Brits tremble at the thought of a “Canadian-style parliament”

From Canwest:

“The parliamentary culture and media commentary (in Canada) continues to be more about an ongoing battle to ‘win’ a coveted majority rather than a focus on achieving stable governance and policy — an experience that may soon be replicated” in Britain, wrote researcher Anne White, a former director at the Toronto Board of Trade.”

I wouldn’t worry if I were them.  Stephen Harper and his posse are a rather unique phenomenon.  Recall, if you will, the Christmas Harper spent nostalgically gazing at multiple pictures of himself.  David Cameron may be a jerk, but is he a pathological narcissist psychologically incapable of coping with anything less than a complete grasp on the crown?

No, David Cameron may be a buffoon but he’s not a child.  I’m sure he understands the necessity for non-partisan cooperation in a government with a weak mandate.  He may wish things were otherwise, but I doubt the governance of Britain is going to grind to a complete halt.


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2 Responses to “Brits tremble at the thought of a “Canadian-style parliament””

  1. Richard Says:

    Most of my more politically aware friends are quite optimistic about a hung parliament. David Cameron has been saying the country needs a change. He is right; but I don’t think voters believe anything would change if the Tories won: we’d just have a different party in charge. But a hung parliament that has Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats at its heart really could mean change: proper electoral reform that would mean politics in this country would never be the same again.

    There is a hope, perhaps a naive one, that in a hung parliament, ideas would have to be good if they are to win support, arguments would have to be won and that parliament would get its muscles back.

    It has certainly engaged voters in a way the last few elections failed to.

  2. apophaticattic Says:

    Hi, Richard! Re. “ideas would have to be good if they are to win support, arguments would have to be won and that parliament would get its muscles back”. Yes, this is exactly how a minority parliament composed of grown-ups would behave.

    Canada’s neo-con minority are not grown-ups. If they don’t have a good argument, they pack up their toys and go home (aka prorogueing parliament). Their idea of a persuasive speech is tantamount to “nanny-nanny-boo-boo, I’m rubber, you’re glue! Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!” (aka regularly accusing the opposition of being uncooperative obstructionists). When asked to produce their homework, they claim the dog ate it (aka can’t produce documents relating to Afghan detainee torture because they’re “buried in a shipping container” and would take “two or three years” to sort out).

    From my time in the UK I believe that whatever else British politicians might be, they’re not children. They have some grasp of the kind of political maneuvring required to provide meaningful and more-or-less effective leadership despite their ideological differences.

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