February 23, 2006

Quote of the Day

There are good reasons why every Tory leader since Margaret Thatcher has started by proclaiming the party's transformation into something kinder, gentler and more left-wing—and then conducted a sharp rightward turn. Core issues alone cannot deliver a majority, admittedly, but they have held together the party's base support. Without that, the Tory party under a succession of poor leaders would have been bypassed in the popular vote by the Lib Dems. The current assumption—that the base will remain secure whatever policies are adopted—is potentially disastrous.

Abandoning one's base rather than building out from it involves huge risks. When the Canadian Conservative party swung sharply leftwards in search of a new identity in the 1990s, it was reduced to two seats in the 1993 election. Now, 13 years later, the Canadian right has formed the government once again—by doing precisely the opposite. That is also the moral to be drawn from the successes of unashamedly conservative John Howard in Australia.

Robin Harris (From "Spoiling the Party: The Thatcherite who gave David Cameron his first job says he is not impressed".) (And speaking of Howard, he has been very good on the cartoon/riots issue, as described here.)


Posted by Lexington Green at February 23, 2006 07:41 AM
Comments

Especially in Anglosphere nations, ideological flailings usually lead to defeat, a time in the wilderness, and a re-emergence. If Cameron is still flailing, then I guess the Conservatives just aren't ready for prime time yet. This will mean the end of David Cameron, but not of the Conservative Party.

Posted by: Colin at February 23, 2006 12:53 PM

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Posted by: bcxbgcbc at April 10, 2007 11:17 AM
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