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Traditional Conservatism and Neo-conservatism

A discussion of the differences between traditional conservatism and neo-conservatism and how traditional conservatism helped shape Canadian development in the late 19th century. How has neo-conservatism influenced Canada in the late 20th century and early 21st century and is Stephen Harper succeeding in making the Conservative Party of Canada the country's new "natural governing party"?

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The main focus of this lesson is to discuss the differences between traditional conservatism and neo-conservatism and show how traditional conservatism helped shape Canadian development in the late 19th century, and how neo-conservatism influenced Canada in the late 20th century and early 21st century.

The lesson will further proceed to examine if the leader Stephen Harper is succeeding in making the Conservative Party of Canada the country's new "natural governing party". As an introduction to the debate, this paper will begin by defining conservatism, the general features of conservatism and conservatism in Canada before embarking to differentiate traditional and neo conservatism in Canada.

The Conservative Party of Canada, formed on December 7, 2003 and led by the Right Honorable Stephen Harper was a merger between the members of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance when the two approved the merger form the Conservative Party becoming the official opposition party in Parliament.

Its headquarters are situated in Ottawa, Ontario at Suite 170 on 130 Albert Street and as its name indicates, the party is driven by conservatism political ideologies which will be discussed later in this lesson.

The Liberals lost their parliamentary majority in elections held in June 2004, but the party retained control of the government. The party was plagued by a mounting corruption scandal; however, as evidence emerged those officials in Chrétien's government had channeled millions of dollars in federal money into their own party's coffers in the late 1990s. Over the next year Conservative Party leaders charged Martin's government with involvement in the scandal and called for new elections, finally forcing a confidence vote in May 2005. The Liberals narrowly won the vote, 153-152, with the tiebreaking vote cast by House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken, a Liberal.

A government report released in October 2005 provided novel details about the scandal and the Liberal Party's role in it. The revelations prompted a new confidence vote in Parliament in late November. The Liberal government lost the vote this time, 171-133, resulting in new elections. In the elections, held in January 2006, the Conservatives led all parties by capturing 124 seats in the House of Commons. The Liberal Party won 103 seats while the Bloc Québécois won 51, the New Democratic Party (NDP) won 29, and there was 1 independent winner. The Conservative victory ended 12 years of Liberal Party rule in Canada and made Harper the country's 22nd prime minister.

Harper identified lowering taxes and increasing governmental accountability and efficiency as important priorities for his new government. Because the Conservatives lacked a parliamentary majority, however, the party could be forced to compromise on its legislative agenda to avoid political gridlock.

Conservatism is a stance or philosophy that places major emphasis on traditional values, ideas, and institutions. Conservatives are generally skeptical of change, risk, and reform. Instead, they seek to maintain (conserve) an existing framework of standards and beliefs (World book Online Reference Centre, 2010).

Conservatism is a general state of mind that is averse to rapid change and innovation and strives for order and balance, while avoiding extremes. It originally arose as a reaction against the Age of Enlightenment. Conservatives supported belief in faith over reason, convention over free inquiry, hierarchy over equality, communal values over individualism, and divine or natural law over secular law.

At a given time in a given society, conservatism emphasizes the good points of the status quo and approves the prevailing distribution of power, wealth, and social standing Political conservative thinking, however, has acquiescent itself with constitutional democracy and individual rights as well as with prudent and orderly social and economic change. The exact meaning of conservatism varies with place, time and circumstance but the term conservatism most often refers to political conservatism which is an approach to government that emphasis tradition, order, and security.

Political parties in many countries endorse conservative approaches to government. Such parties include the Conservative Party of Canada, Republican Party - United States, and the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. Conservative parties more often than not compete with parties that hold more liberal beliefs, that is, beliefs that place greater emphasis on reform and equality. Members of a government who hold strong conservative beliefs are referred to as the right wing while the people with strong liberal beliefs form the left wing. Those between the two are called the moderates.

Features of political conservatism: In many modern democracies, political conservatism seeks to maintain traditional family structures and social values. Conservatives typically oppose homosexual behavior, abortion, drug use, and sexual activity outside of marriage. In some cases, conservative principles are grounded in religious beliefs, and some conservatives seek to augment the role of religion in public life.

Majority of conservatives accept as true that government action cannot resolve society's problems, such as inequality and poverty. Many deem that government programs that seek to provide services and opportunities for the poor actually hearten dependence and reduce self-reliance. Most ...

Solution Summary

The main focus of this lesson is to discuss the differences between traditional conservatism and neo-conservatism and show how traditional conservatism helped shape Canadian development in the late 19th century, and how neo-conservatism influenced Canada in the late 20th century and early 21st century.

The lesson will further proceed to examine if the leader Stephen Harper is succeeding in making the Conservative Party of Canada the country's new "natural governing party". As an introduction to the debate, this paper will begin by defining conservatism, the general features of conservatism and conservatism in Canada before embarking to differentiate traditional and neo conservatism in Canada.

The Conservative Party of Canada, formed on December 7, 2003 and led by the Right Honorable Stephen Harper was a merger between the members of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance when the two approved the merger form the Conservative Party becoming the official opposition party in Parliament.

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