Photo by Michael Swan

Vote like a Catholic: Resources available to help Catholics vote in the Ontario election

By 
  • May 4, 2022

As the writ drops for Ontario’s June 2 provincial election, the political junkies at Catholic Conscience are ready — ready to help Catholics discern their votes according to Church teaching.

The non-partisan, independent Catholic non-profit already has election guides for parishes, online party platform comparisons, “Voting Like a Catholic” bulletin inserts, homily help for pastors and more planned for the 30-day election campaign.

The goal is to “make it possible for people to look at what each of the parties are offering on each issue and compare it to Catholic social teaching, and do that across a range of issues,” Catholic Conscience executive director Brendan Steven told The Catholic Register.

It goes without saying that none of this material will tell any voter who to vote for and different Catholics will continue to vote for different parties and candidates.

Since 2015 Catholic Conscience has geared up for federal, provincial and municipal elections, producing wheelbarrows full of literature and comparison tools, all in the hope of increasing Catholic voter turnout and keeping Catholics engaged in civic life. For Catholic Conscience, voting isn’t just a duty. It’s an opportunity that engages faith on every front.

Provincial elections are particularly exciting for Catholic Conscience, Steven said.

“The kinds of things that the province directly deals with have more of an effect on the lives of everyday, ordinary people,” he said.

Provincial responsibility for education, health and social programming also means that Catholic institutions will be affected, including Catholic school boards, Catholic hospitals and Catholic social welfare agencies.

“The things that most affect me are more often the responsibility of the province,” said Steven.

While only the NDP has released a full platform, voters are already in a good position to judge the major parties with seats at Queen’s Park, said Steven. The Conservatives have proposed a budget that, since it can’t be passed before the legislature rises, will effectively be an election platform.

“The Liberals, though they haven’t put out a full platform, have actually made a lot of policy announcements,” Steven said.

The same can be said for the Greens, whose policy announcements have been a daily event for weeks.

“We’re going into this election with a lot on the table already, which is not always the case,” he said.

Catholic Conscience offers non-partisan help to parishes who want to host all-candidates meetings, workshops on applying prayer and discernment to a voting decision, a weekly election email newsletter and more for any parish that wants to get out the vote. More information is at www.catholicconscience.org or call Steven at (647) 513-5014.

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