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What would "The Father of the Constitution" think of us now?

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    Dutch Wrote:

    Dave, sorry to say in 1700 the Dutch ruled the seas as well fought England and succeeded. They even founded New Amsterdam (New York) which still have Dutch names like Harlem, etc. But after that the Brits fell back in their old ways, even today. Brexit will be again an isolating matter, so then they can play again with their oddities.

    By the way there is an huge difference between the Dutch royalty and the British. The Dutch King has no say at all in governing; but more or less has an traditional role. Royalty in the Netherlands has little protection; they mingle with the crowds with hardly any protection etc. I was at a dinner with an Dutch Princess when they visited Washington D.C. this was a lot of fun. British royalty are a bit "stiff" anyway. But yeah no wonder, when during Trump's visit he put his fat ass just about into the Queen's face.

    Dutch: Well, you got me to read a brief history of The Dutch Republic. My 15 minutes in Wikipedia suggests that this was more or less still a feudal order, albeit it did bring several provinces into one federal entity. I'm didn't see the social engineering of periodic elections with the voters having the ability to throw a government who was too inept or too corrupt. I'm not seeing a superior form of governance when compared to the British system at that time. And I can't see why we in the 21st century should copy the model of the Dutch Republic.

    The British system from 1600 and onwards still had serous flaws. But it was still better than anything else out there. It was a major contributor to the dominance of Great Britain in the rest of the world.

    Our WORLD mistake is to assume the British model is the highest form of governance humanity can attain. We have only made tinkering changes since then, which includes the American Constitution.

    Western democracy took away power from inept and corrupt aristocracies. It is a system that corrals those who aspire for power and influence from behaving to arbitrarily. In other words, any action the governing party does should be weighed against the possible loss of the next election. Aristocracies really didn't have this constraint on them.

    Hence western democratic nations advanced in so many ways when compared to the various oligarchies and feudalistic orders of the world.

    Just as there is a big difference between western democracy and its competing oligarchies, so too will there be a big difference between the TDG and western democracy. But we have to get around the notion that western democracy is ultimate-----and any other government system in the past created something useful for today.

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    Thanks, I guess they must have different history books in Canada! Ha Ha. However, how come that in the Netherlands they have at least 11 parties governing, while we are having only two here; also they have an prime minister who can't invoke tariffs or other nutty things like revoking security clearances of people who were real patriots, as well bully' the whole world. Neither in the Netherlands he can "pardon" people who committed real crimes, as well the prime minister can't do anything without approval of the parliament. Furthermore there is no case law, acts, amendments etc. to run the show; just plain "laws" for which you don't need a zillion lawyers. Thus quite a difference than a antique "British" island system. Not that the Dutch system has no flaws, it also has its setbacks due to personalities as well politics. However at least there is more "middle ground" due to having more parties, which prevents it from one party "dictatorship" as is the case in the US now.
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    Dutch Wrote: Thanks, I guess they must have different history books in Canada! Ha Ha. However, how come that in the Netherlands they have at least 11 parties governing, while we are having only two here; also they have an prime minister who can't invoke tariffs or other nutty things like revoking security clearances of people who were real patriots, as well bully' the whole world. Neither in the Netherlands he can "pardon" people who committed real crimes, as well the prime minister can't do anything without approval of the parliament. Furthermore there is no case law, acts, amendments etc. to run the show; just plain "laws" for which you don't need a zillion lawyers. Thus quite a difference than a antique "British" island system. Not that the Dutch system has no flaws, it also has its setbacks due to personalities as well politics. However at least there is more "middle ground" due to having more parties, which prevents it from one party "dictatorship" as is the case in the US now.

    Dutch: You touching on the old age debate between the Westminster system, often known as first-past-the-post (or FPTP) and Proportional Representation (PR). Westminster was invented first. When the Europeans moved from aristocracy to democracy, they had a good look at FPTP and tried to fix some of its flaws. Thus was born PR.

    FPTP indeed does create fewer political parties than PR. But that is not indicative that FPTP is worse system. Canada has been FPTP for 150 years and is regarded as a well balanced country. In FPTP, the coalitions are built before the election as similar interests need to band together to be a viable contender for government. Less formal and less dramatic than PR, but political coalitions are built nonetheless in FPTP.

    FPTP can produce more decisive governments than PR, which often stalls in creating needed legislation.

    FPTP parties tend to be fairly moderate--if they want to win elections. The exception here, of course, is the recent Trump version of the R party, but I think there is a good chance of a self correcting result in November. In PR, however, any extreme party that makes a low voter threshold gains representation in parliament, thus legitimizing their extreme views.

    PR better reflects the voters' intention, as FPTP can skew the results depending on the constituencies are drawn. In Canada, it is somewhat common for a party with 40% of the vote to win 70% of the seats.

    FPTP almost guarantees that each region of the country will have an elected representative. In PR, it all depends on how parties build their lists. Regions can be left out.

    But this is all a debate that has been hashed and rehashed so many times. PR is not a solution for what is wrong with western democracy----as many citizens under PR are just as disenchanted with their government as citizens under the British system.

    In Chapter 2, I outlined 12 Limitations of Western Democracy. PR resolves not one of those limitations.