Here, National Review’s John Fund ties in recent votes in Colorado, Australia and Norway. A few snippets:
What should worry Democrats is that the two Colorado districts that recalled their senators last Tuesday represent the two sides of their electoral coalition. The district in downtown Colorado Springs was urban, trendy, and filled with upper-income social liberals; it voted 59 percent to 38 percent for Obama. The other district in nearby Pueblo and its suburbs was Hispanic, moderate-to-lower income, blue-collar, and more culturally conservative; it voted 58 percent to 39 percent for Obama.
In Australia, conservative leader Tony Abbott made opposition to the Labor government’s carbon tax the signature issue of his campaign. Polls showed that the public expressed general concern about global warming, but Abbott knew the polls also showed voters didn’t believe a carbon tax could do much about the climate and would probably serve as an excuse to extract more money from taxpayers. “Labor forgot about the basics of how to practice competent economic policy and went off on wild tangents to appeal to its special-interest backers,” Tim Andrews of the Australian Taxpayers Alliance told me.
In Norway, after the 2011 massacre of dozens of teenagers by a white-separatist madman, the ruling Labor government was convinced that their conservative opposition would be discredited and that they could retain power in an economic climate where growth fueled by the nation’s abundant oil reserves was averaging over 3 percent a year.
But an independent investigation of how the killer was able to evade capture for hours pointed out incredible bureaucratic incompetence in the national police bureaucracy, and even called into question rules banning almost all policemen from carrying guns. In addition, the leaders of the Conservative party and the libertarian Progress party succeeded in persuading voters that high taxes and suffocating regulations were preventing Norwegians from creating non-oil entrepreneurial ventures that employed people. “As rich and generous as Norwegians are, they want their children to inherit a real economy, and they demand better accountability from their government for the taxes they pay,” Jan Arild Snoen, a Norwegian political analyst, told me last August when a National Review cruise visited Norway.