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Conservative lessons from down under

In Australia, the conservative contender Tony Abbott won a crushing victory over the left-leaning Labor Party that had run the country for six years. Abbott—the pro-life, global warming skeptic who was supposedly too conservative for Australia—now takes his place with other conservative Prime Ministers already dominating the “Anglo-sphere,” including Britain’s David Cameron and Canada’s Stephen Harper. Among the four major English-speaking nations, only the US boasts left-of-center leadership under Barack Obama.

Is America really more liberal than our counterparts? Actually, Harper, Cameron and Abbott all won election because conservatives united in their countries and liberals suffered bitter divisions. In the U.S., Republicans have been less unified since 2006 while Democrats came together behind Obama. That lesson is crucial: conservatives must put aside their in-fighting for 2014 and 2016 if they hope to follow Australia’s example with a decisive right turn.

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