But I like this oped, in today’s Ottawa Citizen:
When the Canadian political right finally united in 2003, the unspoken concern was how to merge sophisticated fiscal conservatives with their knuckle-dragging social conservative cousins.
The elegant solution was that smaller government and a strong economy should supercede social issues. Yet post Budget 2009, it’s no longer quite clear that fiscal responsibility is a top priority either, leaving a vision void for many in Canada’s Conservative government. Perhaps they might consider looking to England, where Conservatives are pioneering an approach that is fiscally responsible — precisely because it is socially responsible.
I’ll say. It’s time we got the idea that being in favour of basic social conservative ideas (like, say, preferring marriage to cohabitation and two-parent families to the various alternatives, whenever possible) is a prerequisite to any kind of small-government plan. You just cannot think that a government can be fiscally conservative yet socially liberal – “liberal” in the late-20th-century sense of the word – and be successful. What you invariably end up with is more big government (think Mulroney deficits, then Harper deficits) and no progress on the social-justice front, but a whole pile of new middle-class entitlements. That’s not progressive, that’s not conservative; if you ran on such a platform you’d never get elected. So why are we stuck with it anyway? Because we (and by “we” I mostly mean conservatives and Conservatives) look at the problem the wrong way. We look at numbers and theories, and completely forget to see people.
Much food for thought in Andrea’s piece. If I were you, I’d go read it.by