Notes for a column, never written

WELLS: Isn't Harper-style conservatism increasingly isolated in the world?

Begin with anecdote about how Poland’s centre-right government is preparing to decriminalize simple possession of recreational drugs. (Point out that Harper government is moving in opposite direction? Or is that too obvious?) Add that the leading non-socialist governments in Europe — France, Germany — are not socially conservative by any measure (partial exception for Sarkozy’s seasonal anti-immigrant rhetoric).

Then lengthy discussion of David Cameron’s UK government, which is cutting government spending far more than Harper has ever dreamed of doing, while conducting a foreign policy, especially in Middle East, that directly rebuts every line Harper government has taken.

Throw in Australia, where even if Tony Abbott wins power, he’ll have even weaker hand than Harper in Canada’s parliament.

Finish by pointing out that gay marriage is legal in Spain and Portugal, and California Prop 8 court ruling suggests widespread acceptance of gay marriage in U.S. may not be far behind.

Wrap up: Wherever conservatism is on the rise, it’s a fiscal conservatism that has few points in common with Harper’s social policies or foreign policy. So if Harper’s project is to dismantle the degenerate socialism of the Trudeau years, step by incrementalist step, doesn’t he have his work cut out for him? Because isn’t Harper-style conservatism increasingly isolated in the world?

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