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Thread: Does America need a prime minister? (CNN)

  1. #1
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    Does America need a prime minister? (CNN)

    [QUOTE]Does America need a prime minister?
    By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

    After the S&P downgrade of the United States, no country with a presidential system has a triple-A rating from all three major ratings agencies. Only countries with parliamentary systems have that honor (with the possible exception of France, which has a parliament and prime minister as well as an empowered president).

    Juan Linz, professor of social science at Yale, argued that parliamentary systems are superior to presidential systems for reasons of stability. In a parliamentary system, he contended, the legislature and the executive are fused so there is no contest for national legitimacy.
    Think of David Cameron in England. He is head of the coalition that won the election, head of the bloc that has a majority in parliament and head of the executive branch as Prime Minister.

    In the American presidential system, in contrast, you have the presidency and the legislature, both of which claim to speak for the people. As a result, you always have a contest over basic legitimacy. Who is actually speaking for and representing the people?

    In America today, we take this struggle to an extreme. We have one party in one house of the legislature claiming to speak for the people because theirs was the most recent electoral victory. And you have the president who claims a broader mandate as the only person elected by all the people. These irresolvable claims invite struggle.

    There are, of course, advantages to the American system – the checks and balances have been very useful on occasion. But we’re living in a world where you need governments that are able to respond decisively and quickly. In a fast-moving world, paralysis is dangerous. Other countries are catching up - if not overtaking – America.

    Debt crises across the West make this a particularly bad time for paralysis. Western countries have all built up very large pension and healthcare obligations that lead to huge amounts of debt. They need to figure out some systematic way to work that debt load down to a much more manageable level. This means a lot of pain.

    Given this situation, it becomes very easy in a presidential system for the executive and the legislature to get into a classic standoff over benefits as we saw in the debt crisis.

    [B][U][COLOR="Red"]Remember, the political battle surrounding the debt ceiling is actually impossible in a parliamentary system because the executive controls the legislature.[/COLOR][/U][/B] There could not be a public spectacle of the two branches of government squabbling and holding the country hostage.

    If we’re in for another five years of this squabbling in the U.S., we are going to make presidential systems look pretty bad indeed.

    For more of my thoughts through the week, I invite you to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and to bookmark the Global Public Square.[/QUOTE]

    TLDR Version: Zakaria wishes Obama controlled the Legislature, and even the small opposition offered by ~13% of the House of Rep was done away with, so Obama can have total power.

    Three guesses if Zakaria would like such all-powerful system if say, a Republican, were in power.;)

  2. #2
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    I like Zakaria's weekly articles/points - I post them here regularly. I chose not to post this for the exact reason.

    Apparently we cannot ask these questions like - are parliamentary democracies more efficient than presidential democracies?

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4109171]I like Zakaria's weekly articles/points - I post them here regularly. I chose not to post this for the exact reason.

    Apparently we cannot ask these questions like - are parliamentary democracies more efficient than presidential democracies?[/QUOTE]

    Of coure you can ask it.

    But you canot expect others to not have opinions that are agaisnt such an idea.

    If you think it's a great idea to have unfettered one-party rule, with no abillity of minroities to stop or even slow the majority, by all means say so and say why.

    Sadly, having folks who disagree with you and may wish to say so is one of those unpleasant side effects of freedom of thought and speech.

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    s&P were wrong. It's just that simple.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish;4109355]Of coure you can ask it.

    But you canot expect others to not have opinions that are agaisnt such an idea.

    If you think it's a great idea to have unfettered one-party rule, with no abillity of minroities to stop or even slow the majority, by all means say so and say why.

    Sadly, having folks who disagree with you and may wish to say so is one of those unpleasant side effects of freedom of thought and speech.[/QUOTE]

    You're twisting it into "Zakaria wants Obama to have full control of the government!".

    No President/Party who gets elected can actually do what they ran on anymore. It doesn't happen.

    It's a fact that it's easier to do things in a parliamentary system than a Presidential system. That's what Zakaria is saying. We have been stagnant and unable to accomplish anything for a long, long time. The only time when we saw bipartisanship was after 9/11 and that gave us the Patriot Act and the Iraq War...

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4109837]You're twisting it into "Zakaria wants Obama to have full control of the government!".[/quote]

    Given Zakaria, not much "twisting" needed tbh. His bias is quite plain to see.

    [QUOTE]It's a fact that it's easier to do things in a parliamentary system than a Presidential system.[/QUOTE]

    Of course it's easier in a de-facto one-party-rule system.

    Do we want things to be easier?

    I sure a **** don't.

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