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Canada Needs Direct Election Of The Prime Minister


Exegesisme

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Well, I can't name names but there are a lot of them.

Now let me ask you a question. Can democracy be effective if most of the people don't have a basic understanding how it's supposed to work?

First of all, I never really believe these polls. There's a little too much "gotcha" to them, so I remain very dubious.

Second of all, that some large fraction of the people may be ignorant of their country's political system isn't an argument against the political system, but rather against the educational system.

After all, plenty of people think the US President is elected in a general election. Would you use that as an argument against the Electoral College? Or would that be more an argument that in some places civics classes aren't taken seriously enough.

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The German president very rarely invokes his reserve powers, perhaps more than the presidents of more Westminster-like republics, but at the end of the day, the Chancellor in Germany is still the more politically powerful figure.

I don't deny that the chancellor, as head of government has most of the power. My point was that there are different ways to elect a HoS and different ways to carve up the powers between the HoS and the head of government.

And I still believe that an elected HoS has legitimacy that a hereditary one lacks.

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I don't deny that the chancellor, as head of government has most of the power. My point was that there are different ways to elect a HoS and different ways to carve up the powers between the HoS and the head of government.

And I still believe that an elected HoS has legitimacy that a hereditary one lacks.

The German model isn't that different, and the President rarely intervenes.

Believe what you like. I believe our system is legitimate, functional and effective.

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First of all, I never really believe these polls. There's a little too much "gotcha" to them, so I remain very dubious.

Second of all, that some large fraction of the people may be ignorant of their country's political system isn't an argument against the political system, but rather against the educational system.

After all, plenty of people think the US President is elected in a general election. Would you use that as an argument against the Electoral College? Or would that be more an argument that in some places civics classes aren't taken seriously enough.

First of all the electoral college is idiotic. How delegates are chosen varies from state to state and the whole process is an anachronism.

You need to remember that a lot of these bizarre mechanisms like the electoral college were put in place because the people who knew best (aka the people with all the money) feared democracy. And they still do.

So, yes, people need to be better educated. But the institutions themselves should be reformed to make more sense. And part of that would be to eliminate anachronistic practices.

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No system is going to prevent bad governments, and even the odd overly autocratic one.

A good system should prevent too much concentration of power in the hands of too few people, particularly unelected and unaccountable people. And this isn't just a case of one overly autocratic government, this is a trend that has existed since about 1970.

Honestly, monarchists have more stubborn, unthinking, passionate loyalty than Maple Leaf fans.

The electoral system is probably the bigger part of our problem, and it looks like that's going to be fixed real soon.

The electoral system needs to be fixed too - it doesn't need to be an either/or thing.

But our experience in BC tells me that the chances of getting PR are not great. The government can change the voting system on its own but that would cause a huge hue and cry, even among some inside the party in power. So, the politically safer course of action is to hold a referendum. As soon as you hold a referendum, established interests will come out of the woodwork to run a campaign of FUD to kill it. It happened in Ontario. It happened in BC.

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A good system should prevent too much concentration of power in the hands of too few people, particularly unelected and unaccountable people. And this isn't just a case of one overly autocratic government, this is a trend that has existed since about 1970.

Honestly, monarchists have more stubborn, unthinking, passionate loyalty than Maple Leaf fans.

The electoral system needs to be fixed too - it doesn't need to be an either/or thing.

But our experience in BC tells me that the chances of getting PR are not great. The government can change the voting system on its own but that would cause a huge hue and cry, even among some inside the party in power. So, the politically safer course of action is to hold a referendum. As soon as you hold a referendum, established interests will come out of the woodwork to run a campaign of FUD to kill it. It happened in Ontario. It happened in BC.

I have said it many times over the years that I am a Monarchist of Convenience. Since elected presidents in a parliamentary system have no more power than the Queen, and generally no more influence, I see no advantage to the massive changes that would be required to bring in a republic.

The other systems all have the same features. It's not like Obama or Hollande don't command vast executive powers, or that they aren't frequently attacked by their political opponents for abuse of those powers. You would have to live in a hole in the ground to think that presidential and semi-presidential republics don't endure the same criticisms, and they don't have the benefit of the notion of confidence, which is core to a parliamentary government. Frankly, I think you're greatly overstating your case anyways. We've been watching Stephen Harper lose political capital in his own caucus for two years, and the same thing happened to Chretien and Mulroney in their turn, so clearly the situation isn't that dire.

As to electoral reform, unless the NDP or Liberals completely go back on their word, this may very well be the last FPTP Federal election Canada has.

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I have said it many times over the years that I am a Monarchist of Convenience. Since elected presidents in a parliamentary system have no more power than the Queen, and generally no more influence, I see no advantage to the massive changes that would be required to bring in a republic.

That is my exact feeling. The idea of monarchy is ridiculous, but, what we have is really no different than a parliamentary republic, and seems to work even better.

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I have said it many times over the years that I am a Monarchist of Convenience. Since elected presidents in a parliamentary system have no more power than the Queen, and generally no more influence, I see no advantage to the massive changes that would be required to bring in a republic.

Again with the sweeping generalization. small c made the same claim about elected presidents - read the rest of the thread.

The other systems all have the same features. It's not like Obama or Hollande don't command vast executive powers, or that they aren't frequently attacked by their political opponents for abuse of those powers. You would have to live in a hole in the ground to think that presidential and semi-presidential republics don't endure the same criticisms, and they don't have the benefit of the notion of confidence, which is core to a parliamentary government. Frankly, I think you're greatly overstating your case anyways. We've been watching Stephen Harper lose political capital in his own caucus for two years, and the same thing happened to Chretien and Mulroney in their turn, so clearly the situation isn't that dire.

So, occasionally changing leaders is your standard for good democracy? Could the bar be much lower?

As to electoral reform, unless the NDP or Liberals completely go back on their word, this may very well be the last FPTP Federal election Canada has.

I don't know where you were during the provincial referendums on PR but I just covered this.

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That is my exact feeling. The idea of monarchy is ridiculous, but, what we have is really no different than a parliamentary republic, and seems to work even better.

I have very few complaints about our system. Centralization of power is a problem, but a problem that no one else has found a fix for either. I think the PMO has gained too much power, but that requires no radical reforms, and frankly, I think an analysis of the post 2013 Duffy revelations shows that Harper's PMO has lost a considerable amount of its sway. This is going to be a very different Parliament, and not just in who governs it, but there's been a major changing of the guard as a lot of long-term MPs have decided, mostly due to pension changes, to bow out now.

We'll never have an optimum system, and quite frankly, as much as voters rail against autocratic PMs, history hasn't been very kind to PMs who were viewed as weak or overly accommodating either. Whether people like to admit it or not, we like strong leaders. There's something in the human psyche that responds strongly to dominating alpha individuals who project a sense of control and competence, and voters and even MPs can be overawed by such individuals. But the spell never lasts, and even the most powerful PMs in our history; Laurier, King and PET inevitably fell.

We have a functional, largely responsible and effective governing system with few rivals in the world. Canada is one of the best governed and freest states in the world. Frankly, I think some people just get obsessed with political leaders; for or against, and turn them into monsters.

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Again with the sweeping generalization. small c made the same claim about elected presidents - read the rest of the thread.

So, occasionally changing leaders is your standard for good democracy? Could the bar be much lower?

I don't know where you were during the provincial referendums on PR but I just covered this.

My standard of good democracy is free elections, peaceful transfer of power and general good governing in between. By that standard, Canada has never really had a bad government.

And so far as I understand the NDP and Liberals' policy on electoral reform, there won't be a referendum. The Liberals will have some sort of convention to decide on the reform, though they've mentioned ranked voting. The NDP appear ready to bring in MMR.

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I have very few complaints about our system. Centralization of power is a problem, but a problem that no one else has found a fix for either. I think the PMO has gained too much power, but that requires no radical reforms, and frankly, I think an analysis of the post 2013 Duffy revelations shows that Harper's PMO has lost a considerable amount of its sway. This is going to be a very different Parliament, and not just in who governs it, but there's been a major changing of the guard as a lot of long-term MPs have decided, mostly due to pension changes, to bow out now.

We'll never have an optimum system, and quite frankly, as much as voters rail against autocratic PMs, history hasn't been very kind to PMs who were viewed as weak or overly accommodating either. Whether people like to admit it or not, we like strong leaders. There's something in the human psyche that responds strongly to dominating alpha individuals who project a sense of control and competence, and voters and even MPs can be overawed by such individuals. But the spell never lasts, and even the most powerful PMs in our history; Laurier, King and PET inevitably fell.

We have a functional, largely responsible and effective governing system with few rivals in the world. Canada is one of the best governed and freest states in the world. Frankly, I think some people just get obsessed with political leaders; for or against, and turn them into monsters.

lolol

I love watching you monarchists dance. You KNOW that it's indefensible to have a hereditary head of state in the 21st century but you rationalize and make excuses.

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More efficiently? Are you serious? The US hasn't passed a proper uncontested budget in years. Gridlock is the norm in the US, not just between the President and Congress, but between both houses of Congress. What's more, despite all of that, successive Presidents from Lincoln onward have shown great ability to stretch executive powers to extraordinary levels.

I have a certain admiration for aspects of the American system, but calling it efficient is absurd.

I do not mean more efficiently to get an act pass, I do mean more efficiently to get the real goodness for USA by the well designed checks and balances of the possible acts.

Edited by Exegesisme
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Well, keep it up. You might understand them some day.

You're the one who seems to betray a considerable ignorance of political systems. You seem to just vaguely claim ours is bad, that others are better, with little fact to back up either. Not only that, but you seem largely ignorant of the fact that any significant change in the political system would require unbelievable levels of agreement in Federal and provincial circles, such a high level of agreement that they would make Senate abolition seem easy by comparison.

Canada is going to have a parliamentary system for a long time. Rather than wasting your energy on impossible changes, changes you can't even really enumerate, I would suggest looking at ways of making our system better.

I have a number of ideas:

- Electoral reform

- Making caucuses solely responsible for picking party leaders

- Reforming parliamentary procedures to give committees more power

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You KNOW that it's indefensible to have a hereditary head of state in the 21st century but you rationalize and make excuses.

And yet some of the most successful countries in the world have monarchies. I'm not in love with the idea, but I fail to see how changing to an almost identical system would be worth the effort that you're talking about.

Edited by Smallc
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I do not mean more efficiently to get an act pass, I do mean more efficiently to get the real goodness for USA by the well designed checks and balances of the possible acts.

Which would require massive constitutional reforms which will never happen. We have a parliamentary system of government, it works and most of the time works fairly well.

And again, it's not as if the US has solved the problem of centralization of power.

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My standard of good democracy is free elections, peaceful transfer of power and general good governing in between. By that standard, Canada has never really had a bad government.

Well, good for you. If you keep your standards low enough, you'll never be disappointed.

Is your standard for fine dining any food that doesn't give you botulism?

Is your standard for a great novel that the words are spelled correctly and and the pages are numbered properly?

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Which would require massive constitutional reforms which will never happen. We have a parliamentary system of government, it works and most of the time works fairly well.

And again, it's not as if the US has solved the problem of centralization of power.

The centralization of executive power in USA is very good, and is not a problem, the reason is that it is constitutional!

The centralization of executive power in Canada is not very good, and is a problem, the reason is that the constitution does not provide enough resources for the executive power to be sustainable and play a good leadership in an obvious constitutional way. Therefore, the executive power in the system of Canada has been centralizing in an unconstitutional way by stealing the power of the legislative branch.

Edited by Exegesisme
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yup... exactly what Harper has done with the PMO! That's what you meant right?

You should take all my meaning which is not on a specific PM, but all the PMs in the sufferings of a constitution without enough obvious resources for the healthy leadership of the executive power. The next PM will still be in the same situation.

Edited by Exegesisme
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