Posts tagged Conservatives
Former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher, who led the country and the Conservative Party from May 1979 to November 1990, has died of a stroke at age 87.
Thatcher was, paradoxically, both a uniter and a divider. Her hard-charging style helped win 10 Downing Street for the Conservatives, but also alienated her allies and helped lead to an internal coup in 1990 which removed her from the party leadership. She inspired her enemies on the left to write the famous ska classic “Stand Down Margaret”.
She was the first female Prime Minister and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century.
What is her legacy? What lessons may we learn from her leadership?
Americans, even those who have a strong political bent and populate websites such as Logarchism, tend to be blind toward the politics of other countries.
So it was that a major Canadian political figure died a week ago today, and few on the southern side of the border marked his passing. I’m here to rectify that, at least for the corner of the world I control.
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton died Monday, August 22, at the age of 61.
Since 2006, the Canadian government (a parliamentary system) has been controlled by the minority party, the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In the 2011 elections, Canadians stirred up the House of Commons, giving the Conservatives a majority but weakening the traditional Liberal opposition. Conservatives now control 166 of a total 308 seats in the House of Commons. There are four opposition parties holding seats — the New Democrats (102 seats, with Layton’s now empty), Liberals (34), Bloc Québécois (4), and Greens (1). Traditionally, the Liberals and Conservatives have alternated governments, with the Bloc Québécois (formed as a Quebec separatist party) and New Democrats (formed from a fusion of Socialists and labour/workers parties) relegated to shouting on the sidelines. For the first time in Canadian history, the New Democrats (formed in 1961) are the official opposition party, with the Liberals and Bloc Québécois weakened considerably from their earlier powerful role. (more…)
Social conservatives tend to be fond of end-time scenarios from an eschatological perspective, but not too many of them know (or will admit) that a different sort of doomsday is threatening the Republican party…and this one is based on demographics.
A couple of months ago I wrote “El Problemo de los Republicanos,” examining one half of this sociological wrecking ball that is hurtling toward the GOP. That is the growing population of minorities in the United States, all groups who have historically not been well-treated by conservative lawmakers and have no particular reason to feel voter loyalty toward them. Now let’s take a look at the other half of that demographic doomsday…the increasingly liberal social views of a whole generation of younger voters.
Smart conservatives are not entirely unaware of the danger…but at this point they are still fooling themselves (and each other) with articles like this one by Michael J. New, entitled “Should Social Conservatives Worry About the Next Generation?” The answer is always the same as the one reached in New’s article. “No,” they say. “Everything’s fine.” They reach this conclusion by citing studies that show younger people are more opposed to abortion than they used to be, and same-sex marriage is still not widely accepted.
But are they just whistling past the graveyard, and running a grave political risk by refusing to moderate their rigid attitudes on social issues? It appears that answer may be yes. (more…)
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master, that’s all.”
Milbank was taken to task by a reader who claimed that Lisa Murkowski was “the most liberal … Republican Senator west of Maine and considerably to the left of most of her constituents” and invited him to check her lifetime American Conservative Union rating. So, he took the reader up on the offer. While he was at it, he checked the ratings of Murkowski L (70.2%) and Bennett (83.6%) vs Republican leadership of years past.
Failing the Bennett test at under 83.6% were, well, almost all of the Republican leaders of the past 40 years who served in Congress.
So, what is a conservative?