Saturday, April 9, 2011

What is really Passé? ?

I had to laugh today when I read a comment on a news feed that claimed that recent polls showing the Conservative support relatively solid and the NDP apparently drooping shows that "Conservatism is in and Socialism is Passé."


What this comment really demonstrates is that, apparently what is really "in" with some people is just plain ignorance.

If you really still believe that the NDP is a 'socialist' party then you really don't know what is going on. Furthermore, the number of votes for the Conservative Party actually went down in the last election. The inability of the CPC to form a majority government even in the face of their abandonment of many of their more socially and fiscally conservative policies speaks volumes about contemporary politics. Incumbency is usually an advantage in the British parliamentary system for up to eight years or so, after which the landscape inevitably changes. The CPC will continue to have a slight advantage for another couple of years and then things will change.

But overall, you have to be profoundly ignorant to imagine that the Canadian population is becoming more conservative, at least in social terms. While there is no doubt that, largely due to media concentration, the neo-liberal economic agenda has become more or less mainstream, (and I believe this will change radically in the next two decades as people begin to realize just how bad it has been for average people), overall there is no question that social conservatism is what is really passé at the moment. The majority of people now accept same-sex marriage, no Party (even the CPC) are now willing to talk about restricting abortion in Canada, fewer people each year are attending church in Canada, and have you met any teenagers recently who are against pre-marital sex? And, despite what most Conservatives think, most people actually want a justice system that is interested in reform and not just mindless punishment which just leads to recidivism.

Here in Ontario the last elected Conservative Premier (Mr. Harris) had absolutely no interest in social conservatism, despite the fact that many of his MPs were serious social conservatives. Harper has all but abandoned his real social conservative agenda, at least in public terms. The very fact that most of Harper's socially conservative efforts have been made by stealth, demonstrates that the majority of people are becoming less conservative rather than more conservative.

And of course, the icing on the cake is the fact that, as almost always proves to be the case, the present conservative government spends money like a bunch of drunken sailors. Conservatism is passé and recent political events demonstrates that fact quite well. Enjoy your time in the sun conservatives because  your days are numbered and a same-sex couple will soon be moving in next door.

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