Sexual Diversity, Religious Moblization, and Moral Traditionalism in the Ontario Party System, 1986-2013

37 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2014

See all articles by David Rayside

David Rayside

University of Toronto

Jerald Sabin

University of Toronto

Thomas Paul

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The 1980s began a gradual process of faith realignment in Ontario’s provincial politics. Where once Liberals and Progressive Conservatives were drawing disproportionate support from Catholics and Protestants, the PCs came to serve as a pole of attraction for religious traditionalists across denomination, a position they still occupy. Attracting and retaining this constituency presented a challenge similar to that facing their federal counterpart. The socially conservative leanings of the party’s caucus might have translated into signaling support for this electoral constituency on the abortion issue, but the party’s leadership has resolutely avoided that issue. It was easier, and for a time less electorally risky, to stake out a conservative position on sexual diversity issues. After the 2011 election there seemed fewer opportunities to do so, and more electoral costs. This does not eliminate the challenge facing the PCs in retaining an important core of supporters, and therefore does not eliminate faith as a factor in provincial electoral politics, but religion is playing an even subtler role in the future than it has until very recently.

Keywords: Ontario, party politics, religion, sexual diversity

Suggested Citation

Rayside, David and Sabin, Jerald and Paul, Thomas, Sexual Diversity, Religious Moblization, and Moral Traditionalism in the Ontario Party System, 1986-2013 (2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2455495

David Rayside (Contact Author)

University of Toronto ( email )

Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S 3G8
Canada

Jerald Sabin

University of Toronto ( email )

Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada

Thomas Paul

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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