whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement that the party has to be careful not to move too far to the left, we found surprisingly little consensus. Forty-four per cent of our respondents agreed with the statement, but 50 per cent disagreed. Those with higher scores on the downsize and strike restriction scales were more likely to agree the party must be careful about moving left, while those who scored high on the public ownership and even the lifestyle regulation scales were less likely to agree with the statement. When issues of strategy arise in the party it appears that they reflect some of the NDP'S internal ideological differences as well.
The BC New Democrats in our sample belie any reputation for ideological distinctiveness within the family of New Democrats nationally. Their responses to virtually all issue questions posed to both national and provincial delegates were distributed in very much the same manner as those of their national counterparts. Delegates from both groups indicated high levels of support for the social democratic agenda of an expansive welfare state combined with an antipathy to continentalism in its various forms. Within the BC New Democrats this image of a party highly agreed on social programs was extended to include agreement on spending priorities, a number of areas of government regulation and most union-related issues.
But while the New Democrats did display a considerable degree of consensus across a broad range of issues, some areas did remain divisive. Populism items, which arguably deal more with matters of style than substance, and regulation questions related to lifestyle issues elicited diverse responses among delegates. Disagreement exists with respect to labour issues such as restrictions on strikes in essential service areas as well as over the appropriate scope of public ownership in the province. But the most divisive questions, and perhaps the ones with the most potential for party conflict, were those which touched on restrictions and limits on government and social programs for fiscal reasons. Related to questions of party strategy, both implicitly in the content of the questions and explicitly in delegates' responses to our strategy question, issues which pose hard fiscal choices are ones which may bedevil future consensus in the party.