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Dutch -- Yes, the difference of note between the European parliamentary election system and ours is in the respective special interest groups. In the parliamentary system each special interest group runs their own candidates and then after the election try to come together to form a coalition government. But any part of the coalition could quickly fall apart prompting a new election.
In the United States we have many of the same special interest groups as the Europeans. However, we form coalitions into the Democratic and Republican parties (and a few lesser parties) before the elections.
Europeans have, for example, special interest groups with the name "Christian" attached to them and they run their own candidates, but their elected candidates have a voice in the coalition government. In the USA, the various Christian groups (especially the Evangelicals and Mormons) align themselves with Republicans before the elections.
I don't know that it makes much of a difference either way. What does make a difference as you so aptly pointed out, is the money in our politics. There is no question that huge money donations influence votes, and in effect each person accepting big money donations is "bought". His/her future votes will follow that money. It's why the really big donors like the Koch brothers have such influence, and they use that money to not only support their favorites but also attack their opponents. Negative ads have seemingly become the norm in our elections.
It's difficult to extricate ourselves from the process. While we had laws on the books pertaining to campaign contributions, the very partisan Supreme Court overturned many of those laws. I've referenced this 2014 ProPublica article before, The Dark Money Man: How Sean Noble Moved the Kochs’ Cash into Politics and Made Millions. It gives you some insight into how the Koch brothers have thrived after the Citizens United 5-4 ruling by SCOTUS.
This is a very big hurdle that we have to overcome. Once Republicans get a seat on the Supreme Court they are there for life and can undo any legislation passed by Congress. It might be easier to pass a Constitutional amendment than to "change the brains" of the five conservative judges on the court for life. Both very, very difficult.
"Elections have consequences". -- Barack Obama