Michael Taube, a former speechwriter for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has written a nice piece for the National Post’s Full Comment web site explaining some of the defining traits of the Stephen Harper Tories.
I like Taube’s clarification of the overused and abused term, “neoconservative,” which spawned the more commonly used/misused “neocon”—a favourite epithet of left-wing commentators.
Taube explains that like neoconservatives, Harper’s conservatives align themselves with small “c” conservative principles such as limited government, free markets and trade liberalization, but most of them are not “liberals mugged by reality” (a definition he borrows from an original neoconservative, Irving Kristol).
I also agree with Taube when he writes:
They [Harper's Conservatives] aren’t conservative enough for people who consider themselves very conservative, but they are conservative enough for people who believe in taking incremental steps towards achieving that goal.
We need more articulate conservatives writing more “missionary” pieces like this one in high profile publications. Cumulatively, they’ll buy us a lot of goodwill.
You can read Taube’s article here.