From the notably left-leaning Toronto Star (Canada’s only top-25 newspaper to endorse the NDP in the last election, when all other such papers endorsed the Conservatives), a fascinating column about why low-income voters might have chosen Conservative candidates in the election last week. In summary, Carol Goar hypothesizes that many low-income voters who voted Conservative
- are disproportionately victimized by crime, and thus receptive to tough-on-crime policies;
- would rather work than be on the dole, and so appreciated the language of job creation;
- resent government employees who they feel are overcompensated for the work they do, simply because of who employs them, and therefore are in favour of smaller government;
- dislike anti-poverty activists who they feel neither relate to, nor speak for, them and their interests;
- don’t trust politicians in general, and so ignored campaign promises that might benefit them on the grounds that their actually being implemented is slim to none.
I would love to see if the proportion of the Conservative vote that is low-income actually rose in the last election, or if Harper simply won over a big chunk of the middle class to increase the Tory share of the vote.
It’s also refreshing to read an account of the low-income right wing that doesn’t try to pit such people’s religion and morality against their economic interests. It’s a refreshing change from American commentary.