Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Rise Of The Canadian Evangeliban?

From The Harper Index, itself a product of the Golden Lake Institute (which I've never heard of), comes this interesting piece of the rise of the "religious conservative" voter in Canada:

Andrew Grenville, a senior vice president with IPSOS-Reid in Toronto, led a survey of 36,000 voters via the internet for CanWest/Global on Jan. 23, 2006, the day of the general election. Grenville wrote about those results in the March-April 2006 edition of Faith Today, a publication of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. He found that 64 per cent of weekly Protestant church attendees voted for Conservative candidates. By definition, the majority of those Protestant voters were evangelicals because they are much more likely to attend church weekly than mainline Protestants.

"In the predominantly English speaking parts of Canada, Protestants who attend church weekly embraced the Conservatives with a fervour never seen before," Grenville wrote. "Clearly, a line has been crossed and a population mobilized."

The article claims, among other things, that the traditionally Liberal "Catholic vote" has begun to leak away to the Harper Conservatives, and that "being a Protestant fundamentalist is the single most important predictor of a Conservative vote in our models. "

It is, however, a bit on the alarmist side, especially in the thesis that what we are seeing in Canada is a delayed echo of the United States in the 80s and 1990s. My own view is that the "Big Blue Wave", as it were, has moved in sync within both countries, and in fact crested at the same time. The "ferver" of Canadian evangelicals has left Harper's Tories stuck at about 30 per cent in the opinion polls, and there are simply not enough bible waving bodies out there to drive those numbers higher. Whereas in the States you can add another 10 points to that total.

I am also of the opinion that the article's conclusion is entirely unjustified:

The religious and cultural wars that have enveloped the United States since at least the time of Ronald Reagan have arrived in Canada and they may well intensify.

Oh really, over what? SSM and abortion rights are essentially in the bag in this country, ascendant Environmental issues tend to split the Right rather than the Left, and on such matters as the HPV vacine , our Fundys show a streak of Realism far beyond the mental capacity of their U.S. counterparts. So where is the trigger to this cultural war?

20 comments:

Jon said...

If true that's sad.
All I know is that Tommy Douglas was a Baptist preacher and that he instituted medicare. If only there were more like him in the world..

Alison said...

But you have heard of Straight Goods

Anonymous said...

People are being driven into the CPCs hands by the ineptitude, arrogance, ignorance, corruptness, deceipt and idiocy of the Liberal party.

When your political choices are communism mixed with insanity (NDP), extreme left-wing socialism and thievery (Liberal), and middle of the road common sense (CPC), it's not hard to make a choice. For a rational person, anyway.

Ti-Guy said...

People are being driven into the CPCs hands by the ineptitude, arrogance, ignorance, corruptness, deceipt and idiocy of the Liberal party.

What part of "stuck in the polls at 30%" didn't you understand?

I'm not ready to believe we're in the clear yet; you should see how much activity among the fundies is directed at disaffected and bored youth. They sucker them in with Christian youth groups who eventually get around to explaining to them that their dissatisfaction is the result of a spiritual crisis in modern society, all going back to gays, feminists, abortion and the theory of evolution.

Grog said...

When your political choices are communism mixed with insanity (NDP), extreme left-wing socialism and thievery (Liberal), and middle of the road common sense (CPC), it's not hard to make a choice. For a rational person, anyway.

Uh huh - you've merely demonstrated how much Con$ervative Kool-Aid you've consumed.

As ti-guy pointed out, it's not exactly as if the Con$ are gaining much traction overall either - they remain mired at 30% in the polls with minor blips up and down.

Reality Bites said...

Socialism, Anon?

You mean like how the Liberals sold off CN?

When you call the traditional party of big business in Canada "extreme left-wing socialism" all you do is prove you're an idiot.

Neither the NDP nor the Liberals stand for expanded public ownership of the economy, let alone total ownership. That's what socialism and communism are - not merely names to be spat out by blithering idiots like yourself.

Anonymous said...

The irrational person is Anon 11:29 - he/she hasn't read Flanigan's (Harper's American born right wing republican mentor) latest I guess where he points out in black and white that Harper has duped Canadians by "playing" the middle of the road - if he gets a majority there will be no middle of the road. You've been "suckered in big time" Anon 11:29.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, SSM and abortions are what builds great nations.

Ti-Guy said...

Don't be so stupid.

David Elliott said...

You said at the outset that it was for CanWest Global and was done on-line.

So much for accuracy or lack of bias. CanWest cannot be trusted to broadcast the news without injecting its own opinion disguised as news..same as Fox.

Anything like a poll done on line can be spammed or otherwise corrupted so that's that other element taken care of.

Cerberus said...

The "ferver" of Canadian evangelicals has left Harper's Tories stuck at about 30 per cent in the opinion polls, and there are simply not enough bible waving bodies out there to drive those numbers higher. Whereas in the States you can add another 10 points to that total.

And where they are most fervent, the Cons have it locked up anyway. So what if Rob Anders beat his Liberal sacrificial lamb opponent by 50% instead of 40%.

SSM and abortion rights are essentially in the bag in this country

I wouldn't be so quick to lay down arms on these or other issues. Each year the anti-choice marches grow a little bit larger, get a little bit more widespread attention, and anti-choice MPs get a little more louder. That battle ain't done yet, nor is equal marriage (though the latter should be because of a basic and obvious reading of the Charter and, what? 6 provincial Courts of Appeal).

Reality Bites said...

No, only 3 courts of appeal - albeit the three largest provinces, and lower courts in 5 other provinces and one or two territories. All told, about 17 judges. There has never been a case in Canadian history of the SCC overturning three unanimous judgements from the three largest provinces.

Moreover, no one has any standing to take it to court. You can challenge a law that disadvantages you in some way, but not one that has nothing to do with you. One could perhaps challenge the fact that marriage commissioners in some provinces are required to perform their duty without discriminating, but even if such a case were successful, it could only effect who is required/allowed to officiate at marriages, not who is allowed to marry.

Cons like to bleat about the Supreme Court never having ruled on it. If the SCC had ruled, they'd have bleated about the unelected judiciary making policy, and since it was the elected MPs who decided, they bleat about that.

If they were intellectually honest they'd admit that even if there was a referendum in which every Canadian of voting age was required to vote, and 99.9% approved of marriage equality they would STILL be against it and find fault with the process.

Anonymous said...

Why do you have such an inferiority complex with Americans? You always feel you have to say how much better you are than they; aren't you Liberals the first ones to say to not judge people, to accept people for who they are, to tolerate others, or is it all just bullshit?

Ti-Guy said...

...*yawn*

Anonymous said...

I guess when Godless, secular evil rears it's head in a socialist state, you've got to fight it. Just like how the loons Alan Rock, Wendy Cukier and their ilk created the organized Canadian gun lobby in response to their insanity, so too will people finally get fed up with the BS you neo-coms have forced down our throats for the last 40 years. Canada has lost ground on almost every meaningful index of quality of life, while on the quest to become a 'progressive' state. What a failed experiment.

Anonymous said...

Your level of intolerance and hatred of non-Liberals is truly frightening. If anybody said they hated a religious group the way you do, they'd be crucified by you leftards. But it's okay for you, isn't it, to promote hatred and disrepect of Christian religions. NO other group vocalizes their hatred and disgust of other groups as loudly as Liberals do. It's a mental illness to behave as you do. You cannot see your own hypocrisy as you scream that others are intolerant, just before you scream how you hate groups X, Y, and Z because of their beliefs. You are far less tolerant than any of the 'red-neck neanderthals' you seem to think exist. But then again, fighting the boogeyman is your schtick. Create a straw man problem for people to be afraid of, and then go fight it.

Why not do something constructive for a change?

Andrew Grenville said...

Re "I am also of the opinion that the article's conclusion is entirely unjustified"

While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I think it is helpful to base opinions on facts.

My conclusion about the arrival of the Christian Right is based on an analysis of the role of religon and voting over the past dozen years. Things definitely changed in the 2006 election.

I am not saying Canada is being overrun by conversative evangelicals. But I am saying there has been a definite and noteworthy change in this regard.

If you read the original article, you might also note the side-bar article that talks about the existance of a religious left as well.

Andrew Grenville
Chief Research Officer
Angus Reid Strategies
andrew.grenville@angus-reid.com

Astronaut said...

This post is a post about failure - for both of us:

1. I FAIL to see how your opinion - provided without any supporting evidence whatsoever - can counter scientifically/statistically significant survey data analysed using advanced analytical techniques.

2. I think YOU FAILED math.

bigcitylib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bigcitylib said...

Mr. Grenville,

Thank you for responding.

What I object to in the article's conclusion is the notion that the Culture Wars are going to "intensify" in Canada. And again I would ask: over what issue?
I simply do not see a handy "flash-point" now that SSM has (IMHO) essentially been decided.