Just because you're on the right doesn't mean you're a genuine conservative. Just because you're to the left of that person on the right doesn't make you a true liberal either. The political spectrum is very broad but both conservatives and liberals are inherently centrist. To the left of liberalism lies socialism. A good bit further to the right of conservatism lies what we might call, for the sake of a better name, Harperism.
In the United States, the equivalent of Harperism is the uber-right lunatic fringe populated by the likes of Bachmann, Gingrich and Palin. Granted they're more extremist than Steve would like to be but they share a good many similarities.
Neither Harperists nor American neo-conservatives feel constrained by facts, by the real world. When facts don't support their ideology, they either ignore them or make up suitable fantasies to present as facts.
In the States, for example, despite three decades of experience to the contrary, the far right continues to support the fantasy that tax cuts for the very rich boost their nation's economy. Facts don't matter, fantasy will do very nicely thank you. Universal healthcare is a mechanism to subvert American democracy. Single payor healthcare will give rise to Death Panels that will pull the plug on granny. Obama is a raging socialist and a foreigner to boot. Climate change is a socialist plot, a hoax perpetrated by many thousands of scientists to secure endless grants. Fantasy layered upon fantasy layered upon ever more fantasy until you're left with an entire socio-political matrix based on sheer fantasy.
When you're talking to someone like this you know you're not talking to a conservative but to something else altogether. Real conservatives abhor fantasy just like any reality-based group. You can talk to real conservatives because they prefer to be fact oriented. They may see those facts differently or they may derive different conclusions from them but you and they are still working from the same facts, the only facts. You can and usually will disagree but at least no one is setting up an alternative universe to confound legitimate debate. And, being willingly constrained by the facts, even contrary opinions are rarely offensive because - they conform to the facts, to reality.
Harperism holds that science and statistics should never be allowed to get in the way of instincts, religious superstition and ideological urges. Crime rates may be declining but ignore that reality and trust your gut instinct instead. That's precisely how Harper instructed his caucus to approach his prison building fetish. And so, like little robots, they did as their master commanded. Trying to talk to someone who thinks that way is futile. All you can ever hope to get out of them is "Because I said so, that's why." They're infantile.
True conservatives and true liberals can respectfully disagree without impugning the others' motives. They can accept that the other also seeks nothing but the betterment of the country and its people. They don't have to fear that the other is so besotted with raw ideology or religious superstition that he will drive the country into the ditch. Harperism, with its Old Testament ways and superstitious distrust of science and democratic openness, affords no such comforting assurance. One fact my conservative friends and I agree upon is that Harperism is very far past even the fringes of conservatism.