This variant of conservatism commonly overlaps with business Liberals. Finally, there is the New Democratic Party, NDP (formerly known as the Canadian Commonwealth Federation, CCF). The NDP is a socialist political party; however, socialism in its true form purports collectivism and heavy state control along with the pursuit of absolute equality for all people outside the current market system- capitalism. This branch of political ideology is located on the left wing of the spectrum.
The NDP are social democrats, which recognize the Liberal free-market, however, their mandate is to ensure that the capitalist economy treat individuals as equally as possible by way of increased state control and collectivist values. For the purpose of clarity, the following Figure 1 is offered as a visual depiction of the aforementioned categorization of Canadian political parties along the ideological spectrum: Figure 1: Canadian Party Ideology Source: Rand Dyck, Canadian Politics Critical Approaches4
These brief explanations of political ideology as expressed through Canadian political parties clearly suggests that parties on the left of the Canadian political spectrum embody values that are recognized for their socialistic and collectivist qualities, which include welfare, support for minority causes, green pursuits, peace initiatives, health and labour concerns, and a high level of emphasis on civil liberties5. These causes are known as cooperative, conscientious, and collective.
The further to the right of the Canadian political party spectrum, the more the party is deemed individualistic with emphasis on values of inequality, such as limited welfare services, less (but some) support for the rights of disadvantaged women including anti-abortion mandates, enhanced freedom of the capitalist market which includes the effect of substantial inequalities among Canadian citizens based on the idea that the result is fair and natural, some emphasis on green issues, but which mainly pertain to the use of natural resources and their economic values.
The right wing mandates are more difficult to publicly expose because in essence, they are far more self-motivated and self-centered than that of left wing political parties. Political theorists even go so far as to suggest that the right wing attitude is a result of fear. Jost et al. conducted numerous studies that concluded this tendency. This is known as the “rigidity-of-the-right” hypothesis, which suggests that, “the core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat”6.
Right wing politics may also be classified in the realm of Realism, which is defined as political movements that are pursued by leaders who prioritize power, security of the state and the appreciation for little or no moral value if conflicting with the achievement of the former7. Left wing politics can be associated with the Idealist realm of thought, which is defined as political movements that are based on the pursuit of reason and truth by way of moral, optimistic and cooperative pursuits8.
It can thereby be understood, in adjective form, that the more to the left a party is the more idealist, docile natured and benevolent, its policies will be. Right wing party policies are based on Realism and egoism, exclusionary principles and are more withdrawn from large-scale moral and social responsibilities. It would thereby seem natural to assume that these policies will attract different people for different value reasons.
It is interesting to consider the tendencies of specific interest groups and individuals with regards to these policies, and in particular for this analysis, the different attitudes and tendencies among and between men and women. Do women tend to be drawn by more leftist policies than do men? And if so, has it always been this way? Current day statistics and studies clearly reveal that women are politically driven by socialist values to a much greater degree than are men. For example, these issue differences have been clearly depicted in a study conducted by the Institute for Social Research at York University and Jolicoeur.
Figure 2 below exemplifies the gender disparity regarding political platform values. Figure 2: Sex Difference in Issue Positions- 2000 Source: Institute for Social Research at York University and Universti?? Jolicoeur9. This chart clearly reveals that women today are more docile and benevolent natured than are men. At the 2000 Congress of the International Political Science Association in Quebec City, Gidengil et al. reported in “Women to the Left, Men to the Right? Gender and Voting in the 1997 Canadian Election” that women were more likely than men to vote NDP while men were much more likely than women to vote for the Reform Party10.
This report also offers further analysis of current day statistics beyond the exclusive analysis of the 1997 Canadian election regarding the juxtaposition of party policy characteristics and gender value preferences that suggest that women today are “clearly more likely than men to cast the left-wing vote. 11” Gidengil et al. draw further parallels from additional studies such as that of Inglehart et al. from the Journal of Comparative Sociology, that suggest that the same incidences are happening globally. Gidengil et al.
also note that Shapiro and Mahajan, 1986; Deitch, 1988; Gilens 1988; Chaney, Alvarez and Nagler, 1998 and; Kaufmann and Petrocik 1999 state that gender gaps occur in this manner due to the fact that men are traditionally more conservative than women on the prominence of social welfare questions on the political agenda12. The same results were revealed by a study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Elections Canada, the Institute for Research in Public Policy, Universiti?? de Montri?? al, McGill University, and the University of Toronto.