Canada's "Winner-Take-All" voting system, which frequently hands one political party's leader (and his or her unelected backroom hacks) all the power, is given a little perspective today by U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins.
Says Wilkins: "In your form of government, particularly in a majority government, your prime minister has much more power concentrated in that one position than our president ever thought about having," the ambassador said...
Canada's system has an executive and legislative branch effectively controlled by one person.
Can you imagine, Wilkins asked, what it would be like for the U.S. president to be able to appoint cabinet members, senators and judges without lengthy confirmation hearings?
"It would change the dynamics (of Washington, D.C.) overnight," he said.
But before he set Canadians' heads spinning too much, Wilkins did add a caveat.
His boss doesn't face the daily grind of question period in the House of Commons.
Wilkins said he liked the Canadian system better "if my guy's in power," but prefers the U.S. system's checks and balances if he's not.
Wilkins' statements are right on the money. Canada's voting system hands all the power to one person for four or five straight years with little or no checks on that power, no mid-term elections, no PR-elected Senate (like in Australia).
Canada needs more checks and balances on the immense power of our Prime MInisters and Premiers. Fair voting reform, where parties win representation in our legislatures based on the percentage of their votes, would accomplish that without fundamentally changing our parliamentary system.