Parliamentary systems are better than republics, much better

I have noted before that Parliamentary systems are better than republics but here someone in American has also taken notice. The presidency has turned into an “elective monarchy” is the title, but it’s not a recent thing, it is the nature of the system. The article is a commentary by an American on an article by one F.H. Buckley, a Canadian who, like all of us who have inherited the British system, knows the difference:

First off, we’re hardly “the freest country in the world.” As Buckley points out, his native Canada beats the United States handily on most cross-country comparisons of political and economic liberty. In the latest edition of the Cato Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World rankings, for example, we’re number 17 and we don’t try harder. Meanwhile, as Buckley points out, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Democracy Index” ranks us as the 19th healthiest democracy in the world, “behind a group of mostly parliamentary countries, and not very far ahead of the ‘flawed democracies.’”

And who do you think he was thinking of when he wrote this:

“Thin-skinned and grandiose” characters do better in presidential regimes, Buckley writes, whereas “delusions of Gaullist grandeur are fatal for Prime Ministers.” In the UK, they have to face the music in person every week. The aforementioned Harold Macmillan, British PM from 1957 to ’63, admitted that the very prospect used to make him physically sick.

The PM’s Question Time is but one facet of the superior executive accountability offered by parliamentary systems.

The US is a mess but there is nothing I can even conceive of that will fix what has gone wrong. Make the President the majority leader in the House would do much to fix things but as utopian as making impeachment in the US a realistic tool of government.

The author of the article doesn’t quite believe it in the end so if you want to read Buckley’s book, you can find it here: The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America .

This entry was posted in Cultural Issues, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to Parliamentary systems are better than republics, much better

  1. Badjack

    It could have been the Kingdom of Kennedy but two bullets won that one. It became the Kingdom of Bush. Will it be the Kingdom of Obama or the the Kingdom of Clinton?.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    The biggest problem is the failure of the rule of law. That may be because ideology has now infected both the legal system and the media, so those two checks on executive power fail to force an accounting on “their” side.

    The US Administration has committed so many crimes in the last 6 years its breathtaking: IRS persecution of conservatives, failure to enforce laws, executive orders bypassing Congress. While they may be brought to justice at some stage if the Republicans ever achieve actual power the result will be no better since the problem is a failure of the Democrats to be bound by law.

    No democracy can work unless all political parties are prepared to acceed to the law, and are willing to serve as loyal oppositions. Which is why democracy immediately failed in Egypt. If one large plurality in a polity operates with a ‘winner takes all’ aim then democracy is dead in that country. It is dead in America for this reason.

  3. Token

    If you want to be depressed about the way the US is working, also listen to the way the SCOTUS has been compromised by the 4 Leftard justices which have no intention to apply the rule of law.

    I would recommend investing 40 minutes or so to listen to John Yoo & Richard Epstein at Law Talk as they work through the legal issues effectively and a clear way.

    Alternately listen to the Ricochet podcast at around the 40min mark when Richard Epstein articulates the same point and more.

    Put simply, the executive actions of Obama will be removed by executive actions by a Republican president in the near future as the D’rats have systematically abused every convention over the past couple of years (and will continue to do so this & so much more year in the hope of not losing the Senate).

  4. Tel

    No democracy can work unless all political parties are prepared to acceed to the law, and are willing to serve as loyal oppositions.

    I think it requires a strong supermajority of the citizens to feel strongly in both the general principle that some sort of rule of law is advantageous, and also the practical issue that current rule of law is implemented reasonably well (fairly, consistently, efficiently, with measured use of force).

  5. Tel

    In Thailand they have the Monarch as a kind of umpire. If the participants don’t seem to be taking things in the appropriate spirit, the umpire steps in and calls a foul.

    It sort of works. I’d like to see an Australian system with some sort of equivalent to a monarch. The GG position cannot be considered politically neutral (maybe once it was, but certainly not now). We need some way of becoming Monarch by personal ability, not political appointment. I suggest an annual pit fight, with some variation of UFC rules, and maybe random rounds held in the dark. We could have a true Monarch, without fear or favour, someone we can be proud to send as our representative on official occasions, and more importantly, someone very removed from the party system.

  6. Bruce of Newcastle

    More on the failure of the rule of law in US politics here:

    The People Vs. Barack Obama

    …Obama and his people have made their own law out of force while rejecting the rule of law. Through force they have become the law while disregarding the law. There is a term for that sort of behavior and is it not anarchy. It is crime.

    This is the state of affairs that Ben Shapiro describes as “a quasi criminal syndicate” and in his book, The People Vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration, he discusses how to fight back against it.

    I suspect the problem is the loss of the historic Christian ethos, which on the left is being supplanted by the green-progressive ethos. Unfortunately the new religion operates on expediency, not morality, so the mores governing personal behaviour are being lost.

  7. Token

    I think it requires a strong supermajority of the citizens to feel strongly in both the general principle that some sort of rule of law is advantageous, and also the practical issue that current rule of law is implemented reasonably well…

    That works in countries where one side of politics is working through any manner possible (legal & illegal) to flood the electorate.

  8. Gavin R Putland

    I think the author meant to say that parliamentary systems are better than congressional systems. Parliamentiary systems and “republics” are not mutually exclusive; the separation between the head of government and the head of state does not require the latter to be a hereditary monarch.

  9. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Steve:

    The US is a mess but there is nothing I can even conceive of that will fix what has gone wrong.

    Oh please.

    They have had very similar crises three times before. The first was resolved 1776-1783, the second 1860-65, the third by Roosevelts ‘soviet reforms’ and welfare state of the 1930s (which contunes to date).

    yes, their system is in serious crisis. It is most certainly not existential, it’s normal, and it was foreseen.

    As has been explained to me at length by my ex-US military friends and acquaintances, the solution is a fourth such ‘constitutional reset’. One they much prefer to be peaceful, but are quite accepting of the fact that it might be violent, and they note they are constitutionally and legally authorised to and constitutionally required to use violence to revolt against a government ‘grown tyrannical’. They are surprised that I am (very) surprised by this view, BTW. To them it’s just a fact, and they’ll do it when they have to. No big deal. They do not actually expect much violence, as they believe the police and armed services will follow their oath to the constitution.

    There s a reason Obama is the greatest firearms salesman in history (100,000,000 guns and counting!). There’s a reason for the explosive growth of organsiations like the ‘Oathkeepers’, who are nearly all current and ex serving military and police.

    “…there’s a reason the whole Bundy ranch thing will be seen in future as the modern ‘John Brown’s Raid’. There, armed civilians literally put a line in the sand and said to armed elements of a government grown tyrannical ‘cross that and the revolt starts, yes, we know we will lose and forfeit our lives, that is irrelevant, for there are issues at stake here far more important than our lives’ – ”

    That’s a quote from a contact of a contact who was there. He’s reportedly ex-SOF. And the pull-back by the US Feds since across the spectrum has been remarkable. The US Federal government and its agencies are afraid of an armed populace, and understand that their own armed agents mostly will not follow orders to engage in violent conflict with their fellow citizens.

    That’s why the Preshizzle(Paco™) and his demoAristocrat allies have implemented the new tactic of opening the borders.

    Which is one more staggeringly dumb move in a litany of staggeringly dumb moves. Those idiots make the pre-1798 Bourbons look like geniuses.

  10. Tim Neilson

    Tel
    #1371794, posted on July 7, 2014 at 8:47 am
    “In Thailand they have the Monarch as a kind of umpire. If the participants don’t seem to be taking things in the appropriate spirit, the umpire steps in and calls a foul.

    It sort of works. I’d like to see an Australian system with some sort of equivalent to a monarch.”

    At about the time of the late and unlamented “republic” referendum I pointed out that there’s a simple solution. Former AFL player Scottie Chisholm (Demons and Dockers) is part-indigenous and rumoured to be an illegitimate descendant of Edward VIII (via his 1920′s visit to Australia when he was Prince of Wales). We should amend the Constitution to make Scottie the King, but otherwise leave everything absolutely as is. (Well, maybe replace the Act of Settlement disqualification of Catholics with a disqualification of anyone who’s ever held a season ticket for any rugby league club.) Republicans would get their Australian head of state. Not only that but we’d be “recognising” the “first Australians” as well. Monarchists would keep their system and their continuity with the House of Windsor. Scottie’s few aberrations at night clubs etc aren’t any worse than Prince Harry’s, so there shouldn’t be any concern on that score.

  11. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Tel:

    I’d like to see an Australian system with some sort of equivalent to a monarch.

    Me too. But one of the … interesting ones. There’s plenty of them about the joint.

    How about some Hapsburgs?

    I’d employ ‘em on contract. Ten year stints, then a referendum to see if folks were still happy with them.

  12. Rococo Liberal

    The easiest way to pick a monarch is the true democratic way: draw lots.

    I would suggest that what we need to do is simple. Firstly we insitutue a ‘monarch’s course’ at one university in each State or Territory. The criteria for this course would be something similar to the Rhodes Scholarhips. The thing is that thopse taking part in the course would have to be over 35. There should be at least 500 people in the country accepted. They would have to pay for it themselves.

    We would then have a lot drawiing ceremony. The names of the each Bachelor of Monarchy present at the ceremony would be placed in the hat, . The Prime Minister would then don a blindfold and pull out a name. The person selected would then be asked if he or she wishes to take on the role of Moderator of Australia (as the Monarch would be called) . If that person accepte, then another draw would be held for the Moderator’s back-up. However, this person would have no role but to meet the Moderator on a regular basis to hear what is going on. In the event of the Moderator not being able to function, the back-up could then take up the post.

    The Moderator’s term would be 5 years.

    he or she would have the same powers as the Queen does. He or she would definitely be able to sack the government if it could not grant supply. The Government too could sack the Moderator, but only if 75% of both HGouses of Parliament agreed.

  13. Roger

    How about some Hapsburgs?
    They tried that in Mexico, Mk50, and it didn’t turn out too well.
    What’s wrong with a scion of the House of Windsor?

  14. Roger

    No democracy can work unless all political parties are prepared to acceed to the law, and are willing to serve as loyal oppositions.
    What you also need is a robust separation of powers – this pertains more in constitutional monarchies like Canada and Australia than in the US system, where recent and past history shows us that the President can easily become a tyrant, albeit a relatively “soft” one…for now, anyway.

  15. Rococo Liberal

    BTW

    Of course the PoTUS is an elected King. The office was created in a time when everywhere had kings. The Americans were at that time Englishmen and were responding to English consitutionla problems. The biggest problem was office holders sitting in the Commons. The Opposition hated this because it gave the King and his ministers a powerful say in the makeup and the votes of the Commons. That is why the US has the old-fashioned separation of powers doctrine, with Cabinet Members not stiitng in the legislature.

    In Briotain of course the problem was solved by sperating the administrative from the executive. The former became the public service and di not sit in the Commons, whilst the latter became reponsible to the Commons.

  16. .

    Only a Canadian would believe this.

    Presidential-Congressional systems are far superior. The abuse of power Australian States and Canadian provinces get away with would never be tolerated in the constituent states of the USA.

    The best system of government is demarchy. Election by sortition. Dismissal by term limits and recall elections, along with impeachment and the like.

    There is no reason why government can’t have a board-chairman/CEO system applied to it.

    What R.L is suggesting is a good idea, but it is simply idiotic and anachronistic to keep on calling them a monarch.

    A good, professional Prime Minister could serve a very long term, like a good Shire/LGA GM.

    Yes the US President is like an elected executive monarch. As it was always intended. What isn’t working is Congress and the courts. If the GOP is full of insiders – don’t blame the constitution. Join the Tea Party wing of the GOP or join the Libertarian Party.

    Only a Canadian would believe, with their PC laws on free speech, that literally handing over legislative power to the executive instead of allowing Congress to demand those powers back from the executive, is a good idea.

  17. Rococo Liberal

    We do not need a robust separation of powers.

    That is why the Westminster System is superior, because the Sepration of Powers has evolved not been enforced by constitutional imperative.. Separation of Powers should be the guide, but there should be exceptions. In that way Cabinet Ministers can sit in the Commons.

  18. Token

    The easiest way to pick a monarch is the true democratic way: draw lots.

    You realise that would mean we end up with a mad dog like Jacquie Lambie in charge.

    After her actions one can understand adopt the “traditional” Central American techinique of clearing away such monarchs at the end of their term.

  19. Percy

    I’d like to see an Australian system with some sort of equivalent to a monarch.

    Appointed posthumously.

  20. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Roger:

    What’s wrong with a scion of the House of Windsor?

    They are kinda boring.

    Are there any Plantagenets left?

  21. Rococo Liberal

    Presidential-Congressional systems are far superior. The abuse of power Australian States and Canadian provinces get away with would never be tolerated in the constituent states of the USA.

    Dot, with the greatest respect you are kidding aren’t you?

    The US is far more prone to corruption than we are. What’s worse is that its judiciary is inept and tangled up in so much law that no-one can get a fair trial anymore. Everything is about lobbying and pay-offs in the States of the US. They are also far more socilaist than most people think. After all, from where do just about all modern left-wing ideas come, especially the ghastly doctrines of political correctnerss? The answer is the US.

    BTW, I think that that the ‘republcans’ in Australia are as thick as faeces in the neck of a bottle.

    They could get what they want, an Australian HoS on the minimalist model if they stopped uing the word ‘president’ to describe the top office and if they stopped using the word ‘republic.’

    What they proposed wasn’t a republic at all, but a monarchy chosen by parliament. I assume that the courts would have still have prosecured people in the name of the GG and not of the ‘people.’ ISo the ‘rpublicans” call was for a different Monarch, not for a republic. Just another
    example of how people by thinking too much miss the substance of a thing.

  22. Roger

    We do not need a robust separation of powers.
    I meant in comparison with the US system, RL.

  23. Roger

    The US is far more prone to corruption than we are.
    Especially at the executive level in terms of the corrupt use of power.
    Lincoln is a good example whom people tend to excuse because they believe his end justified his means. The executive power under the constitutions of Canada or Australia would never be allowed to get away with some of the things Lincoln did.

  24. Roger

    Are there any Plantagenets left?
    As it happens, MK50, the present head of the House of Plantagenet lives in Wangaratta.
    He would be your man.

  25. .

    Rococo Liberal
    #1371917, posted on July 7, 2014 at 10:37 am
    We do not need a robust separation of powers.

    Yes you do. Are you barking mad?

    What’s wrong with a scion of the House of Windsor?

    They ARE barking mad.

    Dot, with the greatest respect you are kidding aren’t you?

    The US is far more prone to corruption than we are.

    Ho ho ho.

    Explain away the NSW and QLD police.

  26. stackja

    USA was created with George Washington in mind. There was an assumption all Presidents would behave themselves or do the honorable thing and resign. Only Andrew Johnson was only ever the one to face a real impeachment. Clinton was saved by the Democrats/MSM. Nixon chose to be honorable.

  27. Token

    There was an assumption all Presidents would behave themselves or do the honorable thing and resign. Only Andrew Johnson was only ever the one to face a real impeachment.

    They were all supposed to follow GW example and be honourable as Cininattus & step down after 2 terms.

    Of course the hero of the left FDR trashed that convention. Wise heads from an earlier generation learned from the experience and made a constitutional amendment to enforce this rule.

    It is fortunate as you can imagine how the left would’ve made it a racial crime not to vote for president for life Obama.

  28. Bruce of Newcastle

    What’s wrong with a scion of the House of Windsor?

    They are kinda boring.

    Who are about to get a whole lot less boring.

    Prince Charles intends to continue campaigning when he becomes King

    Having a green-left Gaian as Australian head of state will be most entertaining. Liz is a good monarch, but her son would be better engaged as a gardener in a hippy commune.

    This illustrates big time the drawbacks of constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy, since you are at the whims of genetics. Unfortunately King Barack the First also illustrates the drawback of the congressional republic model. Except as a fallback they do have the 2nd Amendment, which we lack.

  29. rickw

    That’s why the Preshizzle(Paco™) and his demoAristocrat allies have implemented the new tactic of opening the borders.

    The residents of Murrieta have replicated the Bundy Ranch stand-off and turned back the buses full of South American Illegals.

    I suspect more will follow given their success.

  30. Aristogeiton

    .
    #1371955, posted on July 7, 2014 at 11:11 am
    Rococo Liberal
    #1371917, posted on July 7, 2014 at 10:37 am
    We do not need a robust separation of powers.

    Yes you do. Are you barking mad?

    People often forget that the ‘separation of powers’ also describes the division between enacting and adjudicating upon a law. In that respect we do pretty well; we have a robust and comparatively apolitical judiciary.

    The idea that Canada is some bastion of freedom is a joke.

  31. Token

    Wow, am I being blocked again?

  32. Oh come on

    I’m not sure we can be too critical of the US system relative to Westminster when the mother of all parliaments has transformed Britain into a soft fascist society.

  33. Aristogeiton

    Oh come on
    #1372262, posted on July 7, 2014 at 3:02 pm
    I’m not sure we can be too critical of the US system relative to Westminster when the mother of all parliaments has transformed Britain into a soft fascist society.

    Too true.

  34. Rococo Liberal

    But the Congress and the Pres have also transformed the US into a soft fascist society, only more so than Britain.

    Just read Mark Steyn for the thousans of examples of how the US is now miles ahead of the Euroweenies on the road to serfdom.

  35. .

    It’s not a competition and they still have constitutional rights to bear arms, free speech etc.

  36. Oh come on

    Just read Mark Steyn for the thousans of examples of how the US is now miles ahead of the Euroweenies on the road to serfdom.

    In some areas, yes. In others, no.

    And can you honestly say that today’s UK is a better standard-bearer of liberty than today’s US, in spite of the latter’s flaws?

  37. Token

    And can you honestly say that today’s UK is a better standard-bearer of liberty than today’s US, in spite of the latter’s flaws?

    No parliament can stop a populace detirmined to vote for more and more free stuff squandering their inheritence.

  38. Tel

    Parliamentiary systems and “republics” are not mutually exclusive; the separation between the head of government and the head of state does not require the latter to be a hereditary monarch.

    Agreed! It does require that the monarch (or equivalent) can feel confident that they do not owe allegiance to any political party, so the mechanism must be something that allows an individual to come to power under their own steam. Hence the advantage of a good old fashioned fisticuffs.

    How about some Hapsburgs?

    Maybe we can offer some opportunities for foreigners to join the contest. They would have to be willing to become a citizen (and renounce their original nationality) should they win and wish to claim the prize. A background check might be an idea, but as you say, it’s more interesting to skip that, and we don’t really trust anyone in Canberra to do the check properly anyhow.

    Are there any Plantagenets left?

    As above, let them fight to the top of the heap with the rest of them, that has been the main test of divine right that has been used in the past.

  39. Tel

    And can you honestly say that today’s UK is a better standard-bearer of liberty than today’s US, in spite of the latter’s flaws?

    My two pee is that the British are closer to the cliff but at least they stopped running, and are now discussing the possibility of edging away gently. The Yanks are still some distance off and charging forwards with great enthusiasm and momentum.

    The Australians are waiting to see who falls off first so we can confirm that it’s a good idea to jump after them.

  40. Tel

    The easiest way to pick a monarch is the true democratic way: draw lots.

    http://www.agathe.gr/democracy/the_jury.html

  41. James B

    I can’t agree.

    The US, at this point, is better than Australia in every way. I say this as an Australia, born and bread.

    There’s nothing the leftists haven’t got to in this country. No, really. NOTHING. Taxes, labour laws, environmental laws, land use laws, roads, cigarettes, alcohol, guns, bikes, pubs, clubs, free speech…It just doesn’t end. At least in the US the still have some basic things right. Like their gun laws, their first amendment, cheap housing due to lack of meddling by government, etc.

  42. Oh come on

    My two pee is that the British are closer to the cliff but at least they stopped running, and are now discussing the possibility of edging away gently.

    I *might* agree with you, but only in the event the Scots vote to secede. If the Scots decide to stay in the UK, there’s little evidence that they’ve either stopped running, let alone are discussing the possibility of reversing course.

    The thing about the US system is that it doesn’t matter if they end up going over the cliff – in fact, it might well be a good thing if they do given where they are now. The doctrinal framework will remain. This means the the Republic can go over the cliff, hit the sharpest rocks at the bottom…and all the extra-constitutional cladding that was applied to the federal structure throughout the 20th century will be smashed off in the process.

    Leaving a nice, stripped back federal system – as the Founders intended.

    Given the manner in which the Westminster system has evolved, a beneficial ‘constitutional reset’ based on clearly defined ideals is a much murkier and more unlikely prospect.

  43. Oh come on

    Alongside free speech and gun rights, the Americans have also got it over us in terms of states’ rights (genuinely competitive federalism), more of a user-pays ethos across the board (however imperfect it may be in areas such as healthcare and so on, things are still better than here), a greater respect for individual achievement (and no culturally defining and economically/socially corrosive unicorn concepts such as ‘a fair go for all’ which act as a basis for redistribution)…that’s just for starters.

    In general, a critical mass of Americans have an ingrained distrust of government authority and skepticism of government action. In this respect, the US remains exceptional, and the sole beacon of liberty in the world. In Australia and the UK, even ‘conservatives’ look to the government to lead the way in most aspects of life. There’s no contest, really.

  44. .

    The most socialist aspect of America is their mortgage market. It is utterly bizzare.

    Like how our corporations power gets abused, as does their interstate commerce clause.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn

  45. Disillusioned

    RickW
    The residents of Murrieta have replicated the Bundy Ranch stand-off and turned back the buses full of South American Illegals.

    I suspect more will follow given their success.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath. The latest on Drudge is that the Feds will bring in a full riot squad to force the issue. The local police have said that it is going to get messy. Obama needs a win with a show of force after the Bundy episode and Harry Reid will back him to the hilt.

  46. Boambee John

    “They could get what they want, an Australian HoS on the minimalist model if they stopped uing the word ‘president’ to describe the top office and if they stopped using the word ‘republic.’”

    Rococo Liberal:

    Or they could have an elected “president” who sat in the Reps, with the combined powers of the PM and GG, but subject to confidence votes?

  47. Cold-Hands

    Are there any Plantagenets left?

    The senior descendant of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence lives in Australia.,

  48. Disillusioned

    Regardless of the style of politics we adopt in Australia the most glaring need is to curtail the ability of lobbyists to influence the decisions of government. Paying excessive wages to politicians doesn’t seem to curtail their willingness to be swayed so let’s reduce their income to the minimum wage and tell them that if they want a pay rise they need to lift the country’s productivity. That might focus their attention on the national interest. We might actually attract people who believe in doing a better for the country. For those that have assets they would be held in blind trust with no access to dividends during their term in order to allow them to experience what the majority of Australians experience. Similar conditions for the public service should also apply.

  49. .

    Yeah John.

    I’ve made a similar proposal. They can get rolled by the lower house or Cabinet. The Senate gets the lion’s share of reserve powers, the remainder would go to the House, jointly, the PM and High Court.

    In doing so, I made Senators ineligible to be Ministers.

  50. .

    Disillusioned:

    If they get voted out from either Cabinet or Parliament, they are ostracised?

    I prefer demarchy, sortition and conformation votes from lower representative bodies and the populace.

    Elections ought to be a hunger games for wannabe politicians….and may the odds never be in their favour!

  51. .

    …and the PM would have been the head of state, but the defence power would be held collectively by Cabinet like the Swiss.

  52. Boambee John

    “Yeah John.

    I’ve made a similar proposal. They can get rolled by the lower house or Cabinet. The Senate gets the lion’s share of reserve powers, the remainder would go to the House, jointly, the PM and High Court.

    In doing so, I made Senators ineligible to be Ministers.”

    Dot:

    With you on senators being ineligible to be ministers, and on reserve powers lying largely with a (reformed) Senate. Further to a long discussion a while back (largely led/pushed by Driftforge), I think each state should be divided into two Senate “electorates”, each with six senators. One electorate would be based around the state capital/urban conurbation (eg, Newcastle/Sydney/Wollongong, or Brisbane/Sunshine and Gold Coasts, etc) and the other on the rural part of the state, to lessen the metropolitan domination of the Senate.

    Whatever form of “president” we eventually end up with must be part of the government and the Parliament, not a n executive operating from Yarralumla, and be subject to “no confidence” votes, to prevent the emergence of dictatorial attitudes.

    I like term limits as a concept, but would settle for recall elections as an alternative, together with voter initiated referenda.

  53. .

    I like term limits as a concept, but would settle for recall elections as an alternative, together with voter initiated referenda.

    That’s what I did, but two four year terms is enough.

  54. Disillusioned

    Dot: Why not? Why should they get more access than the voter? Mind you I think there should be a voters licence issued but not by schools or universities. There really needs to be some sort of disconnect between ex-politicians, parliament and lobby groups. The average voter needs to be able to present their case in parliament as much as any lobby group but their voice is held in the wilderness under the current situation. Why should access be driven by those ex-politicians and other power groups to the detriment of the individual? Isn’t the individual the most important element of a democracy?

  55. maurie

    For some odd reason countries seem to have the feeling that a directly elected President is a sensible measure. That method has proved a real money spinner when so many countries are brought to mind! Yet even with the help of places such as the US so many seem thick enough to encourage it!

  56. .

    The PM’s Question Time is but one facet of the superior executive accountability offered by parliamentary systems.

    Who actually believes this shit?

    maurie
    #1373185, posted on July 8, 2014 at 1:09 am
    For some odd reason countries seem to have the feeling that a directly elected President is a sensible measure. That method has proved a real money spinner when so many countries are brought to mind! Yet even with the help of places such as the US so many seem thick enough to encourage it!

    Ireland, USA, France – direct election

    Soviet Union – the Chairman of the Soviet Presidium was not directly elected (nor could have been if they were democratic).

    There is some pure horseshit being spun on catallaxy of late.

  57. A knee jerk response to the current financial, social and immigration problems facing America but not a considered solution.
    If anyone has ever heard of the separation of powers concept, and how it limits the concentration (and abuse) of power then they should ask, which would be better: the executive appointed by the people, or by existing entrenched politicians with their own special interests in mind? Presidential systems (I am assuming the author meant that when referring to republics, which in fact can also be parliamentary) also have the advantage of appointing cabinet secretaries from experts in that particular field rather than from the nomenklatura of parliamentary party hacks looking for a prestige position.
    Also the executive is stable for its full term as it does not depend on a coalition of unlike minded political parties to stay in power.
    If the executive misbehaves, then writs of mandamus or prohibition can be issued against it. Ultimately the chief executive can be impeached by parliament /congress/ the Duma/ Knesset whatever.

Comments are closed.