Things are looking for the right in upcoming fall election, which is good news. However it is never a good idea to take things for granted. We will all have to work hard to win those races.
Chance collision of factors, including the softening of social conservatism, may be responsible for turning the nation’s electoral map more blue over the next few months, as Canadians prepare for an unprecedented wave of votes.
In five out of seven provincial and territorial races, the Tories are poised for a win or a gain in seats. Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently boasted his new majority government is proof the Tories reflect Canadian values and have become “Canada’s party.” But analysts are hesitant to credit the widening support to a fixed ideological sea-change rooted in some sort of “aha” moment among voters.
They point instead to a powerful combination of personality politics, global economic anxiety, a desire for change in provinces with long-time incumbents and a “sweet-spot” strategy that together shore Tory appeal across the country.
University of Saskatchewan professor David McGrane said conservative parties found their so-called sweet spot by having effectively “neutralized” social conservatism — they have been near-silent on controversial issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. All the while, they have ratcheted the rhetoric on the new bogeyman in town: the economy.
Global economic anxiety is permeating voter psyche nationwide, said Fraser Institute vice-president Niels Veldhuis, citing the current U.S. debt crisis and the precarious situation unfolding in Greece. When people fear default or downturn, and when voters sympathize with pleas for austerity, conservative leaders become more attractive, Mr. Veldhuis said.