From a reader in Toronto:
Your column today on taking-it-slow conservatism echoes the message of
a former top aide to our own Conservative (and conservative) Prime
Minister. You might be interested in Professor Tom Flanagan’s
response last month to restless conservatives who want our minority
government to do more to dismantle more than a decade of Liberal rule.
The key lesson Prof. Flanagan offers is this:
“These are all small steps. Maybe in some cases, the government could
go farther and faster. But the important thing is that they are all in
the right direction. I would propose this as the crucial test for
conservatives in deciding whether to support government policy — is
it in the right direction? Politics is a game that goes on forever.
You don’t have to win everything at once. The most important thing is
to start to win even small victories, to lay the basis for bigger
victories yet to come.”
Only a month after this comment, and half way through their first
mandate, the government yesterday introduced the largest tax cutting
measure in this country’s history. Going slow can pay off fast.
While American conservatives seek to keep out Hillary Clinton and her
promise of socialized medicine, Prime Minister Harper’s success in the
last election allowed us to keep out a Liberal party that was
promising (if you can believe it) national socialized day-care.
It also strikes me that going slow is a fundamentally conservative
approach, characteristic of humility in the face of history. As you
suggest, victories are as important as revolutions.