cheer loudly. The moderator has to step in again. This time John doesn't wait as long to continue. The time is ticking. He's only got 5 minutes in total. He has to finish. Taking the microphone, John rips into the yelping...

I am here today to honour his pro-life and pro-family public witness - when other politicians - refuse to do so.

There are other important issues in this election. I do not dispute this. But please listen to me when I say: most of the problems that you hear about tonight will be 10 times worse in 10 years if we do not uphold marriage and the traditional family.

Now Mr. McGuinty likes to have it both ways. He has said many times in this campaign and I quote:

"I don't feel threatened or offended in any way at all if a gay or lesbian couple chose to marry and I don't see how it's threatening to the future of my children either."

More jeering, more shouting, more cheering. John begins to raise his voice again to press on. Forcefully and courageously he continues...

It might not be threatening to Mr. McGuinty, but Mr. McGuinty is not an Arabic Muslim. He is not an Orthodox Jew. He does not share the same view with most church-going Catholics or Evangelical Protestants. None of these communities approve of same-sex marriage, and, frankly, one is hard-pressed to discern how Mr. McGuinty affirms multi-culturalism when he denies a definition of marriage that is common to most cultures and peoples that make up Ontario’s population.

Mr. McGuinty does not share the values of most Canadians. He shares those of his federal counterpart, Jean Chretien, who likes to accommodate Mr. McGuinty’s backroom deals over same-sex marriage.

Wild applauses ensues as the Progressive Conservative camp becomes more bold in supporting John. The jeers are somewhat drowned out by the majority of the 500+ standing room only audience. John takes encouragement from this and presses on...

And what about education? Is Mr. McGuinty going to force our children into learning about certain lifestyle choices which people of faith find objectionable because he thinks it is human right?

What kind of respect for freedom and religious liberty is this, Mr. McGuinty?

More vocal jeering. John is really starting to get under their skin. He is having an effect. John peeks over at McGuinty seated to his left. He looks rather uncomfortable. John begins to raise his voice accordingly in order to hit the climax. Plowing through the thunderous noise, he levels McGuinty again...

Perhaps it is the same kind that you demonstrated against the Durham Catholic School Board when you tried to politically intimidate the trustees into abandoning Catholic teaching on sexual morality.

Mr. Thomas Langan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League stated:

“If the leader of the opposition for Ontario is pressuring…the Roman Catholic Church to change its beliefs and not be true to its faith, how can we respect HIS balancing of rights in society as a whole?"

John waits as the heckling and clapping start to die down, then fires his final shot...

Mr. McGuinty, if you call yourself a Catholic,

then it’s high time for you to walk the walk.

The roof in the place is almost blown off the auditorium. John sits back as the drones and his supporters vie for vocal supremacy. The noise dies down relatively quicker than before. And the opening statement fades to black....

Ladies and gentlemen, you have my solemn promise that our Party would do everything legally possible - including invoking the Notwithstanding Clause - to ensure that the traditional definition of marriage is preserved in tact for the province’s families.

As the evening goes on, I hope to share with you some of our other policies which aim at protecting and enhancing traditional family life in Ontario.

Policies like…

1) Education tax cheques to allow parents to teach their children according to their own values instead of Mr. McGuinty’s values - where Jewish parents can send their kids to Hebrew school if they so choose.

2) A Medical Savings Account which discourages abuse of the health care system while at the same time helping Ontarians with retirement.

And

3) Tax Reform to allow our poorest families to keep more of their paycheck by increasing the personal and spousal tax credits to $14,000 per year.

I look forward to discussing these and other issues in this debate tonight. Thank you.