by Eric Kaufmann
Tuesday, 29
August 2023

Canada’s conservatives fight back against progressive school policies

Education has become the new focal point for the country's culture wars

Conservative and civil libertarian voices have long been stymied by Canada’s indifferent public and politicians. This provided cover for elites to run wild in schools and institutions. But now that era is coming to an end.

Nowhere is this more evident than in schools, which have generally operated under the radar, except when the veil is lifted — as when an Oakville, Ontario trans teacher wearing massive prosthetic breasts was initially permitted to continue doing so despite parent protests. 

But over the summer, things began to change. This month, parents’ outcry over a ninth grade Planned Parenthood lesson in the conservative western province of Saskatchewan — which included a set of sexually explicit illustrated cards touting the merits of “yellow and brown showers”— led to premier Scott Moe banning the organisation from public schools. ...  Continue reading

by Eric Kaufmann
Monday, 31
July 2023

Trump voters are more anti-woke than libertarian

A recent New York Times survey paints a misleading picture

Donald Trump is crushing Ron DeSantis because MAGA voters don’t care about the culture wars and most want the Florida Governor to lay off woke corporations. This is the upshot of commentary around the latest New York Times/Siena poll of Republican primary voters. This analysis, however, is wrongheaded — even if it contains an element of truth.

When forced to choose between two options, “a candidate who promises to fight corporations that promote ‘woke’ left ideology”, and “a candidate who says that the Government should stay out of deciding what corporations can support”, the sample broke 52-38 for the libertarian rather than anti-woke choice. This prompted Benjy Sarlin at Semafor to gleefully conclude that “fighting woke corporations, probably DeSantis’ top issue, is somehow a loser among Republicans.” ...  Continue reading

by Eric Kaufmann
Thursday, 27
July 2023

Immigration concern is behind the rise of Reform UK

The Right-populist party has doubled its support

Has Britain’s populist Reform UK party finally begun to move the needle? Hidden among the dots in Politico’s Poll of Polls is the fact that support for Reform now stands at 8%, its best showing since the 2019 election and just five points shy of Ukip’s 2015 result. With these numbers, Reform could begin to wield the kind of influence Ukip once did over the Tories’ policy direction.

This could be a blip but, as the graph below shows, Reform’s numbers have steadily climbed, from around 3% in the autumn of 2022 to a steady 5-6% over the past nine months and, in the past week or two, to 8%. ...  Continue reading

by Eric Kaufmann
Tuesday, 11
July 2023
Campus Wars

Blame cancel culture for declining trust in universities

New polling shows just how far public confidence has plummeted

The politicisation of institutions leads to a loss of public confidence as partisans become aware of what is going on inside them. Universities are a paradigm case.

To wit, a new poll from Gallup shows that Americans’ confidence in their institutions of higher education has plummeted from 57% in 2015 to 36% today. While all voters are frustrated with rising student debt and the spiralling cost of higher education due to administrative bloat, there is a strong ideological dimension at work, too.

Figure 1 shows that confidence declined most sharply among Republicans, tanking by a whopping 37 points to just 19%. Independents registered a 16-point drop and Democrats a small but significant 9-point decline. While those without a degree are more sceptical than those with one, differences by education, age or gender are less pronounced. ...  Continue reading

by Eric Kaufmann
Friday, 16
June 2023

Young Tories are nowhere to be found

The latest data makes grim reading for the governing party

The Tories have been tanking with young voters for nearly a decade. According to the latest Yougov poll, just 6% of those aged between 18-24 and 10% of the 25-49 range intend to vote for the party at the next election. The decline is real, and unprecedented, in modern Britain, with a Labour-Conservative age gap only emerging after 2010. What appeared to be a Right-leaning trend among Zoomers has stalled over the past two years. 

On both Left and Right, there’s a crowd-pleasing narrative that young people have deserted the party because they can’t attain the markers of adulthood: home ownership, financial security, marriage and parenthood. The centre-Right think tank Onward’s latest offering suggests that all the Tories have to do to fix their woes is build homes, create jobs and wait for young people to get blue-pilled. In reality, this is a pipe dream. ...  Continue reading

by Eric Kaufmann
Thursday, 25
May 2023

Immigration figures spell electoral trouble for Rishi Sunak

A new poll suggests that Tory Leavers will be put off voting by them

Immigration is back in the public conversation. Today’s announcement that Britain’s net migration has reached a record-setting 606,000 follows news of rising numbers arriving illegally across the channel. 

This will likely mark a return to something closer to the political climate prior to Brexit. Net migration rose rapidly under New Labour from its longstanding level in the tens of thousands to over 200,000 by 1999. The rise continued under David Cameron’s Tories. As net migration remained high, public concern rose concomitantly, powering the rise first of the BNP, then of UKIP, then of Brexit. In an August 2016 survey I conducted after the referendum, I found that nearly all Brexit voters wanted lower levels of immigration and that this was the most important priority for 40% of them, far ahead of any other issue. ...  Continue reading

by Eric Kaufmann
Monday, 15
May 2023

National conservatives versus anti-authoritarian populists

There's a new divide on the Right that will decide the future of conservatism

This week, I will be speaking at Britain’s first National Conservatism conference. Though classical liberals will disagree with postliberals, and seculars with theocons, all will be defending the idea of conserving the nation. In policy terms, many will endorse slowing the pace of immigration and pushing back against “woke” values in our institutions.

Yet while the majority of the British public endorses these aims, there is a noticeable split on the intellectual Right which is reflected in broader opinion. One group, the national conservatives, places the accent on defending traditions of nationhood and gender. They lean Right on immigration, Brexit and defending national heritage. Comparatively few believe in conspiracy theories. These voters are older than average, with a lower share of university graduates. They are motivated by security. ...  Continue reading

by Eric Kaufmann
Tuesday, 2
May 2023
Campus Wars

Universities are losing the battle on free speech

Examples of institutional pushback pale in comparison to broader trends

Is the era of woke censorship coming to an end on campus? The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, among others, are heralding a new epoch in which university leaders stand up to snowflake students. While it’s encouraging that progressive legacy media outlets are nailing their free speech colours to the mast, these are counter-wavelets on the surface of a rising swell. Progressive illiberalism is not going anywhere because it is baked into the demography of tomorrow’s professors.

The Post cites a number of examples of institutional pushback, including Cornell’s refusal to implement a mandatory trigger warnings policy on academic freedom grounds. The paper and others note the encouraging defence of liberalism at Penn and Vanderbilt, along with Harvard’s new Steven Pinker-fronted Council on Academic Freedom, a group of over 50 faculty members who have robustly lined up against the culture of progressive conformity on campus.  ...  Continue reading

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