This little item caught my eye on Friday and interested me primarily because some of the usual suspects interpreted it as a sign that reproductive liberty is about to take a hit.
According to a recent poll released by the conservative “Manning Centre” (just for fun, let’s imagine it was commissioned by some totally apolitical institution, and for even more fun, let’s imagine we’ve seen the questions and crosstabs and we’re happy), more Canadians who identify as “politically centrist” are down with conservative ideals:
A survey by Allan Gregg of Harris-Decima and Carleton University’s Professor André Turcotte concludes that while a majority of Canadians identify with the “centre” position on the political ideology scale, this centre is increasingly embracing “traditionally conservative values.”
So here we are, a mass of centrists leaning ever so slightly rightward:
Canada has always been politically-centrist, gently swinging left or right depending on the issue and the era; and apparently we are currently in a right-leaning era. As much as I hate to blame (or credit, depending how you look at it) the baby boom, aging boomers probably have something to do with it. A massive population of people who were railing against materialism and filthy lucre 40 years ago are now retiring to enjoy viciously capitalist hobbies like day trading. W00T! Freedom 55!
But that doesn’t cut to the nut of the responses that have socons wetting themselves, the ones about abortion and marriage. Apparently 75% of centrists believe abortion is “morally” wrong, and 80% think heteros own the institution of marriage. The marriage response is definitely an “old person” thing — that train has long since left the station and the young, to their everlasting credit, do not feel that way:
The abortion response just shows that believing something is “wrong” doesn’t necessarily mean actively opposing it. Looky here: only 31% of Canadians and 21% of centrists felt that government should play a major role in “regulating morality” (regulating morality? Good grief.):
Veddy intuddesting. It seems to be that same 31%, decade in and decade out, that want to bring the government back into our bedrooms. But if they’re thinking they can count on centrists for support in this endeavour, they better think again.
This poll reminds me of a Gallup poll that was done last year in the US, a far more socially conservative country than Canada. The poll revealed that a narrow majority of Americans — 51% — self-identified as “pro-life”. It was celebrated at dives like Nurse Stanek’s Fetopia and Placentaburger Drive-Thru; what wasn’t discussed was the other poll taken around the same time that showed 68% of Americans do not support overturning Roe v. Wade. So close and yet so far…
What’s it all mean, fer Jebus’ sake!?? Just that not all of those who consider themselves “pro-life”, or who think abortion is “wrong”, are in favour of pushing their personal views on others using the coercive power of the state:
But it also found only 21 per cent of self-identified political centrists wanted to see government play a “major role” regulating individual behaviour and morality, suggesting Canadians have a strong libertarian streak on social issues.