Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If the UK retained the parliamentary system...

... surely the Labour Party caucus would have removed Gordon Brown from the leadership before the election. Now, days after he goes to the electorate as party leader, he decides he will step down. The party will not have a leader until next September, and that leader will not be accountable to the Labour MPs just selected by the voters.

Poor Britain. What's happening there is not the Americanization of the political process but its Canadianization. It used to be that Canada was the only parliamentary democracy dominated by autocratic leaders chosen by self-selected mobs in arenas, accountable to no one, and always staying on far beyond their time. Now we see the same situation in Britain.

British Labour, it's true, has long been somewhat Canadianized in this regard. Extra-parliamentary factors have long had some influence on leadership selection... resulting in a long run of unelectable leaders (Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock, Gordon Brown) and the occasional charismatic tyrant (Tony Blair). But now it's taken over the whole system.
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