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Is the Conservative Party today still genuinely conservative?

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Introduction

Is the Conservative Party today still genuinely 'conservative'? David Cameron has introduced much reform into the Conservative Party since his ascension into power of the Conservative Party, in December 2005. He has, in many ways, modernised the Party, and has introduced measures that are so wide reaching, that his brand of Conservatism has a name, Social Conservatism. Social Conservatism, introduced by Cameron, differs from conventional, traditional conservatism in many ways. Largely, economic policies have remained the same, and the Conservatives are still regarded as 'business-friendly'. However, although low tax is important, and Cameron realises this, Social Conservatives argue that tax can merely be lowered as long as public services are not affected detrimentally. Therefore, one can see, from merely one example that Social Conservatism has brought the Party to the left slightly. However, his supporters argue that conservatism has always taken the middle ground, and hence, he is doing the right thing by changing Conservative economic policies slightly. ...read more.

Middle

This is true, for a socialist can create a party and call themselves the Conservative Party, yet they would not have 'conservative' ideals. Again, traditional conservatism espouses harsher penalties on criminals, harsher immigration laws, and generally has a more pessimistic outlook towards human nature than most other ideologies. Social Conservatism, however, suggests that humans are generally good, and this is reflected within their social policies. Social Conservatism suggests that the perpetrators of crime should not be punished as severely as traditional conservative values would suggest, but should be rehabilitated and there should be a greater understanding of why people commit crime. This is a liberal view, if any, and since liberalism takes a positive view of human nature as the norm, one can logically link this back, to Social Conservatism. Essentially, this shift to the left, and this escape from traditional Tory values can be seen in a real world example, the (traditional) Conservative member shift to more right-wing parties, such as the British National Party. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is merely logic. However, because Social Conservatism is not necessarily conservative, this does not mean that every member in the Party is a Social Conservative. Therefore, as long as there remains a significant group, representing traditional conservative values within the Party, one could suggest that a portion of the Party is conservative. However, one must be careful, and realise that the whims of the current leadership do not necessarily reflect the values of all members. Hence, one cannot simply say that the Conservative Party is not conservative, if the leadership is not, because there are significant proportions of membership who still uphold Tory values. Without these members however, one could suggest that the Conservatives are no longer 'conservative'. In brief then, Social Conservatism is not 'conservative' for it sways too far to the left for it to represent traditional conservatism. Therefore, the leadership, and Cameron, are not 'conservative' yet one cannot apply that to all members of the Party, and hence, the Conservative Party are not wholly 'conservative' but there are a significant number of Tories who are 'conservative'. 1 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2002/oct/08/uk.conservatives2002 2 http://www.stopthebnp.org.uk/index.php?location=news&art=536 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Cameron ?? ?? ?? ?? Lloyd Riley 11W 6th October 2008 ...read more.

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