Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Conservative Movement and the Democrat 'netroots'

A broader conservative movement beyond the Conservative Party will play a key part in making the renaissance in British right wing politics become a lasting change. As such the multitude of blogs and campaigning organisations currently forming have to be a source of hope. However, at this, relatively early, stage there are choices which have to be made about the kind of movement that we want to be.

Last week's Economist contained an article about the failure of the Democratic party to take advantage of the weaknesses created by Republican incompetence on major issues. The article made it clear that the Democratic Party's 'netroots' can create problems by preventing the party sticking to the center and expecting the Democrats to focus upon their pet causes (indicting Bush is a favourite):
"The embrace is awkward, though, because the netroots are always goading
the party to get as angry as they are. They tend to favour the most frothingly
anti-war, Bush-bashing candidates, who usually lose at the polls."

I think that the Conservative Movement has the potential, and is likely to be, a huge boon to the Conservative Party but it will need to avoid the temptation to force its priorities, from Europe to Immigration, on a party that needs to appeal to a broader mass of voters. Disagreeing with the party is part of a debate in any mature political movement but that debate has to keep the political reality the parliamentary party is facing in mind.

1 comment:

Serf said...

Where we disagree with the party from a right wing perspective, I see our job to be persuading the general public that our ideas are good ones, rather than attacking the party leadership.

That way we can get some more of what we want whilst not damaging our election prospects.

Its not an easy balance to make though.