In Canada’s first round of elections, a significant pro-family, Christian-based movement has come into prominence, according to the magazine Religion in the News (Summer).
In an early July runoff to decide who will lead the Canadian Alliance party for the elections next year, Stockwell Day, a “sometimes Pentecostal lay preacher,” beat out more moderate opponents. The Canadian Alliance is a new party that seeks to draw in both fiscal and social conservatives, but the recent election results reveal the new political weight of the latter camp.
A former Christian school administrator, Day was the only candidate to advocate that all religious schools be funded (Ontario is the only province with no such provision), and has charged the news media with anti-evangelical bias. Although the media was unprepared for the emergence of Day and his once quiet constituency, it is estimated that 30 percent of the voting population hold Day’s views.
Writer Dennis Hoover notes that recent research suggests that Canadian evangelicals tend to be conservative on moral issues and increasingly likely to be politically mobilized, but are not right-wing on economics or immigration.
(Religion in the News, Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College, 300 Summit St., Hartford, CT 06106; www.trincoll.edu/depts/carpal/)