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  1. #1
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Default Social conservatism outside the U.S.A.

    For those of you who live (or have lived) outside of the United States:

    What is social conservatism like in your country / countries, as a political force? What kind of stances do politicians take on conservative social issues? What do socially conservative politicians enact into law in your country / countries? What do they and their parties campaign on?

    What is considered "socially conservative" in your country, and how far does it go before slipping out of mainstream political discussion?
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  2. #2
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Smile We are mildly conservative, without any fuss.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    For those of you who live (or have lived) outside of the United States:

    What is social conservatism like in your country / countries, as a political force? What kind of stances do politicians take on conservative social issues? What do socially conservative politicians enact into law in your country / countries? What do they and their parties campaign on?

    What is considered "socially conservative" in your country, and how far does it go before slipping out of mainstream political discussion?
    We are mildly socially conservative because we have a lot to conserve. We have liberal democracy to conserve. We have gender equality to conserve. We have equality before the law to conserve. We have the separation of Church and State to conserve. We have our Constitution to conserve.

    We have a fair go to conserve. We have mateship to conserve. We have a successful immigration program to conserve. We have the ecology of a whole Continent and surrounding seas to conserve. We have a booming economy to conserve. We have a free health system to conserve. We have minimum pay to conserve. We have free education to conserve. We have a targeted welfare system to conserve. And we have military, economic and land treaties to conserve.

    And last but not least we have the Enlightenment to conserve.

    But thank heavens we don't have to conserve our sense of humour as it seems to be doing alright by itself.

  3. #3
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Social conservatism in Germany? Let´s look at a few American hot button issues first to give you a first perpective:

    - We recently had a huge debate (again!) about immigration. The debate included the strain that people with little qualification put on the welfare system (this whole thing started with a member of the board of the Bundesbank - who has been sacked because of this- saying that Turkish immigrants have a lower IQ average and will dumb down the general population because they have more children than "native" Germans and intelligence (according to him) is mainly hereditary), but it was mostly about integration and what makes you German. Some of the complaints about the insufficient integration of migrants are justified, but at the core of this lies a deep fear of the foreign, the unknown, I think. Many people agreed with this guy and said that they felt uncomfortable about seing so many girls with head scarfs on the streets. With Germany being a relatively young state, Germans tend to identify themselves through their culture rather than through citizenship.

    - Our foreign minister just married his boyfriend. What we have is a "registered partnership", which is not 100% the same as marriage and in the rather conservative state of Baden-Württemberg gays have to pay a higher fee for their marriage license than straights (because it is more paper work for the administration or so they say). Germany is pretty open about gay rights but gay marriage did cause quite a lot of rejection among conservatives who see the traditional family threatened. I would say Germany might be less homophobic than many other countries, but is still behind some neighbors like Spain, Portugal, Belgium, etc. in legal matters.

    - abortion is not really a big issue, but highly regulated (you need proof that you have been advised about the issues involved, etc., it is exempt from punishment during the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy and in cases where the physical or mental health of the mother is threatened).

    - the death penalty was abolished in the german constitution in 1948, so only a handful of nutjobs would ever argue in favor of the death penalty.

    - religion in school is not really a big issue. Some years ago the constitutional court ruled that the remaining crucifixes that traditionallly still hand in some bavarian schools had to be taken down if a a parent wished for it. Student can choose between Religion (which is more or less neutral towards different nominations and faiths) and Ethics. There has been some talk about offering Islam classes so that the state can offer an alternative to radical preachers. There is no school prayer, I don´t know when it was abolished, but that must have happened long before I was born.

    I would say that German conservatives tend to be more concerned about cultural identity. They tend to be closer to christian values (but still much less religious than many Americans). Another thing is that the CDU (christian-democrats = moderate concervatives, they carry the C for christian in their name but are really not at all about religion which plays little to absolutely no role in everyday German politics. Really, religion is mostly a private affaire) traditionally cooperates with the FDP (libertarians). The CDU occupies most of the political spectrum from the center to the still-democratic-right. The only thing to the right of them are a few extremist parties with links to neonazi groups that are not considered socially acceptable and get their votes mainly from frustrated unemployed people in the poorer areas of the country (= East).
    The social democrates (SPD, very, very moderate left) and the christian democrats are hard to tell apart these days (SPD goes from the centre to the moderate left). The Green party covers a bit of everything from the very slight left to the "normal" left. So the divide between left and right is less extreme than in many other countries. There is a relatively radical leftist party (quite originally called "the Left Party" or "The Left") that is growing in strength, but that wasn´t your question and should be left for another day/thread.

    Most political discussions in Germany tend to be about the (re-)distribution of whealth. That includes health care reform (naturally everybody has health insurance, the discussion is about how that is financed), pension schemes, welfare reform (major issue!), etc. Values play a role in this of course, but are hardly ever talked about explicitely. So economic conservatism is much stronger, more important and more visible than social conservatism.

    I´m a left-libertarian myself, if that puts things in perpective.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    The debate included the strain that people with little qualification put on the welfare system (this whole thing started with a member of the board of the Bundesbank - who has been sacked because of this- saying that Turkish immigrants have a lower IQ average and will dumb down the general population because they have more children than "native" Germans and intelligence (according to him) is mainly hereditary), but it was mostly about integration and what makes you German. Some of the complaints about the insufficient integration of migrants are justified, but at the core of this lies a deep fear of the foreign, the unknown, I think. Many people agreed with this guy and said that they felt uncomfortable about seing so many girls with head scarfs on the streets. With Germany being a relatively young state, Germans tend to identify themselves through their culture rather than through citizenship.
    Migrations-Debatte: "Mögen Sie keine Türken, Herr Sarrazin?" - Nachrichten Politik - Deutschland - WELT ONLINE

  5. #5
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    oh, the famous interview where he claims that "all jews share a common gene"! LOL. To be fair, I think the media overreacted on that one. As I said, he does have a point, even it is a blatent lie to claim that he is breaking any form of taboo with his theories. The trouble is that he mixes a grain of truth with so much bs and amateur "science" that he ruined any credit he migt have left.
    Are you a frequent reade of the Welt or did you just search for that one interview?
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Gewöhnlich lese ich keine Zeitungen oder Zeitschriften. Als aber der Zirkus begann, wollte ich wissen, ob er tatsächlich von einem Juden-Gen geredet hatte. Mir scheint Sarrazin eigentlich ziemlich harmlos zu sein. In der PBC gibt es bestimmt gefährlichere Sonderlinge.

  7. #7
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Thanks, Red Herring, great post! I was thinking quite a bit about the Christian Democrats. So is their rhetoric perhaps stronger than their actual "goals" and policies are when in government? For example, "Importance of the traditional family"--how far does that idea go, in the German public's minds? I know that's a little fuzzy, but I'm curious. Maybe it influences the welfare policies somehow, the distribution debate...?

    And if economic conservatism dominates the discussion, what divides the FDP from the Christian Democrats? Mostly just more moderate in the CDU? Actually, immigration is probably one difference...
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    From what I can tell, the German conservative is like the average American Democrat.

  9. #9
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    yup, that more or less sums it up.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
    A herring's blog
    Johari / Nohari

  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Passionate Intensity

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

    And here it is the Progressives who are full of passionate intensity. At the moment they are working themselves into a lather about euthanasia. Where we know from the Dutch experiment that voluntary euthanasia is accompanied by involuntary euthanasia.

    It is almost as though the Progressives have forgotten that a civilized country does not allow one group of citizens to kill another group of citizens.

    For the Progressives, conservative is a pejorative word. While they present themselves as a light unto the world.

    The Progressives here call themselves the Greens and regard humans as a cancerous growth on the planet, and the elderly in particular take up far too much of the health budget, so why not help them to leave with dignity.

    While it is passionate intensity that lacks all dignity.

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