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Political Tidbits

Political views will, over time, change and merge to match those of the people around them.

For Example:

The election of 1906 ended in a landslide defeat for the Unionists and their numbers were reduced to only 157 members of the House of Commons.[2] The Unionists had been suffering as a result of the unpopular Boer War, known as “Joe’s War”, a reference to Joseph Chamberlain,[3] as well as the unpopular tariff reforms proposed by Chamberlain, which faced the growing popularity of free trade among the population. Chamberlain himself was told to keep his “hands off the people’s food!”[1] Balfour lost his own seat, although he soon returned to Parliament in a by-election, and this left the pro-tariff reformers within the Unionists in a large majority. However, the stroke suffered by Joseph Chamberlain in July 1906 effectively removed him from political influence. The cause of Tariff reform would now be promoted by Chamberlain’s son Austen Chamberlain.

In 1909 the Conservative Party was renamed the “Conservative and Unionist Party”, and in May 1912 it formally merged with the Liberal Unionists.

The history is complex, and I might be simplifying it too much, but in general, when one group joins with another, their views will merge. This why there are so many formerly pro-life Catholics in the Democrat Party (most of whom now support abortion). Over time, their views changed to match their peers. It’s why the liberal unionists in the UK eventually just became very boring conservatives, despite not really being conservatives in the first place.

The lesson for political parties is a simple one, maintain coalitions and don’t allow a single-issue group to leave the coalition. Eventually that single-issue group, that formerly supported your positions on all things except for that single issue, will turn into a group that opposes you on everything.

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