What the GOP Can Learn From Australia’s Conservatives

I have a piece up at the Daily Caller (apparently they’ll accept any old rubbish these days!)  on what the GOP can learn from Australia’s election:

As Australia awaits the results of its federal election, one fact emerges crystal clear: irrespective of who becomes prime minister, this was a historic win for conservatives, and a harbinger of things to come across the world, with a powerful lesson for all GOP candidates coming into the midterms.

After riding the crest of hope and change to election in 2007, Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd seemed unstoppable.  The (conservative) Liberal Party was in disarray, and the media was unanimous in its prescription: the only way for the Liberals to survive was to “modernize” by abandoning their conservative ideology and “move forward” by embracing policies like cap and trade.

These forces calling for “modernization” found their standard-bearer in Goldman Sachs executive-turned-politician Malcolm Turnbull, who, after months of agitation, succeeded in winning leadership of the Liberal Party and, cheered on by the commentariat, quickly set about reshaping the Liberal Party in a more progressive direction, making cap and trade his signature issue. Clearly, the media proclaimed, his was the way forward; the future of “conservative” politics. Yet the conventional wisdom was wrong. Poll numbers for the Liberals plummeted. Had an election been called, the Liberal Party would have been annihilated. The situation was so dire, the Liberal Party’s very survival was in jeopardy. Yet the elite consensus remained clear and unchanging: as bad as things were, they would only get worse if Turnbull was replaced. “Moderation” was the only way forward.

Yet, in November 2009, on the eve of the cap and trade Senate vote, the Liberal Party decided to do the unthinkable. They replaced Malcolm Turnbull with hard-line conservative Tony Abbott in an unprecedented leadership coup, turning the party back to conservatism and defeating cap and trade in the process. Again, the media verdict was unanimous — this would be the death knell of the Liberal Party. Within a year, “you would be able to fit every Liberal member into a phone booth.” “Tony Abbott + unelectable” comes up with 15,000 hits on Google. Again, the media elite were wrong.

You can read the rest here.

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One Response to “What the GOP Can Learn From Australia’s Conservatives”

  1. Ben Says:

    Actually, I read this piece at the Daily Caller – not bad. You might have some incompressible views on some life issues, but at least give yourself some credit (lol).

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