Canada's New Conservatism

Article excerpt


Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is proof that fiscal conservatism works. In fact, he almost single-handedly revived the fortunes of a previously fragmented conservative movement. In elections held on Oct. 14, Canada's Conservative Party won a second, consecutive minority government.

Canadian conservatism had its heyday in the 1980s under the leadership of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Yet in 1993 the Conservative Party suffered the worst electoral defeat in Canadian history-consigned to only two seats in the legislature. From the West, a populist Reform Party emerged - a movement that kept the right disunited for a decade. The Liberal Party won successive majorities in 1993, 1997 and 2000. In 2003, at last, the right reunited: With Mr. Harper's leadership, in 2006, his party gained power with a minority government of 104 seats in a 308-member House of Commons. Now, Mr. Harper's Conservatives have 143 seats - just 12 short of the majority they were aiming for.

For America, the triumph of Mr. Harper means that a staunch ally of the war on terror will remain in office. …