VANCOUVER, July 28, 2005 ( – Ottawa-based political reporter Lloyd Mackey, in an analysis prepared for the Vancouver Sun, estimated that half of the 98-member federal Conservative caucus is made up of religiously conservative MPs – 31 members are evangelical Protestants, with the remainder mostly devout Roman Catholics. The Sun emphasized, “That percentage is well over double the national average.”

According to Darrel Reid – a Richmond, BC, Conservative candidate and former president of Focus on the Family Canada – the kind of religious conservatives caricatured by the far-left Canadian media as “pro-life fanatics, religious fundamentalists and other assorted dyspeptic cranks” who “pull white hoods out of their closets at night,” in reality, “look and act like the people in your community, who attend your churches and volunteer with local service agencies.”

The Vancouver Sun, exacerbating media paranoia associated with social and religious conservativism within the Conservative Party, adds that, according to a 2003 Ipsos-Reid survey, only approximately 20% of the general Canadian population fits the description of a religious conservative. Mackey’s analysis adds that of the 308 MPs in Ottawa, 100 – over 32 percent – fit the description of a religious conservative.

“While most advocacy groups work across the political spectrum, they do see the Conservative party as perhaps providing relatively more fertile ground for encouraging the consideration of faith-based socially conservative public policies,” Mackey wrote. He is author of the book, The Pilgrimage of Stephen Harper, set for release next month. In addition to the so-called religious conservatives, most of the remainder of the party is made up of what Mackey refers to as “accommodating Christians”– those politicians like Paul Martin who have no trouble with compromising their own faith ideals to conform to the status quo.

Contrary to the Sun’s paranoia surrounding religious conservatism in politics, law professor and expatriate James Allan pointed out earlier this month that Canada’s Tories are nowhere near as conservative in policy as conservative counterparts throughout the world. “Take today’s Tories and Stephen Harper out of Canada and plunk them in New Zealand and they would be to the left of Helen Clark’s Labour government,” he said, as reported by the National Post.

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