In the November election, the Liberal Party retained majority control of the Parliament, while the Canadian Alliance, the nation's second-largest political party, strengthened its base in Alberta and other western provinces. Stockwell Day, a lifelong Pentecostal and head of the Canadian Alliance, lost his bid to replace Jean Chrétien as Canada's prime minister. "When the fires of fear are stoked in a deliberate, strategic way, we couldn't overcome that significantly in a 36-day campaign," Day said in an exclusive interview with Christianity Today.
Day's ascendancy to a national political profile and his party's election setback highlight deepening cultural and religious divisions within Canadian society, pitting the oil-rich West against the establishment East and devout Christian believers against committed secularists.
Day downplayed his religious beliefs during the campaign, but his candidacy became a lightning rod for criticism and religious ridicule:
"How scary is he?" asked Maclean's, Canada's national newsmagazine, in a lead article about Day in July 2000; thereafter, the word scary became common usage in describing evangelicals.
Hedy Fry, Canada's secretary of state for multiculturalism and the status of women, publicly denounced Day's belief that "Jesus Christ is the God of the whole universe" as "an insult to every Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh—everybody else who believes in other religions."
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the government-owned radio and TV network, produced a documentary ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more