Conservative ideology is in decline

No Party Affiliation
August 30, 2008
James Travers


Canada's next election, the one the Prime Minister plans for fall, will ask Canadians a question Americans have already answered. The arch-conservatism that came late to Ottawa in January 2006 is in spiral decline here after dominating U.S. politics for much of the past 40 years.
No matter who wins the White House in November, the U.S. political pendulum has swung again, this time left. The irresistible force driving that swing isn't the rock star appeal of liberal Democrat Barack Obama, it's George W. Bush's failed presidency and the cumulative shortfalls of Republican policies.
America's dyspepsia runs deeper than Iraq and the spinoff horrors of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and a startling Oval Office power grab. How citizens rate government, and what they now expect from Washington, also reflects the administration's lethargic response to Hurricane Katrina, laissez-faire regulation that turned the American home ownership dream into the subprime nightmare, and a social safety net cut open by tax windfalls for the rich.
Activist government government willing and able to make a measurable difference is back in vogue decades after its fall from grace helped elect Richard Nixon and the now iconic Republican president, Ronald Reagan. While Obama is the visible minority champion of a new liberalism, even a John McCain presidency would dilute that virulent Republican strain.
Of course, the Canadian ethos is different. North of the border Liberals, not Conservatives, are the default natural governing party and the election that brought Stephen Harper to power was an exercise in punishing entitlement, not the seismic shift in political plates Conservatives anticipated.
Conservative strategists, notably Tom Flanagan, recognize that dynamic. They know their party's base is more deep than broad and expansion is a task best tackled incrementally.
That's been Harper's work in progress for 32 months and results are instructive. His government is more militaristic than its predecessors. It embraces tax cuts as part of a formula that in edging the country closer to deficit neatly limits the federal government's capacity to act on issues it prefers left to provinces. It makes a big deal of fighting boogeyman crime with punishment, not rehabilitation, tilts toward belief over science and publicly positions itself as an establishment outsider while seizing the levers and rewards of power.
There's more to this government, positive and negative, than that checklist. Still, the template and the political tactics used to support it are reminiscent enough of Bush and Karl Rove to draw comparisons to the model Americans have now judged and found wanting.
Those comparisons pose an election challenge for the Prime Minister. In contrast to the energized message of hope and renewal Obama reinforced in Denver Thursday, a message that resonates with Canadians, Conservatives risk being seen as offering tired solutions tested and rejected elsewhere.
Fortunately for Harper, none of his opponents is an Obama. Even more fortuitously, there has been no Canadian full-Monty Bush to drag down conservative dogma and make it politically unpalatable.
Americans are now energized by their animosity to the president. That's bringing out new voters and infusing them with a purpose. In their mad-as-hell, won't take it anymore mood, voters here have answered the question a now seemingly certain federal election will ask Canadians.
No Party Affiliation
#2  Top Rated Post
As I said before, I don't know sh*t about Canadian politics and cannot answer for what goes on in your polling booths. But nobody on this forum knows the USA political scene any better than I do. And while the writer of this article is correct in saying that many Americans have finally -- yes, FINALLY -- awakened to the truth that conservatism is a failed ideology, I would still not say that this aberrant viewpoint has completely died out.

For years many Yanks were afraid of openly calling themselves liberals. This is because society succumbed to the thought control that right wingers spewed on radio/tv or other media every day. They failed to realize that liberal thought stems from people like John Quincy Adams, Abe Lincoln, FDR, and Kennedy - people who were better and worthier Americans than racist, hate filled ideologues such as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. Thus, conservative liars have controlled society and lowered the quality of life for the majority by using government to promote corporate welfarism at our expense. Now Americans are no longer afraid of calling themselves liberals or of demanding accountability from the right wingers. It has taken a long time for many Yanks to do so. And this is so because years of Republican big government-corporate welfarism has proven itself to be a total failure.
No Party Affiliation
I avoid Fox network like the plague, but once in awhile I tune in, just to see what's
going on, and they are like a soap opera, they are spewing out the same old garbage
each and every night, and much of it is just lies, they are so narrow and biased that
it is painful to listen, and Hannity is so inconsiderate and rude, he interrupts and makes
fun of anyone who doesn't have 'his' views. I don't know how Colmes can stand it on that
channel, but I guess they pay him well, then spout that they are balanced politically, but
hannity bugs in on him all the time, and makes rude little noises, off of camera while he is
That right wing garbage is about as narrow minded as one can be, and their so called
religious values are biggoted, and they hate gays.
How could people who are so 'narrow' in their views be the keepers of 300 million people,
as they leave out many, who arent' the same as them.
The country has to run by a group who are 'inclusive' of everyone, not just those who believe what you believe.
They are very supportive of the wars, and so supportive of bush and it seems they don't
care if the u.s. attacks any other country, 'all the more for us' attitude.
Scott Free
Free Thinker
People seem to be confused about what a "liberal" or a "conservative" are. The media and politicians play with the labels so much, twist and bend them, that it's impossible to know exactly what someone means by them. It seems that because of Bush people are paying closer attention to what people are saying but I don't see it helping much. At the end of the day it is the corporate lobby that will win and according to The Corporation they prefer fascism.
Quote: Originally Posted by gopher View Post

As I said before, I don't know sh*t about Canadian politics and cannot answer for what goes on in your polling booths. But nobody on this forum knows the USA political scene any better than I do .

A little full of yourself,aren't you?
Scott Free
Free Thinker
I am always amused by the premise that it is easier to see what goes on in the fish bowl when you're in it as opposed to observing it from outside. I think the reality is somewhere in the middle.
I agree, laissez-faire..failed as it did before, during, and after the Great Depression. It is a great idea, delightful one for many because to be free is to choose freely without fear. However, we all know our market is more complex and difficult to equate than simply base it on how free and how tight the economy is either by the government or the people. Our market has to do more with the choices we make each day rather than how free the market can be shaped as. And just like the Great Depression and the Mortagage meltdown, we made very...very bad choices and consequently, we pay for the price--dearly.
Thus, the market must be held accountable..and obviously, the Republicans aren't capable of delivering that.

Have anyone heard of Ron Paul?
The REAL change...seriously

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