The Conservatives mention civil society more in their platform than any other party. Why?

Conservatism looks favourably on civil society, non-profits, and charities as ways of providing social services without the overhead of universal government programs.

Why It Matters

The Conservatives are neck-and-neck with the Liberals in preliminary election polling. How they think about the sector, should they win, could determine the likelihood of partnerships with the government and funding opportunities for civil society organizations.

“Bleeding heart liberal” is a persistent stereotype of social impact professionals across the sector. Socially aware, politically empathetic, ready to put aside well-paying work in business for the good of their communities or a social cause. Yet Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s election platform mentions civil society more than any other major party running in the 2021 federal election.

When it comes to the importance of Canada’s civil society, modern conservatism, modern liberalism, and modern progressivism are largely on the same page. All three strands of political thought believe communities should be able to improve and control their own lives outside of government intervention, although there are some crucial differences. Progressives tend to favour public service delivery, while classic liberals (and more moderate conservatives) believe in free market econo

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