Cameron’s Victory

Congrats to British Prime Minister David Cameron on guiding the Conservatives to an unexpected victory, and who famously said in 2011, despite opposition from many in his party:

“Conservatives believe in the ties that bind us. Society is stronger when we make vows to each other and we support each other. I don’t support gay marriage in spite of being a conservative. I support gay marriage because I am a conservative.”

Looking back at the Washington Post‘s coverage at the time, Cameron’s efforts drew fire not just from some fellow Conservatives but from prominent British figures on the gay left:

“This is more of David Cameron trying to drag the Conservatives kicking and screaming into the modern world,” said Ben Bradshaw, a ranking Labor lawmaker who in 1997 became one of Britain’s first openly gay members of Parliament. “Of course, we’ll support it, but this is pure politics on their part. This isn’t a priority for the gay community, which already won equal rights” with civil partnerships.

He added: “We’ve never needed the word ‘marriage,’ and all it’s done now is get a bunch of bishops hot under the collar. We’ve been pragmatic, not making the mistake they have in the U.S., where the gay lobby has banged on about marriage.”

Civil marriage for same-sex couples became legal in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014 (but not in Northern Ireland).

More. George Will, one of America’s most important conservative (with a libertarian bent) columnists, takes a Cameron-like position when he calls Mike Huckabee’s crusade against same-sex marriage “appalling.” Specifically Huckabee argues that states have the right to nullify rulings by federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Furthermore. Via David Frum at The Atlantic: What Republicans Can Learn From British Conservatives:

Their American detractors may grumble, but these other conservatives [center-right parties in the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand] are indeed “real conservatives” … After coming to power in 2010, the Cameron government cut personal and corporate income taxes. It imposed tough new work requirements on physically capable welfare recipients. Government spending as a share of GDP will decline to pre-2008 levels next year. Thanks to Cameron’s reforming education minister, Michael Gove, more than 3,300 charter schools (“academies,” as the British call them) are raising performance standards in some of Britain’s toughest neighborhoods—a 15-fold increase since 2010. Under the prime minister’s leadership, the post office was privatized.

And also:

All have accepted gay equality, with Australia on the verge of a parliamentary vote to permit same-sex marriage. They are parties comfortable with racial inclusion and competitive with ethnic-minority voters….

Sounds like the key to electoral success.

53 Comments for “Cameron’s Victory”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    I hope that we will see a Republican presidential candidate support marriage equality within a few election cycles.

    However, I would caution that support from the top doesn’t necessarily translate into support from the ground up. PM Cameron was unable to convince a majority of his own party. Let’s hope that things are different within the Republican Party in 2020 or 2024.

  2. posted by Anastasia Beaverhausen on

    We need to move past “congratulating” politicians just because they support gay marriage, while they put forward proposals on everything else that we’d disagree with the majority of the time.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      We also need to stop allowing the mainstream media to talk as if marriage was the only gay rights issue. It’s not.

      It’s nice that Cameron is leading his party on this issue. I can’t even imagine what it might be like to have had presidential candidates in either party ahead of the public on marriage equality. He can see the future and wanted to lead. When are we going to see that from any Republican. Instead we have a GOP candidate who claims to believe that the US military is planning some sort of coup disguised as training exercises.

      Democrats are hardly perfect but today’s GOP is populated by lunatics. I’m embarrassed for my whole country that our politics have gotten this insane.

      • posted by Mike in Houston on

        We also need to continually remind people (including homocon bloggers) that the Conservative Party in the UK bears little resemblance to conservatives in the U.S.. Cameron would no sooner dismantle the NHS than Greg Abbott would expand Medicare in Texas… and public accommodation laws of the sort that Stephen regularly whines have not been challenged by the stories either.

        • posted by Mike in Houston on

          I hate spell check – Tories, not stories.

  3. posted by Lori Heine on

    Spell check is (not) our friend.

    I’m not sure what the point of this post is. To highlight the dramatic differences between conservatives across the pond and those here? To get readers to believe that because in the U.K. conservatism is relatively rational, that means it is (or soon will be) in the U.S.?

    I was unable to last two months as a Republican, because that’s how loony all too many of them still are. I suppose I could have done what Victorian women who hated sex with their husbands were instructed to do: “Close your eyes, and think of England!”

    • posted by Bud on

      “I’m not sure what the point of this post is” is a very tired, smug comment trope unworthy of you. The “point” is clearly to note that a conservative party can change, and that the left doesn’t always look kindly on this. Agree or not, but to dismiss with “not sure what the point is” just makes you look like you can’t bother with an actual counter-point.

      • posted by Mike in Houston on

        Actually, Lori is rather on point… if the point being made by Stephen’s post was to posit that the GOP should start to emulate the Tories, then why not say that?

        All I got from this post was the usual selective quotes with the oblique and obligatory dig at “the gay left” without any sort of statement about how change was going to happen in the Conservative nut-o-sphere.

        • posted by Lori Heine on

          Yes, the overriding goal, of many posts here, seems to be to take another slap at LGBT progressives.

          I’d like to hear more about exactly how US conservatives might become more like those in the UK–besides going full big-government mode and blindly rubber-stamping every progressive idea that floats down the pike.

          Brits are still capable of thinking soundly. They have shown this in their ability to evolve on same-sex marriage. I think Stephen believes that this can be accomplished here, and if so, I believe he’s right.

          That would be an interesting topic, and I would like to see it explored here.

          • posted by Doug on

            ” I think Stephen believes that this can be accomplished here, and if so, I believe he’s right.”

            That may, and probably will happen at some time in the future but certainly not in this election cycle. So where are all the gay conservatives pushing their candidates on marriage equality this cycle? An no I do not mean writing an editorial, I mean out there in the trenches pushing them.

          • posted by Houndentenor on

            What is clear is that the equivalent to the religious right inside the Tories do not have the clout that those same groups have inside the GOP. That may well be due to a fundamentally different system of electing party leadership (there’s no UK equivalent to party primaries from Prime Minister in a parliamentary system).

            George Will can mock Huckabee all he wants, but Ben Carson and others are saying basically the same thing. Will’s big beef with Huck is his populism, not his stance on gay marriage which is indistinguishable from the position of any other announced GOP presidential candidate.

        • posted by Ricport on

          “All I got from this post was the usual selective quotes with the oblique and obligatory dig at ‘the gay left’…”

          Am truly not trying to start a fight, but I have one simple question for you and the other Gay Dems here:

          Then why do you keep coming on here?

          This is clearly marked as a forum for INDEPENDENTS. If I wanted to listen to the tired, old Gay Dem talking points, I could go to The Advocate. Or Out. Or Towleroad. Or MSNBC. Or just about any other mainstream media outlet besides FOX. The Gay Dems come on here, regurgitate the same, old tripe, and do nothing but argue every point Stephen makes. I’m not an animal rights activist. Thus, it’s the very definition of pointless for me to go on a PETA site to perpetually argue about how meat tastes good. That is, unless I was the type of person who gets the same heady rush over arguing that many other gays get from watching xTube (which is what I suspect some on here are sadly reduced to).

          Many of us have gladly and happily left the two-tent circus. There are other options. Seems to me, that an INDEPENDENT forum is the place to go beyond the two-party noisefest to hear some truly fresh insight. The same-old, same-old from the DNC doesn’t qualify.

  4. posted by Jim Michaud on

    I get a kick out of the reaction of US conservatives to the UK election results. They fail to recognize that “British conservative” and “American conservative” are 2 totally different animals. Mr. Cameron’s pro-gay marriage quote can scarcely be imagined coming from any GOP member.
    Allow me to share. I love interactive maps. Here’s an interactive map of the UK election results. It shows the percentage results that each party received in every constituency (the British equivalent of our congressional districts). Enjoy!

    • posted by Bud on

      While there are of course differences between Conservatives/Labour and Democrats/Republicans, why does that mean no lessons can be drawn from the British experience? Also, the claim being made on the U.S. left that British Conservatives are not really conservatives but more like Democrats is overstated – yes, they’ve left in place the National Health, but they also deregulated the economy and arguably have more open markets then in the U.S. And while they may not have the ingrained religious right, there was plenty of social conservatism that Cameron went up against and battled in order to get the party on board with gay marriage. That’s the lesson that Stephen is , I think, suggesting that a Republican presidential candidate would do well to emulate.

      • posted by Tom Scharbach on

        And while they may not have the ingrained religious right, there was plenty of social conservatism that Cameron went up against and battled in order to get the party on board with gay marriage.

        I don’t doubt the accuracy of your statement concerning Cameron’s battle against social conservative forces in the Conservative party, but I think that a quick factual note about what “on board” means is in order. According to the Guardian article linked in an earlier comment, the actual Conservative vote in Parliament was 127 Aye, 136 Nay, 5 Abstain, 35 Absent. While 41% is significant, it is not a majority.

        That’s the lesson that Stephen is , I think, suggesting that a Republican presidential candidate would do well to emulate.

        I hope that’s what Stephen was getting at, and I hope to see it happen at some point.

      • posted by Houndentenor on

        Neither party labels nor terms like liberal or conservative retain much meaning when we cross borders (or for that matter from one generation to the next). There is no reason that laissez-faire economic ideas should be aligned with attempts to regulate private consensual sexual activities, and yet quite often they are. It’s useful to read the actual policy proposals of the various parties around the world. They do not align as ours do, and there’s no reason that they should. Socialists around the world must be baffled that anyone would apply that label to the current president. He’d be more at home in the center right party of most countries.

  5. posted by Jorge on

    I agree with the UK gay leftist. But nobody cares what I think.

    Anyway, as far as the United Kingdom is concerned, all I really care about is that they remain allies with the United States and that they don’t devolve too much into the loony bin. Currently the most important European leader who’s not a despot is Angela Merkel, but I would like the UK’s time to come again eventually.

    • posted by Mike in Houston on

      Jorge –
      There’s little evidence that the UK is descending toward lunacy, and every bit that the GOP and Stephen have succumbed.

      • posted by Houndentenor on

        Not yet, anyway. the UKIP got 12% of the vote but only one seat in Parliament (sounds like they have Gerrymandering too!) and from what I can tell from here they are as nutty as the Teabaggers. (Note: It’s hard to understand another country’s politics even while living there. It’s even harder from a distance. False analogies abound. Even issues don’t align left/right the same way from one country to the next.)

        • posted by Anastasia Beaverhausen on

          It’s thanks to those “nutty as the Teabaggers” in UKIP and on the “right” of the Conservative Party that Cameron is promising a 2017 in/out referendum on the EU (which I hope the answer is “out”). The EU is an abomination

          • posted by Houndentenor on

            The EU seems to be a failed experiment. A common currency must have seemed like a good idea at the time (fluctuating exchange rates do make it difficult to plan any sort of international business contracts) but it hasn’t worked out well. The UK, like the Scandinavian countries, should be glad they never went on the euro. There is no good model for how to undo that mess. (The one example most often given is the currency changes after the break-up of the Austro Hungarian Empire following WW1 and that was an unmitigated disaster!)

      • posted by Jorge on

        The UK is having a tough time of it with the failed integration and resulting pockets of radicalization of Muslims, just like many other countries in Europe. I get the impression that over time they are learning from their mistakes without overreaching. It is not my way, though: on matters of national security I feel safer treading the right-wing path without falling over than walking a tightrope in the middle.

  6. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    George Will, one of America’s most important conservative (with a libertarian bent) columnists, takes a Cameron-like position …

    Has George Will ever come out in support of same-sex marriage? I know that he argued that DOMA infringed on states’ rights, I know that he argues that the evidence showing that same-sex marriage will not harm straight marriages or children is “shaky”, I know that he’s wasted a lot of ink carrying on about gays and lesbians being “poor losers”, and so on, but I can’t recall a column in which he stated his views on same-sex marriage, one way or the other.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      Other than a handful of homocons, I can’t think of a single person now screaming about the poor put-upon Christians being “forced” to “acknowledge” gay marriages who have ever been for any rights for gay people, much less marriage. I’m sure there’s one out there somewhere, but for the most part the people screaming about this issue are the same ones that four years ago were pushing for anti-gay ballot measures and statewide anti-gay laws.

  7. posted by Lori Heine on

    Social conservatives in America tend never to think out the issues. This gets them into an incredible tangle. You’d think a “libertarian” blog would be interested in sorting through some of it and making sense of these issues. Every once in a while they do here–or begin to. Then they veer off into bashing LGBT progressives again instead.

    The whole “religious freedom” brouhaha is a case in point. It’s soc-con lunacy at its zenith. They want freedom of association not to associate with us. And why? Because they are offended that WE have freedom of association.

    Cue up Larry or Curly going “Whoop-whoop-whoop!”

    Can they stand up loud and proud for the same principle they want to deny others — as blatantly as they are doing now? And will the IGF bloggers ever wake up to this great puzzlement? I guess we must stay tuned…

    • posted by Mike in Houston on

      “sorting through”? Not as long as George Will — an old-school contrarian scold — is held up as having a “libertarian bent”.

      The whole thing is going to blow up after the Supremes make their likely marriage equality ruling — when we’ll see the truly unhinged fringe come out of the woodwork… I fully expect some degree of violence uptick against LGBT people & property… as well as lamentations, rending of clothes and gnashing of teeth. (See Texas Legislature, et al ) And then when the calamities don’t actually manifest themselves, I’m sure we’ll still be needing a lengthy time-out until the tantrums subside.

      • posted by Ricport on

        Since we are all prognosticating here, I predict there will be a few isolated jurists (notably in AL) who will conjure up the ghost of Orval Faubus, and who will be quickly smacked down. There may be an isolated incident here or there (which, I’m sure the media will blow up beyond any sense of proportion), and things will quickly quiet down and life will return to normal, where the soc cons and the progressives will continue churning out fundraising letters accusing the other of wanting to bring down the world in order to keep those checks coming in.

        • posted by Jim Michaud on

          Agreed. All those people may talk a good game about defying SCOTUS, but when the rubber hits the road, they’ll quickly comply. Being in contempt of a SCOTUS court order is no small matter and not to be taken lightly. Government officials know this and it can have great consequences on their careers.

  8. posted by tom Jefferson 3rd on

    I’m not sure how the statement of one gay MP can be seen as a accurate representation of the gay community in the UK, even among those who understand that Tories tend to be total twats on many issues.

    The Tony Blair Labour government -starting in 1997- did plenty of good for the UK- both gay and straight voters.

    The Thatcher and Major Tory government generally opposed gay rights, while New Labour was supportive of some issues.

    The “religious right” element in the Conservative party lost much of its influence, when it’s campaign strategy failed to unseat Labour… the United States the campaign strategy seems to have more appeal.

    The result was that the Conservative party had to move to the center, much like Labour did under Blair. The Liberal Democrats have also moved to the center.

    Labour brought the UK equivalent of civil unions to the nation. Blair either was not ready for gay marriage, or didn’t think that the electorate was ready. I hear both arguments made.

    Whatever the reason, it created an opportunity for the Tories to compete for gay voters.

    The fact that the Tories didn’t seek to kill the legal Labour-era progress made on behalf of gay rights, and backed marriage equality (and even dealing with bullying and gay rights internationally) probably helped in attracting the gay vote.

  9. posted by Jorge on

    George Will, one of America’s most important conservative (with a libertarian bent) columnists

    I think it’s more like a moderate bent, but I don’t pay that much attention to him. I realize he’s smarter than most people, but he’s also very bland. You would literally remove him from history and it would have zero impact. Someone else would take his place in the tide.

    “Mike Huckabee’s second run for the Republican presidential nomination will reveal how much embarrassment can emanate from one small town. Hope, Ark., gave us Bill Clinton and the cloud of the Clintonian family seediness…”

    Okay, I take that back. That was a terrible pun.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      I am not a fan of George Will. It’s more his persistent crankiness that turns me off than his opinions about anything, but as he provided a line I’ve been quoting for over 20 years now, I do have to give him some credit. “As long as there are math tests there will be prayer in the public schools.” That was a good one and I repeat it every time that topic comes up.

  10. posted by Tom Jefferson 3rd on

    George Will wrote an editorial against gay rights back when the Supreme Court issued its Romer v. Evans ruling. It was hardly “libertarian” or “moderate”. Circa 1996 or 1997?

    I am glad that he has come around to supporting a more supportive-independent-libertarian view on gay rights, but I don’t think he ever explained why the change in tune.

    Granted, he is probably one of the more “intellectual conservatives” – one of the many Republicans and Democrats to regularly appear on Sunday morning take shows since the 1980s

    • posted by Jim Michaud on

      It was May 20, 1996. Notable for being the first major pro-gay ruling by SCOTUS after a series of anti ones. The notorious Bowers vs. Hardwick came just shy of ten years previous and the Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade one came just the year before.

    • posted by Ricport on

      Since you’re holding people accountable for past anti-gay stances, I trust you are holding Hildebeast to that same, high standard?

      • posted by Mike in Houston on

        Who is this mythical “Hildebeast” that you keep harping on? Is it something you picked up Gay Patriot or Brietbart?

        • posted by Lori Heine on

          Just a reminder, Mike, that this is a libertarian/conservative blog. Ricport is a libertarian. He has every right to be here, and every right to express his opinion. He doesn’t need your permission to do that. He doesn’t like Hillary Clinton (I don’t either), and feels free to express that dislike here. As he ought to.

          It’s one thing to come here and comment, even though you evidently disagree with the blog’s entire premise, everything the bloggers say, and everything any libertarian or conservative commenter says. It’s quite another to behave as if you’re moving in and taking it over, and WE must answer to YOU for our opinions or where we got them.

          We don’t.

          I like conversing with you, and with the other progressive and left-leaning commenters here. I’m glad you’re here, and have gotten somewhat accustomed to it. But if I went to Joe My God and started demanding that commenters explain where they got their opinions, the words they used or whatever, I would probably stir no small amount of indignation on the part of those who had every right to think they belonged there.

          Just saying.

          • posted by Lori Heine on

            Incidentally, if you want to know the difference between the way your views are treated here and the way they would be at Gay Patriot (and probably Breitbart), it wouldn’t be too hard for you to find out.

            I disagree with the regulars at Gay Patriot a whole lot less often than you probably would. I was accused of soliciting prostitutes, my mother was called a whore, I was cryptically reminded that they knew where I lived, I was followed to my blog and harassed there, etc.

            There are probably good reasons why the more reasonable libertarians and conservatives are here, and not on Gay Patriot or Breitbart.

          • posted by Doug on

            In a previous post you indicated your disapproval with someone’s possible reference to Christie’s waist line in their disapproval of him. In this one it is apparently ok to call Hillary Clinton names to show dislike. So it’s ok to call Democrats names but not Republicans. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

          • posted by Houndentenor on

            Ummm…I think it’s a perfectly fair question. and yes, it’s rude to make comments about Christie’s weight and Huckabee’s too and I might point out that a lot more Americans look like either of them than look like Brad Pitt and political commentators (including people posting comments on internet blogs) might want to remember that offending people who are overweight may be doing their cause more harm than good. And that goes for sexist comments about Hillary Clinton too. I’m not going to call people out on it every time I see it, but focusing on petty and irrelevant bits like this does not win any arguments and has nothing to do with why any of them would or would not be good presidents.

            I’m sick of American politics. I’m not sick of discussing relevant issues or debating the merits of various proposals. There’s none of that in our politics. There a horserace, a lot of polling, a lot of personal insults and very little of substance. I realize that we have a media that shoots for the lowest common denominator, but we don’t have to settle for that. As I’ve been saying for years, I used to think that the people who make decisions about what stories are covered and how in the mainstream media thought we were all stupid. I realized more recently that’s not the problem. Most of them are idiots. They were hired to look good on camera and because they somehow (mostly through family connections) got into the right schools. But they’re stupid. The coverage of important topics isn’t vapid because they don’t think we’ll understand them. It’s because they mostly don’t understand the issues and can’t be bothered to learn about anything. We don’t have to stoop to that level here.

        • posted by Ricport on

          Mea culpa… sort of. I will concede that my characterization is probably, in the grand scheme of things, not helpful. However, I still stand by my core belief that “that woman” is not deserving of a nanoparticle of respect. Thus, I will henceforth refer to her as the politically correct “that woman.” I see that those on here who support her are only trying to make idiotic hay, and as I want to concentrate on her record (which is at the core of the matter, despite her supporters wishing it wasn’t so), I don’t want anything to distract from that.

          So, just to reiterate, here is “that woman’s” and her “hubby’s” record:

          – Signed the HIV travel ban that lasted for 22 years
          – Oversaw the doubling of servicemember discharges
          – Signed and vigorously defended DOMA
          – Signed and vigorously defended DADT
          – Accepted hundreds of thousands of gay dollars while plunging the knife in their backs over… and over… and over again.
          – Was anti-SSM until a “miracle conversion” two years ago, without ever explaining why

          As I have said previously, in my book, the Talibangelicals are at least honest. They don’t like us, and never will. They at least have enough character and integrity not to lie about it. So, sadly, that puts them in a class above “that woman.” It’s funny – for all of the talk about debating the issues, why is it her supporters can only fixate on what one poster is calling her?

          • posted by Doug on

            Is any candidate or party EVER allowed to change their mind on any issue in light of new information or general changes in attitudes? Or does this only apply to Democrats?

          • posted by Houndentenor on

            In case you were lumping me into some group, I am not one of her supporters. I may vote for her when the primary comes, depending on who else is running but if so I will do it with my eyes wide open. In addition to what you mention, she also voted to authorize the Iraq War which shows a lack of judgment. I don’t trust her. But even so everything I’m afraid she might do as president I KNOW whoever the Republican nominee is will do and proudly so. That hardly makes for a compelling argument. Clinton’s record on gay issues is not good. Perhaps you should be asking why with the bar so low, no Republican candidate is better, not even a fringe one? Instead there are candidates vowing to ignore a Supreme Court decision if it’s in favor of gay rights. I may have to hold my nose and vote for someone who might sell me out at some point, but there’s no way I could vote for someone who I know will not be persuaded to accept equal rights for me under the law.

          • posted by Ricport on

            “Is any candidate or party EVER allowed to change their mind on any issue in light of new information or general changes in attitudes? Or does this only apply to Democrats?”

            While his change may not be pure as the driven snow, I fully accept Obama’s explanation for his journey. I also accept the journey of others, like Rob Portman. The difference is they at least have a shred of integrity. As I’ve said, if the polls supported rounding us up in boxcars, “That Woman” would gladly wave to us from the depot. She and her “hubby” are only, SOLELY ruled by four things: power, money, prestige and polls. They would screw their own mothers and sell tickets to it if it gave them any of these four things. They are unapologetic, inveterate, pathological liars. They have done it for years. And they’ll keep on doing it as long as there are enough dupes to fall for their schtick.

            If it’s “fool you once, shame on them,” and if it’s “fool you twice, shame on you,” how many times must gay Dems be fooled before it finally sinks in?

          • posted by Ricport on

            Hound, I understand your explanation. But it’s like being pregnant – if you’re voting for her, you’re a supporter. It’s black or white; yes or no. If anything, I would think you’d want to stop her in the primary and nominate someone – ANYONE! – better?

            Perhaps it’s time you stopped settling? Perhaps it’s time you opened your mind to the possibilities beyond the current two-ring political circus? Perhaps it’s way past time to stop voting for the lesser of two evils and really vote your conscience instead of being swayed by fear? Perhaps it’s time the person running for office was truly WORTHY of your vote?

          • posted by Houndentenor on

            First of all, I don’t know that I’m voting for her. I don’t even know who will be on the ballot yet. As for third party candidates, I probable vote for them as much if not more than anyone you know, mostly because the Republicans here are so extreme they are like a Teavangelical cartoon in The Onion so I usually vote for a Green or Libertarian. Not that it makes any difference. I will vote for who I think is the best candidate. Since the GOP nominee will win Texas anyway, I would vote for a third party candidate IF I thought they were better. It’s not like my vote would risk being stuck with whatever abominations a president Walker, Cruz or Rubio would appoint to federal courts for the next 20 years. Will someone better be on the ballot here?

      • posted by Houndentenor on

        If you are referring to Hillary Clinton, then yes, I am. I am still hoping for a better candidate to support. I have plenty of time since the primary in my state will not happen for almost a year.

  11. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Furthermore. Via The Atlantic: What Republicans Can Learn From British Conservatives … Sounds like the key to electoral success.

    The Republican Party is, for the most part, making or advocating the economic changes outlined in the article’s paragraph you quoted, with varying degrees of dedication-success-result. But that is not what drives or defines the Republican Party in this country any longer.

    What drives and defines the Republican Party in this country is that it is almost pathologically anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-modernization and anti-diversity in just about every respect. In addition to the Republican Party’s dogged “culture wars” insistence that the United States reverse course on just about every front of “the right to be left alone” with respect to people’s personal live and return to the mass phobia of 1950’s, the party needs to address the issues outlined in a paragraph you (pointedly) did not quote,

    Unlike their U.S. counterparts, these conservatives don’t fetishize the music, fashion, or religious practices of some of their voters in a way that prevents them from reaching all of their potential voters. Unlike their U.S. counterparts, they accept that healthcare security actually supports — rather than inhibits — the entrepreneurial risk-taking of a dynamic free-market economy. Unlike their U.S. counterparts, they have found ways to both enforce immigration laws and to make immigrant populations feel at home politically. … But what they all show their American counterparts is that the fear of a “tipping point” beyond which a state plunges into socialist dependency is utterly misplaced. Countries with universal health coverage, for instance, can be hospitable to conservatives—if conservatives can resist the impulse to repeal that coverage. It’s the resistance to the program, not the program itself, that sinks conservative hopes. Politics doesn’t tip. It evolves. And winning conservative parties evolve with it.

    If it doesn’t bring itself into tune with the modern world and the needs of Americans living in the modern world, will continue to risk becoming a regional, minority party.

    • posted by Jorge on

      What drives and defines the Republican Party in this country is that it is almost pathologically anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-modernization and anti-diversity in just about every respect.

      I would hardly have thought your anti-Republican PTSD could have possibly gotten any worse. Recent events should have had the opposite effect. So which loony tree were you paying attention to instead of the forest this time?

  12. posted by tom Jefferson 3rd on

    Australia uses something like Instant Runoff Voting. If that matters to the conversation.

    The UK has proportional representation for EU elections. It often has more then two parties with seats in parliament.

    The Liberal Democrats have been a pretty active third party since the 1980s. They lost quite a few seats recently, but i suspect their stage a comeback someday.

    In the United States. ..third parties face huge legal barrier……money is speech…voting rights are manipulated and anti-gay pandering is still politically useful.

  13. posted by Jim Michaud on

    I read that Atlantic article and promptly bookmarked it. It points the way to the brand of conservatism that can flourish in America if given the chance. But no. Today’s GOP is solidly behind the soc cons and will take several presidential cycles to break. The Canadian brand of conservatism is still popular among Northeast Republicans. Heart’s on the left, wallet’s on the right. Or more derisively put: tight money, loose morals.

    • posted by Houndentenor on

      Social conservative and borrow and spend economic policies that will further drive up that deficit they want to blame on Obama. No thanks. I’m glad a few in the GOP are finally listening to Barry Goldwater’s warning about that crowd but it’s way too late. The point was that if they ever took over the party there’d be no dealing with them, no compromises and no reasoning on any issue. They’ve already taken over. Now what? But keep voting for them and maybe they’ll admit that their “deeply held religious beliefs” are wrong. *eyeroll*

  14. posted by Jorge on

    The pre-Obamacare American healthcare system was indefensible, and non-American conservatives are stronger for not having to try and defend such a thing.

    Just because a toaster is broken does not mean you can replace it with an EZ Bake Oven.

    “Unlike their U.S. counterparts, these conservatives don’t fetishize the music, fashion, or religious practices of some of their voters in a way that prevents them from reaching all of their potential voters.”

    Hold it.

    Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia are all parliamentary democracies. That means when they vote there is little reward for candidates to fetishizing the religion and culture of just a few voters. The voters don’t get to control who becomes the Prime Minister, nor who runs as a candidate to represent them in Parliament. The party does.

    Because the other conservatives’ moderation is a function of their form of government (which is largely a function of our long-standing national values), recommending it for this country’s conservatives is wishful thinking.

    Do either of these countries have anyone like a Barry Goldwater, someone whose party exiled him to Siberia generations ago, only to have his ghost come back from the dead and try to take over the party decades later? Such people exist because we keep electing our outliers who never know when to quit. This is apples and oranges.

  15. posted by Tom Jefferson III on

    I have not seen any studies to indicate how much of an impact LGBT rights (in terms of LGBT voters or in terms of what straight voters really cared about) had in the UK election.

    Tony Blair and his Labour government made many important advances in terms of LGBT rights, but Blair did not support marriage equality, just the separate but equal, national civil unions laws.

    This provided an avenue for Conservatives (David Cameron) and the head of the Liberal Democrats to back marriage equality (and anti-bullying legislation).

    Again, I have idea how much this impacted the election that created the Conservative-Liberal Democrats coalition government or the more recent election.

    I know UK Conservatives who say that their support for marriage equality led to lots of previous Labour voters, deciding to back the Conservative party. I have also know Labour and Liberal Democrats who say something else. So, most just speculation. unless their are some good exit polling/research data.

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