For years, I thought being a conservative was the same as being religious. Recently, I’ve heard conservative used to describe views on abortion – apparently conservatives are pro-life. I’ve also heard conservatives oppose gay marriage. In addition, conservatives want smaller government and balanced budgets -- less spending and lower taxes.
In Canada, there are 3 main political parties: Conservatives, Liberals and the NDP. The odd thing is the Liberals were in power most of the Bush years and they achieved balanced budgets and actually paid down the Canadian national debt for 11 consecutive years. When Conservatives took power in 2006, the debt started to grow again – balanced budgets went out the window. Clearly the Canadians have conservative and liberal mixed up.
I think part of the conservative confusion stems from combining two distinct things: social conservatism and fiscal conservatism. Social conservatism includes issues like abortion, birth control and gay marriage. Fiscal conservatism includes issues like spending, taxes and entitlements.
I believe in Fiscal conservatism (mostly) – we need to balance the budget by cutting spending and increasing taxes (fairly) while making government as small as possible. I do not believe in social conservatism – issues like birth control and abortion should be personal – not regulated by the GOP.
This leaves me with no one to vote for (again)!