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Social conservatism is a political ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. The accepted goals and ideologies related to preserving traditions and morality often vary from group to group within social conservatism. Thus, there are really no policies or positions that could be considered universal among social conservatives. There are, however, a number of general principles to which at least a majority of social conservatives adhere, such as support for traditional family values.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Social conservatism and other ideological views
- 3 Social conservatism in different countries
- 4 List of social conservative political parties
- 4.1 Australia
- 4.2 Austria
- 4.3 Bangladesh
- 4.4 Croatia
- 4.5 Canada
- 4.6 Denmark
- 4.7 Finland
- 4.8 France
- 4.9 Germany
- 4.10 Greece
- 4.11 Hungary
- 4.12 India
- 4.13 Indonesia
- 4.14 Iran
- 4.15 Ireland
- 4.16 Israel
- 4.17 Italy
- 4.18 Japan
- 4.19 Malaysia
- 4.20 Netherlands
- 4.21 New Zealand
- 4.22 Nigeria
- 4.23 Norway
- 4.24 Pakistan
- 4.25 Philippines
- 4.26 Poland
- 4.27 Portugal
- 4.28 Russia
- 4.29 Slovakia
- 4.30 Spain
- 4.31 Serbia
- 4.32 Sweden
- 4.33 Switzerland
- 4.34 Turkey
- 4.35 United Kingdom
- 4.36 United States
- 5 Social conservative factions of political parties
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
In the United States during the mid to late 20th century, the notion of preserving traditional values was seen by many social conservatives as an ideal that had been gradually eroded by a number of federal legislative passages and US Supreme Court decisions. This resulted in a shift in mainstream social conservatism typified by an increase in grassroots activism and lobbying efforts in an attempt to preserve traditional values at the federal level. This ideology generally saw social change as suspicious, and believed in returning what were referred to as fundamental values. A second meaning of the term social conservatism developed in the Nordic countries and continental Europe. There it refers to liberal conservatives supporting modern European welfare states. Social conservatism is distinct from cultural conservatism which focuses on cultural aspects of the issues, such as protecting one's culture, although there are some overlaps.
Social conservatism and other ideological views
There is no necessary link between social and fiscal conservatism; some social conservatives such as Mike Huckabee, George W. Bush, and Michael Gerson are otherwise apolitical, centrist or liberal on economic and fiscal issues. Social conservatives may sometimes support economic intervention where the intervention serves moral or cultural aims. Many social conservatives support a balance between fair trade and a free market . This concern for material welfare, like advocacy of traditional mores, will often have a basis in religion. Examples include the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the Family First Party and Katter's Australian Party, and the communitarian movement in the United States.
There is more overlap between social conservatism and paleoconservatism, in that they both have respect for traditional social forms.
Karen Stenner has argued that social conservatism is seen as a form of authoritarianism, in contrast with traditionalist conservatism. This position was echoed in John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience. Social conservatism is often associated with the position that the government should have a greater role in the social affairs of its citizens, generally supporting whatever it sees as morally correct choices and discouraging or outright forbidding those it considers morally wrong ones.
Social conservatism in different countries
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the English-speaking world and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (November 2012)|
In Canada, social conservatism, though widespread, is not as prominent in the public sphere as in the United States. It is prevalent in all areas of the country but in seen as being more prominent in rural areas.
Compared to social conservatism in the United States, social conservatism has not been as influential in Canada. The main reason being that the neoliberal politics as promoted by leaders such as Paul Martin and Prime Minister Stephen Harper have focused on economic conservatism with little or no emphasis on moral or social conservatism. Without a specific large political party behind it, social conservatives have divided their votes and can be found in all political parties. In fact, many Canadians politicians who hold socially conservative views on a personal level often choose not to pursue them in their political life, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Social conservatives often felt that they were being sidelined by officials in the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and its leadership of so-called "Red Tories" for the last half of the twentieth century and therefore many eventually made their political home with parties such as the Social Credit Party of Canada and the Reform Party of Canada. Despite the Reform Party being dominated by social conservatives, leader Preston Manning, seeking greater national support for the party, was reluctant for the party to wholly embrace socially conservative values. This led to his deposition as leader of the party (now called Canadian Alliance) in favor of social conservative Stockwell Day. The party's successor, the Conservative Party of Canada, despite having a number of socially conservative members and cabinet ministers, has chosen so far not to focus on socially conservative issues in its platform. This was most recently exemplified on two occasions in 2012 when the current Conservative Party of Canada declared they have no intention to repeal same-sex marriage or abortion laws.
Social conservatism is generally focused on the preservation of family values, primarily within the family but also with respect to society as a whole. Today's mainstream social conservatives, in contrast to "small-government" conservatives and "states-rights" advocates, have increasingly appealed to federal legislators and Presidential candidates with the notion that the federal government should bear the responsibility to overrule the states in order to preserve their stated ideal of traditional values; this is not to take away from the fact that a significant portion of "small-government" and "states-rights" conservatives also share many of the ideals of mainstream social conservatives. The exception in how these conservative groups differ tends to be with respect to the role of the federal government versus the role of local government, where the "states-rights" conservatives tend to advocate for social reform and/or preservation of traditional values at the state and local levels.
Social conservatives emphasize traditional views of social units such as the family, church, or locale. Social conservatives would typically define family in terms of local histories and tastes. Social conservatism may entail support for defining marriage as between a man and a woman (thereby banning same-sex marriage) and laws placing restrictions on abortion.
The Republican Party (United States) is the largest political party with some socially conservative ideals incorporated into its platform.
Social conservatives are strongest in the South, where they are arguably considered a mainstream political force on a national level. In recent years, the supporters of social conservatism played a major role in the political coalitions of Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush.
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- Katter's Australian Party
- National Party of Australia
- Democratic Labor Party
- Australia First Party
- Liberal Party of Australia
- Family First Party
- A number of Union for a Popular Movement members in France as considered socially conservative.
- including the Christian Democratic Party, UMP affiliate
- Deutsche Zentrumspartei (ZENTRUM) (German Centre Party)
- Partei Bibeltreuer Christen (PBC) (Party of Bible-abiding Christians)
- Partei für Arbeit, Umwelt und Familie (AUF-Partei) (Party for Labour, Environment and Family)
- Hungarian Justice and Life Party
- Christian Democratic People's Party (Hungary)
- The Kiwi Party (dissolved 2012)
- The Family Party (dissolved 2010)
- Conservative Party of New Zealand
- New Zealand First
- Christian Party
- The Cornerstone Group, a faction of the Conservative Party
- Democratic Unionist Party (Northern Ireland only)
- Ulster Unionist Party (NI only)
- Traditional Unionist Voice (NI only)
- British National Party
- UK Independence Party
- America First Party
- America's Independent Party
- Constitution Party
- Prohibition Party
- Republican Party
Social conservative factions of political parties
- Christian Democratic Party (Union for a Popular Movement)
- Cornerstone Group (Conservative Party)
- Republican Study Committee (Republican Party)
- Traditionalist conservatism
- Social conservatism in Canada
- Social conservatism in the United States
- Pro-life movement
- Family values
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