STATE OF CANADA’S CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT JUNE 2012
Manning Centre for Building Democracy PO Box 1988, STN M Calgary, AB T2P 2M2 Tel: 403.255.8100 Email: email@example.com www.manningcentre.ca Cover: William Kurelek, Manitoba Party, 1964 ÂŠ National Gallery of Canada
The Manning Centre for Building Democracy is a conservative-oriented â€œdo tankâ€? that equips
political leaders with the ideas, skills and networks necessary to make an effective contribution to Canadian politics.
The Manning Centre exists to help build Canada’s conservative movement. That’s why I hope our 2012 State of the Conservative Movement Report will help conservatives – by laying out our successes, our challenges and the opportunities ahead. We can’t afford to be complacent. Though we have a majority Conservative government today, the Manning Centre is concerned with the long-term vision. On that note, I want to announce the opening of Canada’s first ever “centre of the conservative movement” – slated for this fall. Thanks to generous philanthropists, a new state-of-the-art building will house the Manning Centre and become a “must-go” destination for conservatives of all stripes. Set in the heart of Calgary, it will contain a lecture theatre and a strategic planning centre for campaigns, as well as the latest communications and video conferencing technology. It will also be the home base of our newly redesigned School of Practical Politics which will help equip political activists with the skills they need. This is not only a Canadian first and a notable achievement for the movement – it’s also the culmination of a long-standing dream of mine.
Preston Manning CC
This “annual report” on the state of the conservative movement includes three parts:
An annual public opinion survey commissioned by the Manning Centre helps us understand Canadian attitudes towards the role of government and conservative ideas.
An overview of the electoral performance of conservative-oriented political parties, as well as a look at potential supporters.
An examination of the current state of Canada’s conservative-oriented think tanks, advocacy groups, training programs, communications vehicles, and fundraising capabilities.
The report was prepared by Manning Centre Vice President Darrel Reid and Director of Communications Olivier Ballou. The polling data was gathered by Dr. Andre Turcotte. The electoral maps were created by data expert Mitch Wexler. The conservative infrastructure data was generated by researcher Joel Wiens.
BAROMETER POLL THE MANNING CENTRE BAROMETER
is a snapshot of Canadian
attitudes towards government as well as conservative ideas. The first Barometer was conducted in 2010, and the Manning Centre intends to repeat this public opinion research annually in order to track Canadian attitudes over time.
have an economic or social problem, a
policies, conservatives first need to
majority first mention themselves, their
family, and their community before they
Manning Centre enlisted the help of
public opinion expert Dr. Andre Turcotte to design this year’s survey. 2,067 online interviews were conducted between
GOVERNMENT AS FACILITATOR
February 10th-20th, 2012 (a margin of
So what, then, do these Canadians expect
error of 2.4%, 19 times out of 20)*.
answer – across all regions and from The past two annual Manning Centre
both men and women – was that while
barometer polls found low levels of
people want to do things for themselves,
confidence in government’s ability to
they want government to “help” –
tackle big challenges. This year’s poll
sometimes by simply getting out of the
confirms our earlier findings. A majority
way, sometimes by leading as in matters
of Canadians have lost faith in “big
of personal and national security, but
government solutions to big problems”–
most often by “facilitating, enabling,
good news for those of us who want
and partnering with others to get
governments to do a few things well
rather than attempting to do everything and succeeding at little. When Canadians are asked to whom they turn first if they
*Full results are available at www.manningcentre.ca/poll
More than three in four Canadians believe into
SUPPORT FOR “GOVERNMENT AS FACILITATOR”
“partner” would constitute a “positive” development.
Quebec. It also holds across party lines. poses
from 66% in BC and Alberta to 82% in
government, then who? The charts below show which non-governmental entities Canadians think are best suited to help tackle various issues.
WHO SHOULD HELP GOVERNMENT DO A BETTER JOB? HELPING THE LESS FORTUNATE
DEALING WITH MORAL ISSUES 27%
Charitable orgs Not-for-profit orgs
21% 19% 11%
CHALLENGES OF AGING POPULATION
TOMORROW’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGES 22%
Members of financial sector
Large corporations Small business owners
BAROMETER POLL MAINSTREAM CONSERVATISM Our previous research suggests that
and overly aligned with the interests
of business. What does this mean?
themselves with a series of values
Conservatives have a lot of work left to
identified as “conservative”. In this
do to expand the movement. Solidifying
year’s poll, we wanted to test whether
and expanding our support begins with
this realignment was borne out in the
capitalizing on the clear conservative
brand image: Conservatives are seen
words, how is “being a conservative”
as competent managers of the economy
viewed by respondents? The results
at the macro level. However, Canadians
While conservatives are
remain skeptical of the government’s
broadly seen as fiscally responsible,
ability to address their own issues at the
they are also perceived as self-serving
micro (personal) level.
HOW CONSERVATIVES SEE THEMSELVES:
SMALL GOVERNMENT PRO-BUSINESS TRADITIONAL VALUES
HOW OTHERS SEE CONSERVATIVES:
FISCALLY-RESPONSIBLE WEALTHY PRO-BUSINESS STATUS QUO
The larger the word in the “word cloud” the more frequent the response.
DISGRUNTLED DEMOCRATS In last year’s survey we observed that a large portion of the electorate has become seriously disengaged from political parties, leaders, and elections. These voters do not believe politicians share their worldview, enter public life for the right reasons, or focus on the correct things once there. The results from this year’s survey were no more encouraging.
FEELING TOWARD POLITICIANS 1%
1980 Very favourable
In his address to the 2012 Networking Conference, Preston Manning outlined his concern about the declining trust in politics and those who participate in it. He argued for “the need for better training of political practitioners – in particular, training in ethical politics and the ethical use of the new political technologies from automated voter calling to the use of social media.”
OPPORTUNITIES • Canadians are ready to consider a new relationship with their government – that of “government as facilitator” • Find ways to better communicate. For example, make the link between Canada’s overall economic performance and people’s own circumstances • A host of potential supporters are within reach (see p.12) 9
ELECTORAL MAPS WINNING ELECTIONS
tells us how well conservative-oriented political
parties are getting their message across and winning support. While the Manning Centre Barometer analyzes the opinions of Canadians, electoral maps help us see how this translates into votes.
However, all is not rosy. A family feud
improved electoral results in the past
in British Columbia may contribute to a
year, holding onto four governments
decrease in conservative representation.
Albertan voters have struggled to choose
and Labrador, and Alberta). There is an
which conservative vision to endorse.
opportunity for gains in Ontario when
In May 2012, the governing PCs won
the minority government in that province
another majority, although the Wildrose
falls. We are at or near a high-water
Alliance Party made substantial gains. In
mark, and the challenge for conservative-
Ontario, the PC Party failed to penetrate
oriented parties in the coming years
the Toronto area – including places
will be to improve upon that result or to
where the federal Conservatives had
prolong this peak.
made inroads. Finally, the newly formed
Quebec CAQ party has disappointed many conservative-minded Quebecers.
CONSERVATIVE-ORIENTED FEDERAL AND PROV. PARTIES (AS OF MAY 2012) SEAT SHARE
507/1028 total seats
10.5 M votes
*“Conservative-oriented parties” refers to the federal Conservative Party, as well as the primary Conservative party in each province, with the exception of Alberta where the Wildrose Alliance Party is also included. It also includes the BC Liberals, Action Democratique du Québec (ADQ), as well as the Yukon Party.
GREATER VANCOUVER EDMONTON
Conservative-oriented parties now hold over 500 federal, provincial, and territorial seats, seven of 12 governments, and 49.3 per cent of the 1028 combined seats across the country.
CONSERVATIVE MARGIN OF VICTORY
NO CHANGE IN SEATS
AB: +6 SK: +11 ON: +12
SINCE MAY 2011
✔ WIN +/- SEAT CHANGE
ELECTORAL MAPS NEAR CUSTOMERS In order to win elections, conservatives
federal election results with results
must continue to identify new supporters.
from other elections and demographic
Demographic research commissioned by
the Manning Centre shows that there
difference between federal Conservative
are untapped pools of “near customers”:
results and those of Toronto mayoralty
voters whose demographics, attitudes
candidate Rob Ford. We also looked
and past voting habits should predispose
at Conservative support among ethnic
them to support conservative-oriented
voters in Brampton West. This year
parties – but who do not consistently do
we continued our search for near
so. One way to identify these potential
customers, including a closer look at
supporters is to overlay maps showing
the BC Lower Mainland (see p.13).
HOW TO SPOT A NEAR CUSTOMER • Between the ages of 41 and 50
• Fully one-third did not vote in the last federal election
• High school or college educated
• 58% are interested in politics (only 14% have no interest in politics)
• Earns between $20 - $50K / year
• A significant group (21%) has only • Tend to equate being a conservative been in Canada between 4 and 8 years to “being slow to embrace change” • Even more likely than others to be selfreliant or turn to their families to find solutions to their problems
MORE NEAR CUSTOMERS URBAN GREENS
BREAD AND BUTTER
Age 25-34, single or married with no kids
Strong work ethic and family values
Moderate income, often blue-collar
Caucasian, educated, high income
Eg. South Asian or Chinese Canadians
Vote on practical issues that directly affect them
2011 FEDERAL RESULTS In the last federal election, Conservatives continued to increase their support in the areas outside Vancouver while making gains inside the city. Both the NDP and CPC gained from the hollowing out of the Liberal vote.
CHINESE CANADIAN Increased support among Chinese Canadians helped Conservatives win the ridings of Vancouver South and Richmond.
BREAD AND BUTTER Mapping â€œBread and Butterâ€? (moderate income, blue-collar) Canadians paints a mixed picture, with these voters
LOW CPC SUPPORT
being from both low income and high income
HIGH CPC SUPPORT
areas and having weak party allegiances.
THERE ARE THE PARTIES, AND THEN THERE’S THE MOVEMENT Political parties organize majorities to win elections and pass legislation. The conservative movement promotes conservative principles and helps move the public onto conservative ground. Modern political parties are primarily
focused on running and winning the
next election. Many of the ideas, people,
including conservative-oriented think
and communication vehicles for doing
tanks, policy centres, interest groups,
so must come from the movement.
training programs, and communication
channels. While the main task of the conservative parties is to win elections, the main task of the movement is to build and maintain the infrastructure.
POLITICAL ACTIVISTS COMMUNICATIONS CAPACITY
TRAINED HUMAN RESOURCES
Ways to get the message out, such as newspapers, TV and social media
Volunteers, staff, campaign managers, and candidates
A steady stream of ideas based on conservative values
The means to fund all of the above
AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT
million was invested in conservative parties
activities ($30M)*. These amounts are minuscule in comparison with the annual expenditures of the American conservative movement or the annual investments in the legislatures and elections
CANADIAN LEGISLATURES AND ELECTIONS
seek to influence.
*This number is based on data from charitable organizations that are required to declare their revenues, as well as the think tanks and advocacy groups that were willing to share their annual budgets. These funds come from sympathetic foundations, companies and individuals.
CONSERVATIVE INFRASTRUCTURE The conservative movement relies on research institutes and think tanks for policy analysis and to generate and analyze ideas. A number of these have a conservative philosophical
bent, while acting independently of the parties. Surveys by the Manning Centre of the perceived strengths and weaknesses of conservative intellectual capital suggest a need to strengthen conservative positions on the environment, arts and culture, science and technology, and social assistance.
INTELLECTUAL STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES Aboriginal Affairs
Family and Community
Agriculture and Agri-business
Federalism and Intergovernmental Affairs
Arts and Culture
Fisheries and Oceans
Budget and Taxation
Cities and Infrastructure
Human Resources and Labour
Citizenship and Immigration
Commerce and Industry
Courts, Constitution and Charter
National Defence and Foreign Affairs
Crime and Justice
Religion and Society
Economic and Political Theory
Science and Technology
Environment and Natural Resources
COMMUNICATIONS A significant development in the past year has been the arrival of Sun News Network â€“ featuring many overtly conservative commentators. Also notable has been the increased prominence of right-of-centre views on mainstream Quebec TV and tabloid newspapers. C2C, the conservative electronic journal, also continues to serve an important function.
TRAINING The mission of the Manning Centre is to equip political activists with the skills
they need to participate fully in Canada’s
democratic process, including winning
• Campus activists
• Constituency workers
noted the lack of training opportunities for conservatives. This year, we are proud to announce the launch of our newly redesigned School of Practical Politics, whose purpose is to identify, inspire and train the next generation of political entrepreneurs. The school will be based in a new stateof-the-art
facility set in the heart
of Calgary – the Manning Centre for
• Campaign workers • Those affiliated with think tanks and interest groups • Future candidates
2011-12 PLANNED COURSES • Student Activism • Navigating critical sociopolitical intersections:
Democratic Education. Courses will also
be offered online and across the country.
• Faith-Politics • Economy-Environment • Building & Managing a Grassroots Organization • Political Fundraising and Investment • Campaign Management: • Issue Campaigns • Electoral Campaigns (Municipal, Provincial & Federal)
ABOUT US The Manning Centre for Building Democracy is a federally registered non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Preston and Sandra Manning.
VALUES The Manning Centre’s vision and mission are informed by the following values: •
Individual liberty, dignity, and responsibility
Free markets, freedom of choice, and limited government
The wisdom of living within our means financially and ecologically
Respect for Canada’s cultural, religious, and democratic traditions
Recognition of the relevance and limitations of science
best served by the application of
Strong families and communities
Care for those who cannot care for themselves
Decentralized power and delivery of services
Principled and prepared leadership
An informed, deliberative citizenry
Democratic citizen participation in the governance of our public affairs
We embrace a vision of Canada strong and free; a people united in common purpose to serve our inalienable and inherent right to life, liberty, and property. We believe that Canada’s purposes and the needs of Canadians are principles
policies – principles rooted first in liberty,
tradition. We envision a free and democratic Canada where political entrepreneurs have the courage, skills, knowledge, ideas, win
challenges of our times.
The Manning Centre recognizes and accepts various regional and philosophical dimensions to
championing just one of these dimensions to
the exclusion of the others, the Manning Centre is
resolving contradictions, and finding ways for
conservatives of all ideological and regional
advance our common vision of a free
backgrounds to work together toward common
and democratic Canada.
YOUR FEEDBACK How do YOU see the state of the movement? How can we improve this report to make it more useful to all participants in Canada’s conservative movement? Give us your feedback at:
VIDEO: BUILD ON THE TRADITION
Watch our short film: “Build on the Tradition” which reminds us that small-c conservative principles are part of Canada’s heritage: www.manningcentre.ca/video