WHAT IF AMERICA HAD THE BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM?
I love reading Greg Palast's commentaries. It is a shame that a bonified American journalist has pretty much been exiled from his native land in order to pursue his journalism career the way he wanted - as an objective reporter beholden to nothing more than informing readers of the truth.
He's too good for America - that's why he's working for the BBC (www.gregpalast.com).
Anyway, his commentary on Prime Minister Tony Blair's political future after May 5th got me to thinking: What if America had the British Parliamentary System for selecting elected officials?
In Britain, the Prime Minister is not selected - the Members of Parliament (MPs) are voted for by the people, and as their elected representative, the MPs votes for the Prime Minister, usually with the majority party being the key to the Prime Minister's victory. As a result of the Labour Party gaining that majority, Tony Blair got the PM's job. If the Labour Party loses a majority of their seats in Parliament, Tony Blair may be referred to as "Ex-Prime Minister".
What if the American Congress selected the President in the same manner? By majority party? First of all, there would be more viability for third or fourth political parties, just like Britain has. If the American Congress had to do that, maybe we wouldn't be inflected with George Bush, because a House or Senate Member would know that if he or she has to vote for the President of the United States, they won't be so quick to toe the party line. Additionally, in Britain, someone else is responsible for the economic rise or fall of Britain - here, in America, the Treasury Secretary is little more than a rubber stamp for the President. Which means, that even if Blair is returned to his job, he becomes a lame duck, if Chancellor Gordon Brown has anything to do with it.
Now, I'm not endorsing England's system of government; I'm just wondering "what if?"
America wanted nothing like the British system of government when this country was formed 200+ years ago. I wish the Founding Fathers had more foresight than an abhorrance to anything that reminded them of England. America, in the 21st Century, might have been better off. The DLC could exist, but with the knowledge that it could be neutered at any time. Same for the GOP and the radical factions within both Republican and Democratic Parties.
You may not agree with it, but I think the British system of government is looking pretty good these days, because it's more reflective of democracy in action than anything being done here in America. Democracy here is begining to look a whole lot like Facism - and that's the ugliest sight you could ever see.
Makes you wonder....