How Did Conservatives Win Jewish Voters (in Canada)?

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For forty years, Republican operatives have been consistently frustrated in their energetic and well-funded efforts to win the support of Jewish voters for their presidential candidates. Looking toward the first battle of the post-Obama era in 2016, battered conservative activists might take encouragement and inspiration from the surprising success of their Jewish counterparts north of the border.

In the Canadian elections of May 2011, the most recent national balloting, Jewish Canadians decisively deserted their traditional home in the center-left Liberal Party and migrated en masse to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s resurgent Conservative Party. For the first time, a majority of Jews (52 percent, according to an Ipsos-Reid exit poll) cast their ballots for the Tories, while less than half that figure (24 percent) remained loyal to the Liberals. The rest of the Jewish votes went to the far left, labor-dominated New Democratic Party (16 percent) or split among a number of minor or regional parties. Harper won a clear majority of the Canadian Parliament and a decisive plurality of the popular vote, beating the runner-up NDP by nearly 10 percentage points. Remarkably, the Conservatives proved far more popular among Canadian Jews than they did with the population in general. Harper’s party won the Jewish vote with a majority virtually identical to its performance among Protestants, while the Tories lost decisively among Catholics and the 17 percent with “no religious identity.” Harper’s unprecedented success proved so striking that it led Toronto’s right-leaning National Post to think the unthinkable with a headlined commentary at the height of the U.S. presidential campaign of 2012: “Will American Jews Follow the Example of Their Neighbors to the North?”

Click here to read the full column in Commentary Magazine

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  1. Bernard Wolff  •  Nov 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

    My wife is a recent convert to Judaism after learning that her late father was ethnically Jewish.
    I am not successful in convincing her & her/our Jewish friends about the danger of Evangelicals compared with the danger of authoritarian government. Going back to Exodus, authoritarian government has been the nemesis of Jews, other minorities, and ultimately the world as a whole.

    Some Evangelicals may state that “Jews are going to hell” (ignoring the Covenant of Abraham), but they also are Israel’s strongest supporters. Consistent among Evangelicals is a feeling that Israel belongs to the Jews, their survival is paramount, and that in the “end time” Jews & Christians will join together as one.

    I do not understand why a significant number of Jews consistently support authoritarian government in their voting habits. Is it a belief that government is an extension of a Kibbutz? Or is it a modern day version of worshiping a “Golden Calf” which, like government, is a creation of man; whereas individuals & the 10 Commandments are a creation of GOD?

    My wife works in a local Holocaust Museum. When I view the terrible sights of smiling individuals in fancy Nazi uniforms murdering innocents because of What they are versus Who they are, I point out that the same has subsequently happened in China, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Africa, Bosnia, at the hands of authoritarians who convince gullible people to abandon their freedom in exchange for something that others will pay for.

    The sad irony is that the same secular Jews that suffered so horribly, and WASTEFULLY, in the holocaust, do not exhibit the same revulsion over pogroms inflicted by leftists. The New York Times, for example, denied Stalin’s murder of millions in the 1930’s (Walter Durante), played a significant role in Castro’s winning in Cuba (Herbert Matthews), the North Vietnamese conquest & rape of South Vietnam (“Blood shots only” was the NYT’s “standard” according to a reporter that accompanied me on a combat patrol), & blind support for Obama & those who are attacking the US Constitution.

    Jews are the most eloquent defenders of individual liberty, conservatism, and the dignity of man. They are also similarly eloquent in promoting those intent on destroying our individual freedom & imposing authoritarian government. The former are religious, the latter secular. Hopefully, the ratio of those that follow Moses & the 10 Commandments will prevail over the worshipers of the “Golden Calf” of gifted, deceitful “advocates” as our troubled times proceed. They did before, in Exodus. Hopefully they will again.

  2. jtaylo  •  Nov 30, 2013 at 1:46 am

    So how did the Conserevatives win the jewish vote? Mike never says only that they did. How
    does that help the Republicans?

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