You are here

Kiwis Move Right


With the election of Barack Obama, some lax thinkers are convinced conservatism has been struck a mortal blow. These folks seem to believe George W. Bush was a conservative, and Obama’s victory was driven not by race, or by his opponent’s meekness, but was a rejection of conservative ideas.

Conservatives counter that Bush is no conservative. He is merely a Republican, of the moderate center. Sarah Palin was the only genuine conservative up for a significant office. The righties believe their ideas have not lost, they have been abandoned.

But only in the United States.

During the campaign, conservatives girded their spirit through a belief that, even if the USA was infatuated with a marxist, the broader world was moving right. Two signal European social democracies, France and Germany, had recently rejected lefty candidates. Sarkozy and Merkel were the conservatives—in the Euro context, at least—and they are now in charge.

Now that view, that the US’s leftward slide is counter to global trends, finds more support. New Zealand, an Asian-Pacific haven for lefty politics, has tossed out their Labour government.

The centre-right [National Party] won 45% of the vote, against 34% for Labour, leaving it just short of an overall majority.

It will be able to govern with the help of two smaller parties - the United Future and ACT parties - and will also look for support to the Maori Party.

[National Party leader John] Key told the BBC he hoped his government would be inclusive.

"I want to run a centre-right government, a pragmatic and decisive government, but certainly one that reflects the views of all New Zealanders," he said.

Mr Key told supporters that hundreds and thousands of people across the country had "voted for change".

"Today, New Zealanders have voted for action, for a safer, more prosperous and more ambitious New Zealand," he said.