Friday, May 13, 2005

The beauty of this is, like all great ideas, it's as simple as simple can be

Mark Steyn - excellent as usual - reflects on the recent UK elections, and on the necessity of conservatives having (among other things) vision and conviction: As a general proposition, the Heseltine thesis is doubtful: successful conservatives don’t move towards the ‘political centre’. They move the political centre towards them. That’s what Thatcher and Reagan both did. Whereas if you move towards the political centre, all you do is move the centre. If Labour is at 1 on the scale and the Tories are at 9, and their focus groups tell them to move to 5, they have ensured that henceforth the centre will be 3, and they’ll be fighting entirely on the Left’s terms and the Left’s issues. That's one thing that does need to be remembered, come next week: Liberal corruption was only ever the reason to take this government down. Our Tories still need to show more confidence in the overall concept of conservative policy than their British cousins, campaigning on more than merely a slight variant on the other guy - in our case, non-public-treasury-looting centrists. Propose an 'ownership society,' restore the Canadian international profile by massively rehabilitating the Forces, reward small-business entrepreneurialism; anything, in fact, beyond the same old status quo. There are compelling reasons to favour a party that has more faith in the competence of individuals than the coercive power of the bureaucratic state; I only hope the forthcoming campaign platform shows evidence of such bold ideas, rather than again attempting to be as blandly unobjectionable as possible. If nothing else, theirs can't be a "secret agenda" if it's right out in the open, and dramatically more visionary than yet another rehashed Red Book, right? (Via The Tiger in Winter.)

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