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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper used a speech to 300 conservative movement activists to argue that private enterprise cannot be the sum of conservatism.

Markets can fail: "We are in a global recession principally – and we have to face this – because a lot of people on Wall Street, because of a lot of people in the private sector more generally – homeowners or consumers – pushed or bought into a very unconservative idea: That they could live beyond their means."

Regulators can’t take all the blame for current economic difficulties: "Regulators may have failed to prevent it but, in the end, it was a failure of the private sector to live according to the values we as conservatives know to be true… Conservatives don’t believe big government – the welfare state – is
the solution to all problems. We didn’t believe it before the
recession. We’re not about to start believing it now. But neither can
conservatives believe today that the marketplace – that which I call
Wall Street – is the solution to all problems."

The state can play a vital role in getting the economy going again: "We are, as Conservatives, in response to massive failure in the marketplace, are using the public role of government to act. When billions, maybe trillions of private capital, is sitting on the sidelines because of fear, pessimism and panic, the government must step in to restore confidence, protect citizens and to stimulate the economy,"

Faith and family stand alongside freedom as conservative beliefs: "Faith in all its forms teaches . . . that there is a right and wrong beyond mere opinion or desire. Most importantly, it teaches us that freedom is not an end in itself, that how freedom is exercised matters as much as freedom itself."

Quotes taken from Canada’s National Post.

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