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If the Republicans are the Conservatives' sister party, does this mean David Cameron is Cinderella?

The relationship between Conservatives and Republicans have nver been the same since Thatcher and Reagan left office.

Really? So why were the Party's spin doctors telling lies about the relationship with the Bush adminstration?

Click here to see the Telegraph article.

It comments on a related article in the Spectator "In as much as the White House thinks of the Conservatives at all, it sees a party of turncoats, opportunists and undependable allies".

Sister party? What a sick joke!

The Republicans are our "sister party" but we *must* learn that they are also a political party of a foreign state. Their aim is to appeal to their own electorate in their own country which, in many respects, does have a significant different social and cultural make-up - not to mention political priorities - to our own. Consequently, they will not always follow policies coincident with the interests of Britain or the Conservative party.

We must relax about opposing the Republicans on matters on which we disagree and they must relax about this opposition too. On the other hand, we must also relax about supporting them and not shout down all opposition to our support as "anti-americanism" when we do.

Unfortunately, the debate about; "The US", has got so emotional recently, that only two positions have appeared and both positions have firmly entrenched themselves.

This is; (1) Either support the Republicans and everything they do (support the US) or, (2) oppose the Republicans and everything they do (oppose the US).

There are many things on which I disagree with Republicans, but also many areas where I very strongly agree.

It does not make me a bad ally, US hater or a traitor to the Conservative cause to adopt this position.

We need to calm down. We can sensibly agree to disagree without jeapordising the special relationship, either way.

I agree with Peter Hatchet.

The problem is that the Party Chairman is telling Republicans Abroad that they are our sister party whilst his spin doctors are telling porkies to the media about the Party's relationship with the White House.

His nickname "Fraude" is especially apt in this case.

It is desirable that both Labour and Conservative administrations and Reform, Democrat and Republican try to get along - Margaret Thatcher stayed out of US politics while having good relations with Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior. Ronald Reagan tried to avoid getting involved in British politics although did say during the 1987 General Election campaign that Labour's unilateralist position would be a problem, although later Ronald Reagan did himself come perilously close to agreeing with Mikhail Gorbachev to scrap all nuclear weapons on both sides which certainly would cause problems with NATO notably the UK and France although his advisers reined him in on that.

John Major sent advisers to help the campaign of George Herbert Walker Bush in 1992, the Democrats were not pleased and reciprocated sending advisers to help Labour in 1997. Tony Blair managed to maintain reasonably good relations with both the Clinton and Little Shrub administrations and I am sure that John McCain and any of the three main party leaders and UKIP will all manage to maintain fairly good relations. In fact in 2004 if John Kerry had won this would have posed a big problem for Tony Blair.

Ultimately the actual differences in policy between Democrats and Republicans, and between Labour and Conservative are not normally enough for it to be worth the hassle of interferences in each others elections, either that or as in the 1980's those who wished to pursue radically divergent policies from those being pursued notably in International Policy had no chance of winning.

Personally though I favoured Ross Perot and Reform in the early to mid 1990's, Bob Dole and Newt Gingrinch in the mid 1990's, Al Gore and a hung Congress in 2000, Dubya and Republicans in 2004 and probably I will favour John McCain and a hung Congress in 2008 but if Al Gore stands for the Democrats I'm not sure it will make much difference which wins other than nominal label in the White House.

I'm still not clear what 'lies' our spinners are alleged to have told. Camerons 'solid not slavish speech' was very pro American.
Administration officials and a number of American commentators on Britainand America.com have been nauseatingly self pitying recently.

The Republicans are our "sister party" but we *must* learn that they are also a political party of a foreign state.

Another difference from the Conservative Party is that though Bush is spending money like water, noone is in doubt about whether they are Conservative or not.

Jorgen: I assume your comment is a swipe at the direction in which Cameron is taking our party, of which you obviously disapprove, but I certainly wouldn't want to hold Bush up as a virtuous example of my definition of "Conservatism".

I don't dislike Bush, but I don't agree with a blanket ban on stem cell research, abortion or restricting civil partnerships - complex though those issues are. I also don't agree with unrestricted access to firearms, the impinging of civil liberties within the Patriot Act and his "black &white" approach to the war on terror.

I do agree with Bush on his implementation of some exciting and groundbreaking policies, of which I very much approve, including; tax cuts, charter schools, social security reform, healthcare reform and a new engagement on third world poverty. It's a shame he doesn't get more credit for these and this is where we have common ground.

However, we must recognise that US Conservatism can be very different to British Conservatism because it incorporates many more religious and "moral" judgements into its politics.

I don't begrudge them for this. But such an approach is often not objective and dictates the law on many positions which most Brits believe should be a personal choice.

To restrict personal choice in these areas is, for me, profoundly *un*conservative and a key reason why I wouldn't hold up Bush as an example of true "Conservatism".

Thatcherite 13:10

"I agree with Peter Hatchet."

Very pleased we could finally agree on something - I'm flattered!

Peter, I disagree with Bush on plenty of issues (including the religious issues, stem cell research, abortion and his restricting civil partnerships though I have no problem with the other issues you mentioned), but still find that he hasn't gone over the line.

Surely as the Conservative Party, our sister parties are the Ulster Unionist Party, the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Parties, the Australian Liberal Party, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the National Party in New Zealand (all of whom are loyal to the Monarch for instance)-
there is much to admire in the Republican Party but the is also much to admire in the French Guallist Parties and Fine Gail in Eire but they are established to attend to the demands of the people of the US, France and Ireland

Straun: Am I the only Conservative who, if presented with a Republic of Ireland ballot paper, would vote for the PDs?

Surely as the Conservative Party, our sister parties are the Ulster Unionist Party
If that is the case why do the Conservative Party aim to put up candidates against UUP candidates, all it does is split the Unionist vote and allow Sinn Fein and the SDLP in - best thing is if the DUP could win every seat in Ulster. In fact the UUP are rather closer in policy to UKIP who has now integrated the NIUP and is running candidates although as with the Conservative Party, with little success.

The UUP though have not taken the Conservative whip since the early 1970's and later in the 1970's supported the Labour government through much of it's time in office.

The Republicans are a pretty grisly lot these days. Liberal Conservatives are a lot closer to the Democrats on a whole range of issues. We should maintain close links with both major US parties, from a pragmatic standpoint alone - as either might easily win in '08. But we should be very wary before throwing out lot in with these nasty, high spending, incompetent Bushies.

I'd feel a hell of a lot more comfortable with our 'sister party' if Giuliani or McCain were running the shop.

Great point, Jack - I agree!

My goodness. I can't believe there are people out there who profess to be knowledgable about politics and yet can refer to the Reform party in the US as if it still existed in any substantial form (and was the equal of the Republicans and Democrats).

Or, for that matter, refer to the "Progressive Conservatives" of Canada, which, of course, don't exist either.

Jack, I disagree. It would be nice to see someone with the vision and courage of Ronald Reagan in power: Tancredo.

Francis Maude has lost the plot. George Bush is regarded on both sides of the Atlantic as a fruit case. He is the fall guy for 99% of American homour. Go to Metacafe and search George Bush. I cannot believe Maude is so out of touch.
We certainly need a new chairman. This one should be dropped like a hot brick.

yet can refer to the Reform party in the US as if it still existed in any substantial form (and was the equal of the Republicans and Democrats)
They might re-emerge, I didn't say they were equal in tems of support or seats - but in 1992 there had been talk of the Democrats backing Ross Perot in which case he might have become President - a lot of people voted for him in the 1990's and there were a couple of Reform governors and Reform members in Congress for quite a few years.

I'm from the states (Atlanta,Georgia). Most of our media is very liberal and is funded by the democratic party (ABC,NBC,CBS,CNN). This is what is reported to the world. Fox news is fair and balanced on their reports. It is true that the republican party is messed up and the democrats won a lot of seats, but they ran as if they were conservative, now they are showing their true colors! They are not conservative at all. The USA is mostly conservative. We agree with you on most things. Bush does not have the full support of the republicans of the USA. Most people loved Reagan, and his relationship with Thatcher!! Both of our countries need each other. You gave us birth!! Your country is our best freind!

There's never been a single Reform member of Congress. One governor, one term.

Paul, you said:

"I don't dislike Bush, but I don't agree with a blanket ban on stem cell research, abortion or restricting civil partnerships..."

I think you misunderstand some things. Bush was the first President to fund stem cell research. He opposes "embryonic" stem cell research which would take a life ( and, has shown no progress anyway compared to the adult stem cell research). He did not put a "ban" on it....he simply denied 'federal funding'. States are free to fund it and some have.

He has also not proposed a ban on 'civil unions'. He supports a Federal acknowledgment that marriage is a union between a man and a woman; and, would leave the civil union issue to the states.

The US is very protective of 'State's Rights'. I'm not sure the Brits really understand this aspect of our government.

A "sister party" is not necessarily one where siblings agree on everything - but by definition they share certain core values.

I believe we do share a Conservative core message with the Republicans and therefore can describe them as a sister party.

The fact that there are Democrats who would be Conservatives if they voted in the UK does not detract from that. The Democrats are essentially a left-wing grouping and we must not lose sight of that.

If McCain doesnt like us and feels fooled by us, and that we are getting friendly with Democrats, I cant see the argument that we are close to Republicans really holding water.

We are way closer to the blue dog Democrats rather than Republicans. Why do the leadership of our party think we take all this trash in and accept it as true when it clearly isnt?

"Blue Dog Democrats??" Please, there is no such thing really. It's a media label for moderately liberal southern Democrats. It's supposed to convince people that the Democrats are not monolithically liberal/leftist, which they certainly are. The only party with a significant conservative contingent in America is the Republican Party, and it's not debatable. The Democrats are undeniably a mostly leftist party these days, and have been for several decades.

Frogg, thank you for clearing that up. Yes, American federalism (federal govt vs. state govt) is probably quite foreign to our British friends. Bush did not ban or de-fund stem cell research. in fact, he is the first president to ever provide money for stem cell research. His only moral qualm is with federal (i.e. national) funding of embryonic stem cell research, which has proven to have next to no utility. He has funded other forms of stem cell research, and the states and private organizations/companies are entirely free to fund and undertake embryonic stem cell research.

The American media are by and large unreliable. I would suggest getting your news about America from the US sites listed to the right here (except Andrew Sullivan - sorry, I know he was one of yours, but he's really a lost cause).

Americans in general are very appreciative of the strong bond we've (almost) always had with Britain, and we expect it will remain that way as we support our common ideals.

Out of the candidates who've declared themselves Mitt Romney looks the most interesting

Currently residing in the US, I find it amusing that so much is made of McCain as a potential leader of the Republican party.
Most Republicans that I know refer to him as a 'Rino'. (Republican in name only).

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