Can a socially conservative party govern a liberal Canada?

This is liberally copied from:


Former British prime minister David Cameron was once asked how he, as a conservative, could support gay marriage.

He said conservatives believed in the ties that bind us all. Societies were stronger when people made vows to each other, he said, when people supported one another.

“I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative,” Mr. Cameron said at the time. “I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.”

I was reminded of that quote as I read an interview that federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer gave on the weekend in which he said a prime minister in this country could hold controversial views around same-sex marriage and abortion and yet be trusted not to impose his beliefs on others.

I don’t doubt Mr. Scheer for an instant. But that’s not the problem.

Most Canadians are socially liberal. Polls routinely have suggested that only about 30 per cent of us hold the kind of strict, social-conservative views the Conservative Leader does. But not all social conservatives are the same either.

Greg Lyle has looked into this subject a little bit. The president of the Innovative Research Group says he’s found social conservatives split into free-will social conservatives (“I believe social issues are between me and my God, not me and my government”) and community-standards social conservatives (“God has shown the true path and the government should follow it”).

Mr. Lyle believes a free-will social conservative can work as the leader of the Conservatives because that person doesn’t want government imposing its standards on others. As such, this leader would agree with pro-choice supporters, even though they have different views on abortion. They all agree that choice is key.

Mr. Scheer’s problem is that many believe he’s a community-standards type of conservative, one guided by the principles and teachings set out in the Bible. His decision not to march in Pride parades would certainly bolster this viewpoint. He doubled down on this decision, reiterating in a postelection interview that he would never march in a parade.


My question:

In your experience, does the above bolded distinction between two types of social conservatives match reality?    Does it match the types of conservative commentary we see at BNR?

Do you think a Social Conservative Party could govern Canada (or other liberal state) with that distinction in mind

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