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I'm surprised this is being asked! I've heard of a few Tory MPs coming out in favour of the Democrats at the last presidential race (e.g. Alan Duncan) but that reflects very badly on them and their understanding of US politics.
The point about the Democrats is that whilst they have comparable policies to ours, they still have very left-wing perspectives- their policies reflect the centre(ish) of the political environment.
If they were in the UK they would find little in common with the Conservatives and pitch their tents up on the centre-left of our political environment.
On the vast majority of issues it's the Republicans standing up for the British Conservative point of view and we should support them to the hilt.

I would almost certainly vote Republican, although I hold the Democrats in far higher regard than I do the British Labour Party and it wouldn't actually break my heart if they won in 2008. I understand Boris Johnson is backing Hillary Clinton.

The Republicans should choose their candidate very carefully - they need a David Cameron equivalent I say - a different style of leader.

Yes, Alan Duncan and Boris Johnson...
It's good to have the debate though. I'd like to see some reasoned defence of the Democrats from a conservative perspective.
The other debates we've had on here like the Black Wednesday vs Thatcher's ousting were excellent

I would find it very difficult! I certainly favour a tax-cutting and defence investment agenda - but on the other hand I am very much a social liberal - even my views on the abortion debate have changed from 20 years ago when I was a strong and resolute pro-lifer. With age and experience of life I adopt a more pragmatic view these days. I also favour the Democratic view of such matters as gay rights and I certainly do not care for the "creationism" theory and religious fundamentalism which so many Republicans seem to adopt.

I'm a Democrat for sure.

Republicans are too dogmatic and prescriptive for my taste.

The Democrats have been captured by the USA's public sector unions. The netroots that tried to unseat Joe Lieberman are more accurately known as nutroots. At the moment they seem to almost want defeat in Iraq.

I would vote Republican --- particularly if Giuliani was the Republican candidate.

Ken Clarke said on Question Time this week that if he were American he would be a Democrat.

I've never understood how anyone with a brain could possibly support Bush, regardless of their politics. Does anyone seriously believe we would not be living in a better, safer world today if Al Gore had been declared President in 2000? (I say "declared President" rather than "won the election", since he did win it by any normal standards - i.e. he got most votes.)

Ah so, Duncan, Johnson and Clarke... not a trio I'd trust with a foreign policy brief!
It's sad how fashionable anti-Americanism and juvenile anti-Bushism has creeped into the Tory party in some quarters. I do hope we don't see it on here.

In the words of PJ O'Rourke

I'm a Republican Party Reptile....

You are (by necessity) selective in your review of the defining nature of Democrats and Republicans. I have no idea which party I would support were I to wake up American, but I don't rate highly the record of George W in racking up the federal deficit - building up debt is a bad policy whether enacted by a Republican or a clunking fist.

It would be more accurate to have written The Republicans were the party of Ronald Reagan but they are now an electoral coalition dominated by the Christian right, to the extent that a man who is proud of his belief in Creationism, which he thinks should be taught in schools as fact, can remain a serious candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

And then there's Hillary ... faced with that, I could bring myself to vote for a dirty sock if it would stop her.

This is a ridiculous and pointless debate. American politics is on a totally different axis to British politics; culturally we might be similar but societally we are very different. Britain is the country of land owning toryism, trade unionist socialism, constitutional whiggism, all of which are antecedents to our current political environment in many ways and across many different planes. America doesn't have any of that. Where would you turn in America if you want all of what the British Tory party offers; a belief in lower taxes, universal healthcare and school provision, environmentalism, a love for the countryside, a liberal society (gay rights, abortion, etc)? You just would not be able to pick. It would have to be a candidate by candidate thing I suppose. Why must we be tribally loyal to the Republicans when they are so radically different to us on so many issues??

fashionable anti-Americanism and juvenile anti-Bushism

For your information, I have the greatest admiration for the USA, its people and much of its history, not least their role alongside us in WWII.

Regarding Bush, you may think my comments juvenile. However, I am deadly serious. I consider it an absolute scandal, a travesty of democracy, that such an ill-educated buffoon has been allowed anywhere near such a powerful job. The fact that he got it by default, handed to him by his brother, as governor responsible for the disputed state election, merely adds insult to injury. (And incidentally, puts the corruption of illegal donations in a proper perspective.)

That Bush was gifted the presidency by his brother is no more than a modern fairy tale.

"Better safer world with Gore as president." Total conjecture. Gore is a wishy washy bandwagon grabbing self-publicist whom I would not trust to do anything unless it was driven by self interest.

American politics biggest problem is that the way presidents are chosen often results in choosing between two evils.

juvenile anti-Bushism. Well, I guess I'm anti-Bush. So, does that make me juvenile? What does that make you if you are pro-Bush?

Yours sincerely,
Mike Giggler,
Tunbridge Wells.

I know if I were an American I'd vote Republican for Congress and tend to favour the same party for President but not necessarily -= the character of the candidate is more important

But as a Briton who do I want to win? - now that's a totally different question and impossible to answer YET!

It would really depend. I couldn't vote for someone on the Christian Right of the Republican party, or for someone on left of the Democrats.

I think I could vote for Obama, Guliani, McCain, but would definitely vote for Bartlett any time........

That Bush was gifted the presidency by his brother is no more than a modern fairy tale

His brother was in charge of the state which messed up and disenfranchised thousands of voters. He gave the order to STOP COUNTING the votes when it got close. That situation should not have been allowed. And even including all the disputed votes, Gore still got more votes nationally. The whole thing stinks.

Gore is a wishy washy bandwagon grabbing self-publicist whom I would not trust to do anything unless it was driven by self interest.

That could apply to most politicians. I don't think Gore is perfect either. But I'm certain that he was better equipped to be President than Bush (not that that's saying much).

"Gore still got more votes nationally"

Yeah, that doesn't actually matter with a US presidential election.

The election was disputed to an extent that either side could feel aggrieved if it went against them in the end. Ultimately it was down to the Supreme Court - Jeb Bush stopping the counting was irrelevant in that regard- and all the judges acted in a partisan way, utterly disregarding their previous stances on state rights.

It's a no brainer. There are plenty of Republicans who are mainstream, just as there are plenty of Democrats.

The difference is on the wings. Hard right Republicans are dogmatic, insular, narrow-minded, a bit nutty and unhealthily preoccupied by religion. Hard left Democrats are a bunch of authoritarian, sanctimonious, unpatriotic, anti-western, destructive, whining hypocrits. Try actually reading their blogs - like Daily Kos or MoveOn - forget Peter Hain, we're talking George Galloway.

Both parties have faults but I know which side I regard as worse.

Anthony Broderick : are you actually Mick Huckabee pretending to be someone else?

You make such self-assured points about what everyone "should be" in your opinion. It may destroy your world to be told that you're not "correct" about everything.

" I do hope we don't see any of that (Democrat supporting) on here".

Just about every bit of policy I have ever read that the Republicans have implemented I have found abhorrent. Tax cuts that only affect the rich, anti-gay rights policies, anti-abortion policies.

If I was an American voter, I'd sooner go to hell than vote Republican.

I'm a small government, low tax, tough on crime sort of chap, so I'd be more likely to vote Republican. But I absolutely loathe the evangelical wing of the Republican party; something that has grown in volume and influence in recent years. So I'd probably tend to vote based on candidates, rather than parties. Ideally, more socially liberal Republicans would get my vote; right now, Giuliani, or Arnold Vinick ;)

It's weird that someone as actively political as me would actually find himself unwilling to join one of the main political parties in the US.

Yeah, that doesn't actually matter with a US presidential election

I'm perfectly well aware how the US electoral system works thank you. I was arguing morally, and on that basis I see no justification for the Republicans to feel aggrieved if it went against them in the end.

Anyway, it's all history now, and I just hope the American voters regain their collective sanity next November and vote for a half-decent President. From the current crop of candidates on both sides, I think it's more likely to be a Democrat, but we'll see.


The Republicans are obsessed with God, gays, abortion and 'Islamofascism'. And recently have done poorly with the economy.

The Democrats are obsessed with race, multiculturalism, a hatred of big businesss, and conspiracies about Bush.

The "Culture Wars" have pushed both parties to pander to their most vocal core voters/pressure groups - I hope that is never repeated in this country!

It would depend entirely on the candidate eg if it were Rudolph Guiliani vs Hillary Clinton then I would vote for Guiliani. But if it were bush or gore I would vote gore.

I have said it before, but I still find the vitriol aimed at Bush hard to understand -- unless its all seen through the Iraq prism. Bruce's comments through this chain seem so vicious: "ill-educated buffoon" - is that really true? and do we think we would be living in a better, safer world if Bush hadnt won....well, no I dont, because I dont believe the terrorists in his sight actually care who is in the White House -- if anything they are looking for signs of weakness in dealing with them. Check out Osama's various words of "wisdom".

As a Ron Paul sympathiser (although I'm not that keen on his anti-NATO isolationism) I'd go for the Republicans.

I'd vote for Ron Paul.

I like him because the guy has integrity. All the other Republicans are untrustworthy political dwarves, or 'slimeballs' as they say in the US. Flip-floppers and liars the lot of 'em.

The Democrats are not much better. Anybody but Hillary! I hope - and think - Obama will beat her in Iowa.

A candidate with a sure fire policy to turn America around and bring prosperity back and a policy to compete with and outperform China and India as well as Japan, ought to appeal. A policy of keeping America out of foreign adventures would be wise. A man who has a proven track record of success at a demanding profession other than politics, and a record of unimpeachable probity would surely be a winner. And lastly someone who stands for freedom and justice under the law for all. That's the man. Only one man can meet these demands. Ron Paul, and he hasn't a hope. All the rest are out of the same mould as all British politicians, grubby members of the ruling elite political class.If only we had such a politician.

Arnold Vinick anyone?


I'm not aligned to the Americans anway.
Why should I be - as English.

I feel quite close to New Zealand, and would back the National Party if there.

But America is very foreign anway so am not aligned to a party there anyway.

Thank you, Tim, for a difficult question - they almost always give rise to the most interesting answers!

I would agree, firat of all, that there is an "offset" on the traditional political spectrum between the US and the UK. If I was to try, it would interleave as "Labour-Democrat-Conservative-Republican" from left to right.

At the last Congressional elections, I remarked to an American work colleague of mine that I would probably be a moderate Democrat if I was in the US. Given that most of my colleagues are aware of my poltical work for the Conservatives, it gave rise to that afternoon's round of workplace chuckles, I'm sure. But I was serious. What has happened since that might change my mind? Not too much, really...

I find the stance of the evangelical wing of the Republicans pretty abhorrent on most social issues, to be honest, and could never tolerate that kind of bigotry. Moderate Republicans with good ideas on public service and welfare reform I might be able to agree with. Fiscal conservatives with well thought-through and compassionate ideals likewise. On Tim's list, I agree with the Dems stance on many issues listed there, and find them wrong-headed but not *that* kind of bizarre on most of the others.

Anthony Broderick: The Democrats...policies reflect the centre(ish) of the political environment.

Anthony, I'm curious why you find that an inherently bad thing! Wouldn't that put them where the majority of the voters are, assuming US voters are distributed left-to-right in a Gaussian kind of way?

David: Ideally, more socially liberal Republicans would get my vote; right now, Giuliani, or Arnold Vinick ;)

I'd agree with that too - I would be very tempted by a "Vinick"! (although after the "vote for the person who embodies your ideals" speech I was definitely cheering Santos as my man - sorry!)

Enough of the West Wingery. I'm just glad I'm not in the US. If I were, I might well revert to my original position of moderate, centrist Democrat, in long search of a better political home.

Bruce's comments through this chain seem so vicious: "ill-educated buffoon" - is that really true?

The man can barely string a sentence together. His grasp of basic English is appalling. The examples of his mis-speaking are numerous ("They misunderestimated me" etc.) Maybe you think these things are unimportant. I don't. His whole outlook on life - everything is black or white, if you're not with us you're against us - is shaped by his ignorance.

Description of Arnie Vinick on Wikipedia:

Arnie Vinick is a social moderate and fiscal conservative with a maverick streak and a direct manner. He is pro-choice. He is, however, opposed to late-term abortion. He opposes the Religious Right's domination of the Republican Party since 1980, and wants to return to more traditional, limited-government conservatism.

That is pretty much me!

Oh, if only the West Wing were real :-(


A pox on all their houses, principally due to the Republican obsession with the wrong sides of the arguments over abortion, gay marriage and God, which are both abhorrent to most British people, and which issues anyway register a 0.0 on any Briton's political scale due to their being settled issues here.

Pleasant to see this feeling appears almost ubiquitous amongst the posters here.

I am a Ron Paul supporter too. He is the only true conservative that is running for the GOP nomination. As Edison says, he the only Republican runner with integrity.

Huckabee is a religous nutter. Romney is a flip-flopper who cannot be trusted. McCain is past it. Thompson is under the thumb of his dumb wife. Guiliani is an authoritarian, neo-con warmonger who is very dangerous.

I'd probably vote Democrat at the next Presidential elections if I could.

It depends on who is chosen. I couldn't vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances. Like her husband the only thing that matters is winning office and staying there.I wonder if she has any principles at all? Even today she was cavorting with scum like Martin Mcguiness because she thought it might get her a few votes.
Lack of principle is also a charge that could be levelled at Mit Romney so I wouldn't vote for him either.
Guiliani or McCain both are attractive politicians to me even though I disagree with them on Iraq. Guiliani has a good track record as Mayor Of New York, he gets things done. McCain strikes me as being a deeply principled man. He may be old but he's experienced. If either of these two wins the primary I'd vote republican.
However if Fred Thompson won then I'd vote Democrat (except for Hillary). Thompson strikes me as a less intelligent version of George Bush, if that's possible.
Thompson v Hillary? Spoil my ballot and see if there are any cheap flights to Mars!

I was not going to come back but Bruce just hato be answered.

The Florida count: the Dems wanted any chad with a (or almost a mark) mark on to be theirs, such was their desperation.

"That (self seeking etc) could apply to most politicians" - No. Even I recognise that most people that try to get into parliament do so from a wish to make changes that improve life. Why else would I wish to enter parliament?

I have, since previous posting, just watched the last two Blair years and Bush came across well - not something I'd expected. The only error, and it is huge, in Iraq was the failure to plan for the win.

Like many others I'm for Ron Paul.Certainly anbody but Hilary - surely Boris cannot support her?

Ken Clarke said on Question Time this week that if he were American he would be a Democrat.

I've never understood how anyone with a brain could possibly support Bush, regardless of their politics. Does anyone seriously believe we would not be living in a better, safer world today if Al Gore had been declared President in 2000? (I say "declared President" rather than "won the election", since he did win it by any normal standards - i.e. he got most votes.)

Posted by: Bruce | December 08, 2007 at 17:21

Spoken like someone who would presumably spend a lot of time listening to the BBC; the great brainwashing machine. When Bush goes then the great intellectual giants of the Left will have free rein to carry on burying the West.

As for Clarke, he is in IMHO, a member of that sad tribe; never forget the effort that he has made in ensuring that England became under the governance of Brussels
and that he would be happy for you not to have a referendum. Laugh ye may, but Bush will come to be seen (as opposed to some of the Lefties in the Tory Party) as a man of vision in regard to defending the West.

Vote for Ken Clarke?

Dontmakemelaugh @ 20.57

Can I second that?

I would vote Republican because it is the pro-life party. Wanting to protect innocent, recognisably human life that is growing inside a woman is something that all decent politicians will one day hold to be true. Today's abortion industry will have the status of the 18th century slave industry in tomorrow's politics. Both industries treated humanity in shamefully inhuman ways.

Well if Ken Clarke reckons he's a Democrat then I would have to be a Republican whether I think the Bush regime is insane or not.

These days being Democrat or Republican says as much about lifestyle as it does about policy. As much as I don't like the NeoCon ideology, and it is an ideology! I could never feel comfortable with the progressive lifestyle either. The Democrat emphasis on countless social programmes and their ideological commitment to abortion would rankle with me greatly. So I'd support the Republican party but not the NeoCon ideologues.

Don't Make Me Laugh, etc. Grow up. Or bring back the League of Empire Loyalists.

Just do something in the open so you can get laughed at properly, rather than indulged here. The idea that Bush will be viewed by posterity as a man of vision is ridiculous, and no, not just to the "Left liberal conspiracy to destroy the West etc etc ad infinitum".

I would have have voted republican back in the days of Ronald Reagan, but now at this present time, no way. Like Ken Clarke I would have to vote Democrat, I have never been a fan of the Clinton's and could not vote for Hilary.
I hope that Barack Obama makes it as their Presidential candidate, I think that America needs a new face and a new direction.

The American parties are such broad churches, it is difficult for libertarian/liberal/One Nation Conservatives to align themselves. We're either conservative Democrats or liberal Republicans. However, through the West Wing, I feel comfortable in placing myself with the GOP. The Religious Right/neo-con element is sickening, but the main difference was highlighted for me in an incident betwene Donna and Josh. Donna demanded her money back upon learning of the government surplus, and Josh said 'We don't do that, We're Democrats.'

Dontmakemelaugh - a word of advice. Your ficticious name is sneering and annoying.
Also, why don't you grow up.
Ken Clarke deserves to be treated with respect, even if you don't agree with him on things (I don't on the EU, mainly).

I think the thing to remember is that political parties exist on a continuum and that the Conservative Party in the UK and the Republican Party in the US do not exactly align. There are plenty of US Democrats that would happily sit within the Conservative Party in the UK. Also American politics is very much more personalised than UK politics and so consequently I think that it would come down to temprement of the individual candidates. There are Democrats I could vote for, there are Republicans I could never vote for. Also in America a lot more public offices are elected so consequently I could quite easily imagine myself ticket-splitting on a regular basis.

"Like British Tories they support state-provided healthcare and they share Conservative views on tax and borrowing"

The Democrats are for big government, lot of regulations, power to bureaucrats and the New Class, and high taxes to pay for it all.

If that's really what the Tories stand for, why vote for them?

There may be problems with the Republicans at the moment, but there are the only show in town for anyone who is a conservative, center-right, libertarian etc.

This is a no-brainer.

It would depend on the candidates' views on specific issues. I'd say there are Republican candidates I could enthusiastically endorse and ones I would under no circumstances ever want to see in power. The Democrats have candidates I could settle for, but I don't know of any Democrat who I could really get enthusiastic about.


And I second the comment re the west wing!

If I lived in Kansas, Texas, Montana, Virginia, or Colorado I'd be a Democrat.

If I lived in Maine, New York, Arizona or Florida I'd be a Republican.

I'd have voted for Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. I would have been attracted by Bush's humble foreign policy and emphasis on education - and Kerry's intent to try and balance the budget (as well as being horrified by Bush's handling of the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, ambivalence towards torture and expansion of executive power).

I'd vote for McCain in the GOP Primary and Clinton in the Democrat Primary. I'd favour seeing McCain in the White House in 2009.

RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT. None of the other republicans are worth a damn. If Paul doesn't make it Obama is the man for me. If Clinton makes it I'm an anyone but Hilary man.

Republican. Always.

I have to say I'm not keen on Hillary either, but I would like to see a woman in the White House (rather as years ago I came into the Conservative Party because I wanted to see a woman as Prime Minister!)
I wish there were some strong alternatives to Mrs Clinton!!

Just seen Esther McVey on Andrew Marr. She appears to be an Obama girl!!

I would vote for the Libertarian Party.

Wierdly enough there was a similar question on Scrubs yesterday (I know its not real...), where half the staff supported the Republicans and the other half were Democrat. It was about Iraq.

I would be a libertarian-leaning Republican. The widespread notion among Europeans that the Democrats are a centrist party is deeply flawed in my view:

- Republicans favour free trade, while Democrats are rather protectionist.

- Republicans support school choice via school vouchers, while Democrats adhere to the status quo of highly unionised government-run comprehensive schools with strict catchment areas.

- Republicans prefer strict constructionist judges who interpret the constitution faithful to the framers' intent and to the notion of divine preexisting rights inherent to each individual, protected by a limited government. Democrats tend to nominate activist judges with a political agenda who reinterprete the constitution and legislate from the bench, weakening state rights (Roe versus Wade!), misinterpreting the separation of state and religion in the Establishment Clause, and undermining individual rights, such as the Second Amendment.

- Republicans favour free-market solutions to make private health insurance more affordable for low-income families via deregulation, private health savings accounts, medical liability reform, HMO portability reform and a US-wide health market instead of 50 separate markets. Many Democrats however prefer central planning and a state monopoly like in Britain or Canada that would stifle innovation, reduce consumer choice, and misallocate scarce resources, just like our NHS.

- Republicans want to replace Social Security, the government-run pay-as-you-go retirement system, by more sustainable private pensions savings accounts thereby enhancing what they call the ownership society. Democrats however adhere to the unsatisfactory status quo which goes back to Roosevelt's New Deal.

- Republicans want to overhaul the US litigation system, the most expensive in the western world, by limiting punitive and non-economic damages, and reforming the class action system as well as the joint and several liability rule. Democrats oppose tort reform as they receive substantial donations from wealthy trial lawyers.

For these and many other reasons I prefer the free-market, classical liberal, conservative GOP to the left-wing Democrats. We Tories should therefore work closely together with the US Republicans - as well as with other centre-right parties around the world, like the Canadian Conservatives, the Australian Liberals, the Polish Civic Platform, the Czech ODS, the Spanish PP, the German FDP, the Dutch VVD, the Swedish Moderates, and the Danish Venstre.

Well if Ken Clarke reckons he's a Democrat then I would have to be a Republican whether I think the Bush regime is insane or not.

Posted by: John Leonard | December 08, 2007 at 21:15

Ken Clarke is a Conservative. Applying your logic as above, why are you?

Probably Democrat, although a lot would depend on the candidate. I'd go for Rudy over Hillary anytime as I would have opted for Bush over Kerry.

I don't admire the Bush Presidency, with its cavalier disregard for civil liberties, its reckless levels of public spending, and the corruption and incompetence displayed by some of its members.

OTOH, the left wing of the Democrats is repellent, with its support for racial quotas, late term abortion, judicial activism and determination to give public sector unions everything they want.

So, I'd probably choose on a candidate by candidate basis, although broadly sympathising with the Republicans.


Ken Clarke is a Conservative. Applying your logic as above, why are you?

Well on certain issues, some like myself, would question that. Clarke is very closely aligned with the views of the current Government on state funding of parties, WLQ, the EU and on democratic reform.

In fact the number of times that Brown has quoted him is embarrasing, especially when it has been used against his own party leadership. The fact he feels he can undermine the party position and the party leader on these matters so blatantly suggests that he is these days more a 'Clarkeist' than a Conservative.

Effectively, I believe he is a centralist and a statist and actually opposes the true meaning of democracy.

These are fundamental issues relating to how our countries' democracy works.

I oppose the position he represents on all these matters and consequently if he is comfortable within the Democratic party, then it is logical that I likely would not be.


Well on certain issues, some like myself, would question that.

You can't question that. It's a fact. He is a member of the Conservative party, he represents the Conservative interest in Parliament. In his constituency he is THE Conservative candidate, there is no alternative to him. You may disagree with his views on some issues, but you can't dispute the fact that he is a Conservative (big C).

I oppose the position he represents on all these matters and consequently if he is comfortable within the Democratic party, then it is logical that I likely would not be.

If you oppose the position he represents on all those matters and he is comfortable within the Conservative party (which he is), then it is also logical that you should not be.

It's not unheard of to find the odd Tory who backs the US Democrats, but almost invariably they are people whose knowledge of US politics is very low. British Tories who are well-informed about US politics never seem to back the Democrats. Simon Burns is the only exception I can think of.

Bruce, elelegantly put, but total rubbish. As far as I can see most Conservatives would back the views of John Leornard over those from Ken Clarke.
After three leadership election defeats Ken has yet to learn any humility.
I was one of his helpers in 2005, I thoroughly regret that now. David Cameron has been a far,far better leader than Ken ever could be.

As far as I can see most Conservatives would back the views of John Leornard over those from Ken Clarke.

You sum up in a single sentence the big problem still facing the Conservative party.

I actually agree with you that Cameron is the right leader for today (though if you'd given Ken Clarke his chance in 1997 or even 2001 I'd bet you wouldn't still be fighting back with fewer than 200 MPs).

However, Ken Clarke is a more appealing personality and a more formidable and heavyweight politician than anyone in the current shadow cabinet. That's your problem.

When I hear him lay into this government, I nod along in agreement. And his punches land home. When I hear most shadow cabinet members lay into the government, I hear shrill, petulant schoolboy debaters offering no cogent analysis and no sense that they know how things could be better managed. Half the time I find myself thinking "I could argue your case better than you're doing, and I don't even agree with you!"

He may be out of step with most Tory members on Europe, but you need to realize that ordinary voters see Ken Clarke as a grown up politician, an experienced man with a track record who can deliver. Agitating to throw him out of the party - or just sidelining him as you are at present - is madness, it just makes the Tory party look obsessive and mean spirited. What happened to the broad church?

Ron Paul is the only Republican show in town. The guy has beliefs and principles, and he sticks to them.

Fortunately, this makes him a great guy.
Unfortunately, the US political system is so abhorrant, his integrity will mean he never gets close to the White House.

Says it all really.

You have to be a flip-flopping, slimy piece of work like Romney or Hillary to have a hope in hell in that country.

Hence: George Bush, Bill Clinton, George Bush II.

RON PAUL is a legend and his support is growing. If he gets a good showing in the early primaries (3 Jan in Iowa and 8 Jan in New Hampshire) he has a real chance of going all the way, seriously. Look him up on google and youtube.

It is important to remember that the Democrats of today isn't the same party as it was under Bill Clinton.
The Democratic Party of today is increasingly sceptical to free trade, and increasingly tied to public sector trade unions.
So even though the Republican Party has it's flaws, it is more natural for a British Conservative to support the GOP.

It also seems that the people here only see the negative aspects of the Christian Right. It is true that many of them are too fanatical about "gays, guns and abortion", but they are also the people that urge the government to internvene in Darfur for example.
They also urge the government to help the people in struggling inner-city slums.

And by the way, Ron Paul is a joke.

I can't believe there are so many people on here so enthusiastic for Ron Paul. This is a man who would:
- rip up state recognition of marriage
- abolish large swathes of federal government
- take a flamethrower to the rest (including Defence)
- end Medicaid and Medicare
- leave Iraq, Korea, UK, Germany, Saudi, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Taiwan, Japan, indeed all US bases and deployments outside of the US's own territory
- leave NAFTA and the WTO
- bring back the Gold Standard
- rip up all of the US's alliances (so no 'special relationship' with Britain)

In response to Adam in London:

- take a flamethrower to the rest (including Defence) HE BELIEVES IN A STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE
- end Medicaid and Medicare IS THIS AN EFFICIENT SYSTEM?
- leave Iraq, Korea, UK, Germany, Saudi, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Taiwan, Japan, indeed all US bases and deployments outside of the US's own territory WHAT PURPOSE DO THESE DEPLOYMENTS SERVE NOWADAYS?
- rip up all of the US's alliances (so no 'special relationship' with Britain) NOT SO.

To answer Daithi:

- The federal government. Of course it is a good idea to decrease the size and power of government, however, it must be done gradually. We can't return to the small government of the 1920s (for example) over night. The size of the government must gradually be reduced, so the scale of human suffering is at a minimum. As Ronald Reagan said: "As much government as neccessary, as litle government as possible".
- NAFTA and WTO. The North American Free Trade Agreement is a success. Trade between the three countries involved have increased greatly, and everyone are better off as a result. NAFTA is a trade agreement, and is nothing like the EU. The only people beside Ron Paul who want to leave NAFTA is the hard-left of the Democratic Party, and some Trade Unions.
-The Golden Standard. Most countries withdrew from the Golden Standard for a vary good reason. It didn't work properly, and had many disadvantages. Beyond the difficulty in transporting, storing, and preventing the debasement of gold, one of the main disadvantages of implementation is that a gold standard would artificially inflate gold's value, increasing the cost of items and industrial processes in which it is used. The total amount of gold that has ever been mined is estimated at ~125,000 tonnes At the former gold price of around USD $640 per Troy ounce, or around $20,000 per kilogram, the value of this entire planetary stock would be USD $2.5 trillion, which is less than the value of currency circulating. In the U.S. alone, more than $7.3 trillion is in circulation.

Under the gold standard, gold mined at a different rate than the economy grows can produce both inflation, when deposits are discovered and extracted, and deflation when they are mined to exhaustion. In practice, the production of gold has usually trailed economic growth, resulting in periods of severe deflationary pressure, including events during the Great Depression. Finally, using a fixed commodity as a monetary standard gives central banks substantially fewer options with which to respond to economic crises and stimulate economic growth.

Norwegian Conservative,

Thanks for your comments.

Obviously Ron Paul won't eliminate all government departments overnight but at least his intentions are right unlike ALL the other candidates who will simply increase the size of the nanny state.

NAFTA and the WTO - I honestly do not see the advantage of creating these bureaucracies. They just help those who can successfully lobby the bureaucrats. Let the free market determine who companies will trade with.

Gold standard - do you think the gold standard is worse than the current system? The dollar has decreased dramatically in value in the last few years because the federal reserve has been printing money and setting artifically low interest rates. Surely it would be better to have gold backed currency than money which depends on central banks and governments.

Ron Paul has been on the US Congress Banking Committee for twenty years and he has written a book on the gold standard so this is not some kind of whimsical idea of his. I really do not know how you can say he is "a joke". Certainly this respected business commentator on CNBC does not think so on this video which is well worth watching:


It has got to be John McCain this time as it would correct the mistake the Republican Party did in 2000 in not choicing him and also like the person he replaced in the Senate(that god of a person in Barry Goldwater) we would actually have foriegn policy on political belief rather than on religion. Ron Paul is out of step even with the Libertarian party on the above and lets be honest outside of Bill Richardson how could anyone on the right even think of voting for any other Democrat as they are all spend know pay latter candidates.

I am not convinced by Ron Paul, neither are the Americans I am staying with. His record on Gay Rights (a very libertarian issue) is poor for starters.

Having said that if it were a choice between Billary and someone like Guiliani, I would vote republican just to try to stop that welfarist self publisist getting power.

But if I were a citizen here I would probably put up for the Libertarian Party, regardless of the liklihood of their winning. Christine Smith seems like a good choice (http://www.christinesmithforpresident.com/) although Wayne Root is in the lead, and has much more developed policies.(http://www.rootforamerica.com/home/wherestands.php)

Incidently, Seeing Beach Blanket Babylon in San Fransisco this week, the democrats were fairly slated by the review. All is not well in the Hilary Campaign...

As an ex-Brit become conservative Republican I have come to respect the Christian Right.
The best thing to call them (avoiding the left-wing media perjoratives) is Christian conservatives. They are one part of the three-part Republican coalition of social/religious conservatives, enterprise conservatives, and national-security conservatives. I think it is a mistake to suppose that the Christian conservatives dominate the Republican coalition. They are equal partners.
Since joining the Republican Party around 1980 Christian conservatives have, of course, changed the party in the direction of issues important to them. How could they not?
I'll agree that the creationism/intelligent design thing is rather embarrassing. There are worse things. I am thinking of the left's willful ignorance of Capitalism 101, its multiculturalism, and the cruelty of the social demolition of the "lower orders."

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