Friday, April 18, 2008

Can Labour Provide a Model for the Democratic Party?

Britain's Labour Party under Gordon Brown has been described as "Third Way."  Mixing socialist and free market ideologies to offer intelligent policies for a suitably restrained free market society.  Can Labour's model work in the U.S.?

Tony Blair and Bill Clinton have also been cast as "Third Way."  One might imagine that the Third Way model employed by Brown is already at work in the campaigns of Obama and H. Clinton.  At the same time, Obama would take us much further to the Left than did Brown's coming-into-leadership as Prime Minister.  One might say that Obama does not fully match up with the Third Way needs for moderate change and free market commitments.  

An Obama who offered half as large increases in healthcare and the total of remaining proposed increases on social spending would have been a much stronger and "more Third Way" candidate.  

At the same time, in 2012, there may not be as great an anti-militarism stance available to the Democratic Party, and there is always a need to distinguish the DP stance from that of the GOP.  I have suggested previously that more progressive taxation, in the form of tax cuts aimed at the lower income brackets, would be a useful substitute issue.  One wonders how this compares with Labour plans for the UK.

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