4MyCanada, a non-profit organization that helps Christian youth become engaged in politics, wants its members to attend a Campaign School organized by the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies. On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with this. But 4MyCanada claims to be non-partisan and the Campaign School is for social and fiscal conservatives. The Canadian Centre for Policy Studies, says it`s not associated with the Conservative Party of Canada. Maybe not officially, but in truth it`s a Conservative, not conservative, think tank, run by one of Prime Minister Harper`s long-time organizers.
Joseph C.Ben-Ami is President of the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies. Mr. Ben-Ami`s resume credits include the following: Policy Aid to Stephen Harper and Stockwell Day; National Director of Operations in Stockwell Day`s 2002 Leadership Campaign.
Also speaking at the Campaign School: Rod Bruinooge, Conservative Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South; Activist Tristan Emmanuel who recently headed up Conservative MPP, Randy Hillier`s Campaign to lead the Ontario Tories, and Faytene Kryskow, founder and director of 4MyCanada (While Kryskow may not be officially tied to the Tory party, her session focuses on turning youth into socially conservative activists.)
Most Campaign School sessions reflect the right of the Conservative Party of Canada. Sessions include Running Right: Lessons from the Hillier Campaign; Winning as a Pro-Life Candidate; Campaign Essentials for Social Conservatives:In Search of Unity: Fiscal Conservatives & Social Conservatives - Myths & Facts; Communication Essentials for Social Conservatives (aka.Spin Doctoring)
No Red Tories, Liberals, New Democrats, or Greens will speak at the Campaign School. The sessions reflect only the right of the Conservative party. So, this Campaign School is obviously designed to recruit staff and volunteers for candidates in a narrow spectrum within the Conservative Party of Canada.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Studies isn't encouraging the vast majority of Canadian Christians, who do not suscribe to its ideology, to become activists. (Christians in Canada span the political spectrum.) Since this Campaign school will train only Christians who are fiscal and social conservatives, it is not about turning the faithful into voters. It`s about political ideologues using religion to gain political power.
As a Christian, I want to point out something to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Mr. Ben-Ami, and Ms. Faytene Krystow: Cynical attempts by church `leaders` and their allied political cronies to manipulate people into giving political power to ideological elites have a long history of destroying churches, worldwide. In Canada, we need only to look to Quebec, where manipulation by priests and their political allies played a key role in the complete secularization of that province.
Duplessis`s Quebec was faith based and ideologically conservative. It was also repressive and corrupt. Both Duplessis era religion and politics have been totally rejected by modern Quebecois. The `Quiet Revolution` nearly destroyed Confederation. And it's something 21st century preachers and political recruiters should think about when they are tempted confuse political affiliation with Judeo-Christian faith.