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Battle against "Assisted Suicide": Ballot question in Mass. goes into high gear. Large bi-partisan support for "NO" vote.
Polls still lagging, but catching up.
Video: MassResistance's Camenker debating the issue League of Women Voters forum.
POSTED: October 26, 2012
Momentum appears to be moving our way in the battle to defeat the "physician assisted suicide" ballot question in Massachusetts (Question 2) on Nov. 6. Recent polls generally have shown about a 60-40 lead for the "Yes" vote. But a barrage of well-honed "No on 2" television and radio commercials by the Committee Against Physician Assisted Suicide has begun to hit the airwaves, and the sense is that it's making a difference.
Presenting the facts changes minds on "assisted suicide"
Most people who have not heard much about Question 2 generally react on a "compassionate" emotional level. But when they are presented with the facts and arguments regarding the actual wording of the bill itself, and how that will affect them and others, they are quite likely to change their minds.
There are a couple of major points. As we've documented, the bill itself is very poorly written and is fraught with dangers. There is the subversion of the role of doctors from healers into killers. And there is the record of what actually happens when assisted suicide becomes legal (e.g., in Oregon or Switzerland), versus the "lore" presented by proponents.
Bringing the message directly to the people
We're doing our part taking the message forward. On October 18, MassResistance's Brian Camenker, also part of the ballot committee MassLifeWithDignity.org, spoke opposite a supporter of the measure at the League of Women Voters forum in Norwood.
It was an interesting comparison between the two approaches. As you can see in the video, the "yes" arguments are largely emotional and mostly supported by the liberal establishment and various medical activists. The "no" side is able to use the facts, including the problems with the text of the bill, the recent experiences in places where it exists, and the larger historical context. The "no" side is also widely supported by the medical profession.
VIDEO: The 5-minute speeches -- pro and con -- at forum.
Liberal media not in the tank on this one!
The liberal media has been surprisingly reluctant to carry the water for this, even though it's part of the traditional progressive agenda. Probably the most aggressive article we've seen was posted yesterday by The Atlantic. It hits this issue right between the eyes:
What's also interesting is that the Boston Globe -- arguably the most liberal big-city paper in the country -- has published considerable material opposed to the measure, far more than articles supporting it. Much of it is very well thought out and compelling.
For example, in the Boston Globe:
But the battle of the polls still continues in the final stretch. Our sense is that the TV commercials are changing a lot of minds. Let's hope it's enough to make the difference on election day.
ACTION SUGGESTION: We guess that many voters will show up at the polls with no knowledge of Question 2. We think that holding a sign with a clear, brief message would have a big impact. Something like: