Friday, May 7, 2010

Libertarian Conservatives Fall Short in UK Election: A Lesson for Conservatives Everywhere

Observing politics in the UK is a depressing business. The Conservatives threw away an historic opportunity to win the election and expel the socialists for at least five years by trying to appeal so much to the left that it alienated its own conservative base.

David Cameron looks rather bad right now. Yes, he gained nearly a hundred seats but he fell short of an absolute majority and the country desperately needs an absolute majority right now in a time of economic crisis. Greece is just the beginning. If only he had stuck to his promise to offer an "in-out referendum" on Europe, he could have campaigned during the last week of the election against the backdrop of rioting in Greece and the likelihood of the unraveling of the Euro.

Cameron also alienated many conservatives by throwing social conservatism under the bus and keeping economic conservatism. In the long run, there can be no economic conservatism without social conservatism since economic freedom requires individual morality and such morality cannot endure without religious commitment. Cameron's brand of conservatism is a temporary expedient, not a coherent political philosophy, and it is born of desperation and short term thinking.

And all it got him was a hung parliament.

This ought to be a lesson to the Republican Party as it prepares for the Fall mid-term elections. The more actual conservatives it runs, the better it will do. The more it integrates social conservatism and economic conservatism and holds its libertarian tendencies in tension with its religious tendencies toward self-restraint and morality, the better it will do.

The lesson to be learned here is that libertarian conservatism alone does not work.


David said...

Frankly, Cameron's attempt to appeal to the so-called left in the UK makes me think that he'd make an even worse job of governing Britain than Blair/Brown. His conservatism, like the socialism of Blair/Brown, is just a thinly veiled disguise to fool people; anything so long as they obtain power. Well, I say power, if you can call the emasculated British parliament a power anymore. The whole thing looks like PR tarted up as politics. I honestly prefer people like Harriet Harman; at least you know where you stand with someone like that (ideologically driven and crazy) than you do with these shape-shifting changelings.
Anyway, that's my two-pence worth!

Leonard said...

The real Conservative party in the UK is the UK Independence Party. They did increase their share of the popular vote, but unfortunately, winning almost a million votes gave them no seats :(

David said...

I know, I voted for them.

Craig Carter said...

The Conservative Party under David Cameron is a combination of economic liberalism (capitalism) with cultural Marxism (the systematic destruction of the morality that makes ordered liberty possible). Without a religious base, the promotion of capitalism simply encourages economic exploitation and eventually a socialist reaction (which Marxists fully understand and many conservatives seem to be too stupid to grasp).

Cameron is destroying true conservatism and those in the CP who enable him are guilty the most. He needs to be turfed out and real conservatives need to take over the party from the ground up. That is the only hope for a conservative resurgence in the UK. Voting UKIP is not the answer, in my opinion. It may make you feel better, but taking over the CP is the only realistic hope long term.