One lesson from Canada is that major fiscal reform requires bipartisanship, with the initiative better coming from liberals than conservatives. It was the left-of-center Liberal party, facing what Frum describes as “nightmarish debt and deficits,” that led the way with an austere budget in 1995. Conservatives, divided at the time, were supportive.From the Weekly Standard, which goes on to note Canada's relative fiscal discipline.
There’s a simple explanation for the need for liberal leadership. If conservatives propose to cut spending and downsize government, reflexive liberal opposition can be expected. But if liberals advocate a similar approach, they’re likely to be supported by many of their liberal allies and by almost all conservatives. At least that’s the way it worked in Canada, with impressive results.
Of course, this trend is no surprise.