I’ll admit that I’m not the most informed person when it comes to American politics. While I’m given to attribute some of my ignorance to being from a different country, I also find it quite confusing. For example, why would you have elections midway through a term? It would seem to me that it would make more sense to do it all at once and get things over with (by-elections notwithstanding). Also, it amazes me that your ballots can be pages and pages of proposed referenda in addition to casting a vote for a senator, house representative or president. It seems unnecessarily complicated and may be the source of a great deal of confusion and more than a few legal challenges. I would propose that all future elections in America are conducted by way of a rock/paper/scissors tournament…to the death. Death is definitive and, from what I’ve seen over the last decade, it doesn’t seem like it would make much of a difference.
Things are a great deal simpler in Canada. That’s not to say it’s better (it is) just different. Once the preliminary moose wrestling, syrup chugging and beaver shaving contests are over, Canadians move on to the electoral round. We don’t actually elect a Prime Minister, however, he’s just a man (and in one case a woman) who leads the party that is elected to power. Instead, we elect Members of Parliament, who are similar to your House Representative and take our chance with whatever fuckmuncher said party has chosen to lead. Also, because we generally have three parties that are more predominant, we can have minority governments that, I would think, reflect the most recent turn in the House of Representatives. That is; the ruling government does not possess enough seats to push their agenda through Parliament without the cooperation of MPs from another party. It’s kind of a persnickity system and due to it’s reliance on everyone getting along and has caused it’s fair share of “What the fuck is going on?” moments but it does provide for some checks and balances. Kind of.
Oh, and the other thing: we have a Queen. We love our Queen. Whenever she comes to visit us people line the streets to wave and bask in Her Royal Highnessness. It’s quite a sight to behold as we’re a democracy yet our seat of ultimate power resides across an ocean and only makes an appearance every ten years or so. Why we still pay any sort of tribute to The Monarchy is a complete mystery to me. To the best of my knowledge, the British Monarchy hasn’t done a whole lot for us, except look pretty and cost us money in the last one hundred years. Oh, yes, she has to sign everything into law or rather her representative does. I had forgotten about that. But nonetheless we still have a queen and we love her. Actually it may interest you to know that, when I was in grade school, we still would sing God Save the Queen at assemblies. Contrary to what you may be thinking, fuckers, that wasn’t all that long ago. Nevertheless while it may sound convoluted and perhaps a bit stupid, our government works perfectly as Rick Mercer so eloquently demonstrates.
Below is a clip from The Rick Mercer Report, which is essentially the Canadian version of The Daily Show. Except it’s not daily, it’s not John Stewart and it’s on a government subsidized network. In it he explains the Canadian political system in all of its glory. I’m sure that after viewing this educational snippet you will have to agree that the Canadian political system is awesome and feel shame that your own country doesn’t adhere to such a brilliantly simple example of how to govern a country.
By the way, you may have noticed that Rick has a bit of an accent that Americans typically associate with Canadians. That’s a Newfie accent that cannot be found anywhere else in Canada. As a matter of fact, Rick’s isn’t even that bad, someone with a really thick Newfie accent is damn near unintelligible. Even to other Canadians.
(H/T to Case for the clip)