Thursday, June 24, 2010

Some days I really wish we had a parliamentary democracy in Canada

Yesterday the Australian Labor Party removed its leader, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, from the leadership of the party and replaced him with his deputy leader Julia Gillard. Today the Governor General of Australia swore her in as the first woman prime minister of Australia. has a FAQ on the hows and whys.

It's a great system. A leader, even a prime minister, runs into trouble. And is held accountable immediately. Does he have the support of the caucus that forms a majority of the people's elective representatives? No? Well, he has to go, and someone who does instantly replaces him -- on the same condition of constant accountability.

Imagine how much more effective Prime Minister Harper, Mr. Ignatieff, Premier Gordon Campbell, Premier Danny Williams, and all the other party leaders, in power and out, might be if they had this constant accountability spurring them on to excellence. And if not effective? Gone like Rudd.

From this distance, the specific politics of the Australian change seem complicated. Rudd is said to have been thought too tough on Australia's powerful mining companies, but also judged too weak on fulfilling promises about action on climate change. But here, it's not the particularly policy issues that stand out. It's the accountability.

Could our MPs give us some of that here? Please?

[Photo from The Daily Dish "Face of the Day" which notes the success of women in Auz politics.]
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