Debt and responsibility

by Aaron Wherry

John Pepall, author of Against Reform, points to the U.S. debt crisis as another reason we should appreciate our parliamentary system.

Under parliamentary government, a prime minister must take responsibility for a budget. If it is passed he will have to answer to the voters for it. If the country prospers the voters will cheer him on to re-election. If not, he will have to shoulder the blame and electoral defeat. If it is not passed there will have to be an election and the voters can decide whether they like the budget or would prefer something else. 

One way or another parliamentary government forces politicians to take responsibility and holds them accountable …  In the U. S. power is dispersed and responsibility is avoided. 




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Debt and responsibility

  1. I agree….our system isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s much better than the American one.

    They have so many ‘checks and balances’ they can’t get anything done.

  2. Pepall has a good point here.  Parliamentary government has plenty of bugs, but avoiding US-style debacles by forcing politicians to take responsibility is definitely one of its best features.

  3. “One way or another parliamentary government forces politicians to take responsibility and holds them accountable.”

    Overall, I agree with Pepall that Westminster democracy is finest Government created by man so far. However, I also think Pepall is completely wrong in this article.

    Big crisis facing western world right now is debt and overspending. Canadian government still running deficits and Canadians were not offered choice in last election if we would like debt reduction or continuance of huge deficits. All our major parties agreed that it was best to potentially bankrupt Canada rather than have debate about effects of debt.

    US, on the other hand, is having a massive debate about debt. American pols are taking a hard line because they are directly responsible to people in their district, American pols can’t hide behind cabinet solidarity or party solidarity twaddle we get from Canadian pols.

    American system is expressing the fact that there is no agreement on whether huge amounts of debt are good for economy/country. People disagree about debt, stimulus spending and the like and what is happening in American Congress just reflects society in general.

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