The central argument of this post is this: the Conservative Party of Canada and (to varying degrees) conservative provincial parties, are not like the Liberals, NDP or Greens.
The Conservative Party is different not because it is more market oriented or because it supports the traditional conservative, small government, low tax policy agenda.
Whether one agrees with them or not, such policies constitute an entirely legitimate program for a right-of-centre party. Rather, what separates the Conservative Party from the other mainstream parties is that they are both nurturing and responding to a minority voting block that distrusts expertise and hard facts, dislikes change, is profoundly uncomfortable with the increase in visible minority Canadians and, most importantly, are indifferent to the health of our democratic institutions and norms.
What can't be emphasized enough is that this voting block is both angry and fearful and that the Conservative Party of Canada is increasingly beholden to it.