Saturday, July 30, 2011

An Appointed Senate Would Have Saved The USA

"We need to reach a compromise by Tuesday so that our country will have the ability to pay its bills on time... If we don’t, for the first time ever, we could lose our country’s Triple A credit rating. Not because we didn’t have the capacity to pay our bills – we do – but because we didn’t have a Triple A political system to match it." - President Barack Obama
The United States of America is the greatest democracy on earth, and that's the problem. It is because democracy underpins every important body in the American government that the nation faces, the first time in its history, default. With the unproven assumption that democracy is always best in every circumstance the Canadian Senate is often criticized for its undemocratic nature of appointments; however there can be no denial of the fact that if the United States had an appointed Senate it would not be in the debt crisis it is in today, nor would global economic stability be threatened by it.

America is a nation of extremes, mainly because it was founded out of them. Revolution never brings moderation, and that is certainly true of the American fight for independence; it began from the rejection of one form of government and ended with the adoption of the diametric opposite. From monarchy to democracy, there was no middle ground. The President, House of Representatives, and Senate are all elected and because there is no counterweight to democracy, such as exists in Canada with our Senate and monarch, these American institutions must provide their own form of check and balance to each other, each having to consent to a bill before it becomes law.

Canada on the other hand is a nation of moderation; it was not founded out of emotional opposition to one form of government, but instead founded to constitute the best form of government, a combination of all of them. This northern nation was not created from extremes, it sought the middle. Our government values the stability of monarchy, the merit of aristocracy, and the representation of democracy.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy and though a monarch still reigns as our head of state, she seldom intervenes. Laws are passed by our House of Commons, an elected body in which our Prime Minister is chosen from and therefore both are usually in accordance with each other. Our appointed Senate, because of its aristocratic nature, recognizes its subordination to the more democratic Commons and approves almost all bills originating from that lower house. The Canadian government stands in contrast to its southern neighbour because it is not an extreme of democracy and thus does not suffer extremes from democracy.

The Canadian Senate is often attacked for its members being appointed however the belief that democracy is always right is an extreme opinion that is currently being proven wrong in the United States. The American government needs to raise its debt ceiling to be able to pay for public services however the Republican Congress and the Democrat Senate and President don't agree on any plan. Because of this deadlock the USA will likely see its credit rating lowered and will not only risk default but global economic instability.

America's actions, in their inability to compromise, may seem extreme but the nation itself is extreme, an extreme in democracy. If their government was formed out of moderation, their actions would be those of moderation. If the USA had not rejected everything completely that resembled monarchy and aristocracy, that country would not be in the position it is in today. If the USA had an appointed Senate like Canada, it would have approved of the Republican majority's plan in Congress more than a year ago. It may not have been the most representative plan, but it would have prevented this domestic debt crisis and perhaps the pending international one.

If the United States had an appointed Senate, like Canada, that country's debt ceiling would have been raised long ago and it would not be in the crisis it is in today.

2 comments:

A Eliz. said...

The way it is with Harper , it would not make much of difference.The Tea Party would not attend , though.

WesternGrit said...

Absolutely LOVE your post Scott. It may just be your best one this year!