Of course, some of the biggest fights of old—over abortion, gay marriage, the death penalty—remain far outside the bounds of ordinary political debate in Canada.
Except abortion keeps popping up in political debate. But just ignore that!
Social conservatives have had to content themselves with incremental victory. But it had been many years since they could expect even that. Conservatives who vote on faith, family and criminal justice felt so left out by Brian Mulroney’s governments that millions of them fled to Reform and smaller groups like the Christian Heritage party. Now they are back, rubbing elbows with power, not always running the show but never ignored. They have not had so much good news from Ottawa in half a century.
I think the title of the article is misleading. Calling Harper "hard right" is an exaggeration. Supporting a few social conservative policies does not make one "hard right". There are Liberals who are for more socially conservative than Harper, and they would hardly be characterized as "hard right".