Friday, May 26, 2006

Finding the "Inner Conservative"

The federal Conservative Party is surging in the polls these days.

But why?

George Koch and John Weissenberger have an interesting column in the National Post today, which offers one possible explanation.

Koch and Weissenberger essentially argue that a large number of Canadians have always held “conservative views” but for a variety of reasons never connected to the Conservative Party.

This, they say, is now changing.

Canadians are warming up to the Conservatives because now Prime Minister Stephen Harper is doing a better job of packaging conservative ideas on issues like day care, defence and taxes to the public.

In other words, instead of shifting the party to the left as the Red Tories have always wanted, Harper is helping Canadians discover their “Inner Conservative”.

This is similar to an argument I made last year.

I have always believed conservatives do well when they act like conservatives instead of like liberals.

3 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

I am not so sure about that. Canadians generally don't tend to like ideological governments, be they on the left or on the right. Today the Conservatives haven't done anything that could be considered extremely right wing. I think if they take a large shift to the right, especially on social issues, they will pay at the polls next election. Most Canadians support some policies on the right and some on the left so straddling the centre as the Liberals do now and the former Progressive Conservatives did is the way to go. Ideological parties like the Reform Party or NDP won't go anywhere. Also short-term popularity may not last forever. Just look at George W. Bush, who is a right wing ideologue and how unpopular he is today in the United States. Once the effects of neo-conservatism start to show people who were initially attracted to the idea will realize how bad an idea it is.

Joel Johannesen said...

Gerry, I agree completely, and as usual my ego dictated that in my blog, I be far more strident than you in pointing out that I made similar assertions in my own blog and/or discussion forum long before those two did.

miles lunn, I couldn't disagree more, my friend.

Miles Lunn said...

Gerry, I agree completely, and as usual my ego dictated that in my blog, I be far more strident than you in pointing out that I made similar assertions in my own blog and/or discussion forum long before those two did.

miles lunn, I couldn't disagree more, my friend.


Actually Joel your wrong about Canada being a right wing nation. There is an argument that the Conservatives need to distinguish themselves from the Liberals, but making comparisons to the United States won't fly. They are a different nation with a different history and different values. Canadians want fiscal responsibility but also want investments in important social programs to look after the most vulnerable. Canadians generally believe in tolerance and want government to keep religion out of politics. On foreign policy, Canadians support good relations with the US, but not bowing down to them, they also support only going to war under the most extreme circumstances.

If there were such a demand for right wing policies, explain why the Reform Party and Canadian Alliance got trounced in the polls. Perhaps it has to do with the fact Canadians aren't interested in an ideological right wing government.