Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tea Party and Reform Party of Canada

CNN is running a story about how the Tea Party movement and the Reform Party of Canada share some traits in how the right has been shaken.

Preston Manning is quoted widely in the story.

I was in Florida in April and saw the Tea Party with its protest signs about how Barack Obama was not born in America. It was one of the more milder signs I saw.

The Tea Party is going after any person on the right who is not deemed right enough. The result could be that Independents and moderate Republicans might not have a home in the party. It is difficult to say whether this will be an impediment to election fortunes in the U.S. where there are only two main parties. Still, if some on the right decide as Florida's governor has to run as independents, the right might find it splits the vote.

The Reform Party in Canada had a hard time escaping from the narrow politics it had staked out. The party eventually killed off the Progressive Conservatives and I think it can be said that the present Conservative Party of Stephen Harper has no Red Tories or progressives in it. This allowed for a reunification of the right minus this significant component from past decades.

It isn't a reach to say that Harper will have a hard time ever reaching a majority so long as centrists remain uncomfortable with the more ideological aspects of Harper's government.

As far as the Tea Party goes in the U.S., the same desire for centrist politics could hurt the conservative movement from making long term, sustainable gains. The anger now about the recession could see Tea Party people nominated and even elected but hardcore right stances could result in their defeat just as quickly if they espouse racist or hyper intolerant views as some have in the past months.

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