For generations, cities and suburbs have been the electoral strength of left-leaning politics. In contrast, right-leaning parties and candidates tend to largely resonate with more rural voters. Rural communities generally are more involved with industry and agriculture while urban cities rely heavily on the service sectors and finance as opposed to labour. This premise essentially matches rural people with conservative policies and urban people with liberal policies.
You see, conservative politics focuses largely on the rights and freedoms of individuals, leaning largely on the capitalist ideology that you are entitled to what you produce but must also bear the responsibility to provide for yourself. This perspective is hugely in favour of those who are involved with more manual labour rather than the service sector. Manual workers are generally very hardworking people with an abundance of pride for what they do and the work they accomplish.
This is not to say that service workers are less hardworking than labourers, however it must be noted that they have a greater reliance on government policy for advantageous corporate benefits.
Liberal parties and organizations seek to form a cooperative bridge through policy between the government and the working people, whereas conservative parties prefer to use policy to create a free and opportunistic environment for businesses and individuals to economically thrive on their own. In simple terms, the service sector’s partial reliance on government collaboration naturally puts them on the side of the political spectrum where they can receive more from public resources and policy.
For example, American presidential elections serve as a reliable metric to follow the political lean of geographic areas. California, New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois, among several other states have established themselves over at least the last 7 presidential elections as firmly Democratic and left-leaning states. Hosting the most populous cities in the nation, these electoral trends reaffirm that the urban and service-based nature of city economics has largely contributed to the geographic establishment of left and right leaning parties. Similarly, most of the central and more rural states have voted overwhelmingly Republican for decades.
Urban centers are generally occupied by lower income individuals and families in the majority. Now when it comes to lower income demographics, most democratic governments have in place some degree of welfare system or social safety net, to which the left leaning parties naturally invest handsomely in.
From a social perspective cities are known to be much more progressive in ideological standing which can likely be attributed to the population density, giving rise to a plethora of ideas and merging views. In comparison, rural social perspectives are to a larger degree derived from traditional and religious values.
Taking a look at the Canadian political sphere, the Liberals and New Democratic Party have dominated the coastal regions as well as inner cities. Over the past 3 general elections, Conservatives have failed to gain ground in any major cities barring some cities out west and a few districts in the maritime provinces. In British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, the Conservative party has failed to gain traction in any of the major cities or the suburbs surrounding them.
Despite Justin Trudeau’s shortcomings in office on both a local and international scale, he has maintained a good electoral track record in cities and strives to maintain it. In the most recent election, facing much scrutiny and criticism, he managed to secure a minority government thanks to his proposed policies to reduce cell phone bills, support entrepreneurs, supporting green technology and innovation, as well as introducing several insurance benefits.
In essence, the distinction between cities and rural areas is that urban people require support in their daily lives; they need insurance and government benefits to allow them to partake in larger risk when it comes to business. However, this can be a precarious issue in conservative spheres as conservatism is largely founded upon the fundamental economic principles of low taxation and more capitalist freedom, coming at the expense of government support and insurance.
The reality is that in a constantly changing world changing by the day with new technologies and business developments, governments must provide incentives and support for businesses and individuals alike while still maintaining a low degree of regulation as not to disrupt growth and productivity.
Conservatives do not have a long way to go, but among them, it must be realized that government spending is necessary. Though to stick with their principles, funding must be distributed to areas with a profitable return on investment for the government as not to delve into a deficit.