September 8, 2013

THE SAME WILL BE WRITTEN OF THE NEXT REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT:

Tony Abbott wins one for Christian conservatives: Australia's Lefties must be weeping into their beer (Tim Stanley , September 7th, 2013, The Telegraph)

On the quiet, Abbott has picked up some of the politics that the ALP abandoned. He is said to be a devotee of BA Santamaria, the Catholic thinker who tried to build a Christian Democratic movement that combined social justice and social conservatism. Abbott's conservatism is plain to see: he rejects doctrinaire environmentalism and favours a far freer and competitive market than the ALP's clients would ever tolerate. But he also has Santamaria's concern for social justice: Abbott wants to introduce a scheme that would pay for parental leave to encourage mothers and fathers not only to spend more time with their children but to have more of them, too. Dig beneath that hard man image and you'll find a politician who is considerably softer and complex. Whereas some Western conservatives seem to be entirely motivated by the desire to win (Romney, Cameron), Abbott has a philosophy and - almost unique in our materialist age - a theology.

This puts him in the George W Bush, Stephen Harper compassionate conservative tradition - the tradition that tends to attract the most votes. For while British Tories might look at Abbott's politics and language and sneer, they would do well to remember this important distinction. Tony Abbott wins elections; David Cameron has yet to do even that.

Posted by at September 8, 2013 8:31 AM
  

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