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Old 10-02-2008, 06:02 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,237 posts, read 8,437,088 times
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Okay, I was hanging with a friend last night and we got to talking about the government, and he thinks that the U.S. would be better off with a Parliament instead of our current system. He actually made a good case for it.

Now we all know it won't happen here, but what do you think? Is our current system good, or would we be better off with a parliamentary system like everyone else?

Any responses would be great,

Mackinac
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:12 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,237 posts, read 8,437,088 times
Reputation: 3101
Personally, I don't think Parliaments are a bad idea. It encourages more parties than just the Dems/GOP. And because there are more parties, you have to have a coalition to govern, which limits extremism. And if people aren't happy with the government, all you need is a vote of no confidence. Then you've got a chance to make things right--as opposed to waiting four years.

Of course, our system has it's advantages, but sometimes I wonder if this system isn't better.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 44,475,434 times
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Are you suggesting we get ourselves a queen??

The biggest difference that I am aware of is in a Parliamentary form of government, the people don't actually vote on who is going to be elected in office. Someone is chosen by the legislature of one of the parties. I think Americans would be very bored without their particular election process. Half the forums on the internet would be empty. LOL!

Maybe someone else will post who knows more about the differences between a Democracy and Parliamentary government than I do.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:45 AM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,237 posts, read 8,437,088 times
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Quote:
Are you suggesting we get ourselves a queen??
Good one

I guess I should explain in more detail.

In Parliaments, people elect their MP's (Members of Parliament) directly. Those members elect their leader. Whoever the leader of the majority party is, becomes the prime minister/chancellor etc...All still have a "head of state" The UK and Spain have a monarch, while Germany and Italy have a President. The head of state represents the country while the PM does the real work.

Like if we had a Parliament, Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner would be Prime Minister, depending on which party is in the majority. George Bush would have little actual power, and there'd probably be a no confidence vote on Pelosi, given congress's approval ratings. Hope that explains everything
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:25 AM
 
5,116 posts, read 4,594,023 times
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For arguments sake, if the United States adopted a parliamentary form of government then it's my guess that it would be the largest country, by population, that used such a form of government.

What's currently the most populous nation that uses a parliamentary system? I believe that would be Germany, with (I imagine) a relatively homogenous population that's only a quarter the size of the United States and an area that's only 4% of the U.S. (357,021 square km vs 9,826,630 square km).

What issues might arise by implementing a parliamentary system over a much more populous and a much more geographically large nation?

Germany currently has about six or seven major political parties. Would the United States have perhaps twenty or thirty major parties? Would ruling coalitions last very long in such an environment?
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:20 PM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,778,470 times
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Before answering your question, answer mine.

What is the greatest country in the world?

There's your answer. Our system works if we as a people demand that it be governed correctly. The problem is too many people either don't care or are uninformed.
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:26 PM
 
Location: St. Joseph Area
6,237 posts, read 8,437,088 times
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Quote:
There's your answer. Our system works if we as a people demand that it be governed correctly. The problem is too many people either don't care or are uninformed.
I agree, but that could be said for any democratic system, really. I'm not saying "scrap the system", but that parliaments offer certain advantages that we probably don't have, like having more than two parties, and the possibility of not having to wait four years if a leader is doing badly

Quote:
For arguments sake, if the United States adopted a parliamentary form of government then it's my guess that it would be the largest country, by population, that used such a form of government.

What's currently the most populous nation that uses a parliamentary system? I believe that would be Germany, with (I imagine) a relatively homogenous population that's only a quarter the size of the United States and an area that's only 4% of the U.S. (357,021 square km vs 9,826,630 square km).

What issues might arise by implementing a parliamentary system over a much more populous and a much more geographically large nation?

Germany currently has about six or seven major political parties. Would the United States have perhaps twenty or thirty major parties? Would ruling coalitions last very long in such an environment?
I didn't think about this....good point. I think India has a parliament though. I'll have to look that up.
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:59 AM
 
Location: Ohio
19,609 posts, read 14,102,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
Now we all know it won't happen here, but what do you think? Is our current system good, or would we be better off with a parliamentary system like everyone else?
Is the current system good? The US was established as a federal system of government.

Over the last few decades, since about 1960, Americans have abandoned the federal system in favor of a quasi-national form for of government, which is exactly what neither the Founding Fathers nor the people wanted.

At this point, why even bother to have states? Why don't you just rename them to National Taxation District 1, National Taxation District 2, National Taxation District 3, ..., and National Taxation District 50?

If Americans refuse to participate in their local and state and federal governments, why would they participate in a parliamentary system?

Parliamentary systems vary too. The UK is rare in that it uses the first-past-the-post system, but all other parliamentary systems use proportional representation.

If the proportional representation system is adopted, are you prepared for Green Party representatives? Communist Party? Socialist Party? Libertarian Party? Black Power Party? White Supremacist Party? Latino Pride Party?

Personally, I think some of the state legislatures would benefit from a parliamentary system, but the US is too large of a country population wise to operate on parliamentary system at the national level.
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:03 PM
 
5,116 posts, read 4,594,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackinac81 View Post
I think India has a parliament though. I'll have to look that up.
Forgot about India...it does have a Westminster-style parliamentary form of government with a federal structure.

In India there's six national parties, thirty-five state parties, and about 700+ registered parties that failed to gain recognition at the federal or state level. That's a lot of political parties.

No offense to those who hail from India, but when I think of countries with an effective and efficient government, India usually doesn't make the list.

I'm beginning to think that a parliamentary form of government works better when the nation's population is smaller.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 23,727,873 times
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I like the idea. The current system has no accountability to the people as the representative can do whatever he or she wants within the law (or outside it if not discovered) for 4 years. The way to do it would be to institute parliaments on a state by state basis and then use them as leverage to hold $enator$ and congre$$men to reflect the decisions of state parliaments. I would like to see the Federal system restored and let states function independantly under the Constitution.
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