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Conservative Lessons from Down Under

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In Australia, the conservative contender Tony Abbott won a crushing victory over the left-leaning Labor Party that had run the country for six years.  Abbott—the pro-life, global warming skeptic who was supposedly too conservative for Australia—now takes his place with other conservative Prime Ministers already dominating the “Anglo-sphere,” including  Britain’s David Cameron and Canada’s Stephen Harper. Among the four major English-speaking nations, only the US boasts left-of-center leadership under Barack Obama.

Is America really more liberal than our counterparts? Actually, Harper, Cameron and Abbott all won election because conservatives united in their countries and liberals suffered bitter divisions. In the U.S., Republicans have been less unified since 2006 while Democrats came together behind Obama. That lesson is crucial: conservatives must put aside their in-fighting for 2014 and 2016 if they hope to follow Australia’s example with a decisive right turn.

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  1. eric weiss  •  Sep 13, 2013 at 7:56 am

    I love parts of socialism . They level the playing field . The disabled and especially on the autism spectrum are treated better .The society finds them jobs based on their capabilities . I don’t see any big firms laying out the welcome mat. Also we need long term care and health care for all out citizens regardless of genetic and economic challenges . This is necessary so that families and individuals do not incur economic injury and expense dealing with the aforementioned issues .

    • Mark Diehl  •  Sep 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

      I love the socialism part where they take your money & labor and give it to me. But, I hate the part where they steal my money & labor and give it to you.

  2. Bob Meyer  •  Sep 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    When you say “put aside the infighting” do you mean put it aside and ban gay marriage, increase military spending, deport more immigrants and increase the penalties for drug crimes? If that’s what you mean then prepare for a Democratic sweep.

    Or are you willing to drop these issues and concentrate solely on cutting spending, taxes and regulation?

    If you are then you should have some long talks with the Republicans in our state because they were primarily interested in stopping both gay marriage and marijuana legalization. I’m a Republican PCO and last year I watched the party commit political suicide and lose six of seven statewide offices. They’re ready to do it again in 2014.

    When you lose all the battles it’s time to change the campaign and do the things that unite you and leave the rest for another time. Unity is the result, not the cause, of common goals.

  3. Leif Drangsholt  •  Sep 15, 2013 at 3:16 am

    Actually, Michael should probably say the Anglo + Eastern-Euro conservative bloc. Eastern and Central Europe shifted right since the crisis, they made difficult but needed fiscal reforms, and the voters have basically kept the center-right in power. The Baltics are the best example. In these countries it is the left/pensioner’s/ethnic parties that are more divided than the fiscal conservatives. The result? Conservative coalitions, Sharp recoveries, and sustained economic growth.

    What about Ukraine? The conservative alliance there did not hold up, the western/reformist groups bickered with each other over personalities and the government didn’t get anything done. The result? Voter’s threw up their hands and the oligarch/leftist parties took control, and now, not only have meaningful changes not occurred, but they are no longer politically possible. The economy went from sustained growth to…frankly, our level of ‘progress’.

    Michael’s thought about the need…for a big tent conservative alliance must be correct. It is a requirement for political, economic and social victory.

  4. Al Bianco  •  Sep 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    The focus should not be on health care or gay rights. It is all about the economy. Britain’s, Australia and Canada’s failing economies is what drove people to vote for conservatives. People need and want jobs and security. There is no focus by the President on jobs. Just a lot of photo ops and talk.
    Talking about it does not create jobs. Nor does pretending like the economy is OK. For every action there is a reaction. Doing nothing creates nothing.
    Both conservatives and liberals need to find some common ground to work together and tell the president and congress to work at solving some pressing issues. With jobs being No. 1.
    You can rant & rave about the social issue you may be passionate about, but I am sick and tired of seeing my friends, neighbors and family struggle without work. If you care so much, why is this not important to you Mr. & Mrs. Liberal?

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