By Dave Anderson:
Big ideas are sexy to activists and political junkies. Big ideas are often policy ideas that promise rewards to certain groups and from the redistribution of the political-economic-cultural pie goodies, activists are motivated to engage. And activists are important to a candidate, a party and a movement.
However, big ideas don't create immediate winning coalitions. They at best create future coalitions that can win. And sometimes big ideas don't have to be new ideas. I write this in response to a comment over at Balloon Juice regarding the British Labour Party regaining its footing:
And although Labour has done well in the most recent elections, their leadership is devoid of workable ideas, and are doing well mainly because Cameron is intent on totally crashing the economy with his austerity program.
Sometimes not intentionally crashing an economy when there are viable options for growth given zero-bounds is a big, election winning idea. Electorates respond well to opposition parties that have credibly opposed needless pain, and have a plan to alleviate the pain. Old ideas can be big ideas.