OTTAWA — The Liberal Party was once the most popular political party with Canada’s millions of Evangelical Christians but has lost much of that support to the Conservatives and the New Democrats, says a new study.So, the Conservatives have gained Evangelical support. The question is - will they be willing to learn from their opponents' mistakes? Up until recently, those concerned about the economy, as well as those concerned about moral values could align themselves with the Conservatives. They seemed to be the party that opposed runaway deficits and, when it came to values, the perception was that we may still see some improvement, should the Conservatives win majority. Now, when the government has declared its intention to wait 6 more years for the economy to catch up with the mammoth program expenses and when the Conservative party keeps appealing to the moderates and the social libertarians at the expense of its Social Conservative grassroots, both those notions seem doubtful.
The Liberals used to be a natural home for Evangelical Christians who care about issues such as social justice. In 1996, the Liberals were by far the most popular party with Evangelical Christians in every region except the West where the Reform Party was slightly more popular.
However, those voters began to move away from the Liberals after the Liberals denigrated and marginalized them, says the study. “Each time Canadians went to the federal polls in 2004, 2006 and 2008, the Liberals only managed to hold on to roughly half of the evangelical voters they had had at the previous election,” says the report. “When evangelical voters left, they generally went to the Conservatives and the NDP, in a 2 to 1 ratio.”
So, could the Conservative party lose its new supporters as fast as it has gained them? It can happen. After all, we do have another political party that is both fiscally and socially Conservative - yes, I'm talking about the CHP. If anything, the CHP policy could attract both those Evangelicals that are concerned about the economy and those that prioritize social justice - not to mention those who put the moral issues first. And, unlike Catholics, the Evangelical Christians don't have any problems accepting the CHP biblical principles. So I won't be surprised if, an election or two from now, we have the CHP running some 150-200 candidates and receiving more than a million votes - not just from the Evangelicals, but also from anyone else who is tired of fiscal mismanagement and social decay that we've been witnessing for decades.
Unless of course the Conservatives learn their lesson and return to the good old Conservative principles.