If you take away the life issues, the Conservative Party and its leader Stephen Harper is the clear choice for social conservative voters. While the Conservative government has actively avoided dealing with life issues, it has addressed other issues dear to social conservatives.

The most significant was a signature item of their 2006 election platform: the Universal Childcare Plan that gives $100 per month to families for every child under the age of six. The program financially supports parents regardless of the child care arrangements they choose, unlike the Liberal and NDP plans to fund a massive national daycare program which only benefits those who send their kids to a daycare center.

Both Liberal leader Stephane Dion and NDP leader Jack Layton have campaigned on a multi-billion dollar promise to create more daycare spaces in Canada. Layton?s plan would cost $1.45 billion in the first year and create 150,000 regulated daycare spots while the Liberal plan starts at $1.25 billion and opens 165,000 spots. Dion says he will maintain the Universal Childcare Plan while Layton has not said what he will do although he has attacked the monthly $100 cheques as insufficient to address the high costs of daycare in Canada?s urban centers.

In their last two budgets, the Conservative government also implemented a $2,000 per child tax credit and increased by 10 years the period in which parents could invest in a Registered Education Savings Plan. Both measures reduce the tax burden for families with children. The government also created a new Registered Disability Savings Plan to assist families in planning for the future financial needs of their children with special needs.

No party supports income splitting to reduce the overall tax burden for working families, thus eliminating the so-called marriage penalty.

The government also passed C-2, which raised the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16. Parliament also passed Conservative MP Ed Fast?s private members? bill C-277 which doubled the maximum sentence for luring a child for sexual purposes from five to 10 years.

There are also stark differences on legalization of prostitution and marijuana with the Tories generally opposed to doing so and the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois generally favourable to relaxing the rules on prostitution and drugs.

The Conservatives also scrapped the Court Challenges Program which funded radical groups that use the law to achieve social change. While the government initially cut and then returned financing to the Secretariat of Women, it changed SOW?s mandate to exclude lobbying and its funding of feminist activist groups. The NDP and Liberals have vowed to increase SOW spending and bring back the CCP.