By Tim Montgomerie
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The Financial Times has been running an interesting series on the future of American conservatism. I've spotted five contributions so far: Senator Olympia Snowe on how the Republican Party can win again; Glenn Hubbard on a long-term growth agenda; Governor Jon Huntsman of the need for true conservatives to "despise crony capitalism"; Congressman Paul Ryan on why Republicans must return to free market principles; and from Francis Fukuyama on learning to love the state again.
I identified at least four big ideas from reading the series and those four ideas seem relevant to conservative parties across the world...
EMBRACE STRONG GOVERNMENT (NOT BIG GOVERNMENT)
Olympia Snowe took on the anti-government mentality of some Republicans (a theme of John Key's recent big speech). We need, she wrote, "a government that’s more efficient and effective rather than one that’s simply eviscerated... there is a legitimate role for government to help maximise individual initiative and potential... our message to Americans must not be “you’re on your own” – but that government should foster an environment in which personal opportunity can flourish."