Friday, May 27, 2005

Onward Christian Candidates

Angry in the Great White North, Ravishing Light and Canadianna are somewhat tickled by this front-page Globe and Mail story about publicly religious candidates becoming MP candidates.

I have to admit I'm tickled too -- particularly when I look at the reactions of the so-called mainstream runners-up:

"The difficulty, from a party perspective, is that it begins to hijack the other agendas that parties have," said Ross Haynes, who lost the Conservative nomination in the riding of Halifax to one of three "Christian, pro-family people" recommended by a minister at a religious rally this spring in Kentville, N.S.

Candidates who are running on single issues such as opposition to same-sex marriage "probably can't get elected because they certainly don't represent any mainstream population view," Mr. Haynes said.

Some of this, of course, can be chalked up to sore-loserism. But I think there may be an implicit fear among mainstream media people like this story's writer: What if these "pro-family" people ARE the mainstream?

Remember how shocked the U.S. mainstream media were when George W. Bush won his re-election? And how they finally latched onto "red-state" profiling as their final explanation? Part of it is the discovery of a disconnect between the media and the U.S. populace, part of it economic (media tended to be upper-middle class) and part of it demographic (media tended to be urban in outlook).

Well, the same disconnect may be operating in Canada. The concern over corruption and the implicit societal changes wrought by issues such as same-sex marriage may have galvanized the social-conservative faction of the population into a level of political activism that our mainstream media simply didn't want to notice.

The strategy that these folks will follow probably won't be the "move to the center and sell to the Liberal voter" plan that mainstreamers are advocating. That plan pretty much died when the Progressive Conservatives died in the 1993 election. It's more likely to be the selling of a so-con agenda in their own terms, as opposed to letting the Liberals define their "hidden agenda" for them.

Of course it'll be an uphill battle with the majority of the Canadian MSM conditioned to think along Liberal policy lines. But the so-cons can take comfort in an old adage: if you're going to soar, you need the wind against you. And they'll recognize the MSM's attempts to hold up a so-con boogeyman as only so much hot air.