No longer envious of U.S.-style politics

American politics are brutal. Just watching the U.S. primaries and debates play out on TV, our own brand of politics is so much more civilized.
At one time in my life, I often envied the U.S. style of politics in the way that U.S. politicians responded to the needs of their local constituents.
As I thought about national and provincial elections, I often felt our locally-elected officials failed to represent their own constituents and more frequently began representing those in Ottawa and Toronto.
They seemed to all speak from the same vinyl record of the party and few, if any, openly would broaden discussions on programs and policies.
Television is not a great way of understanding politicians. They play to the camera. Yet meeting them in their offices or over coffee, most seem prepared to explain the intricacies behind the decisions or the policies being offered up in the legislature.
One often finds there is little difference in the ideas that will work for Ontario or Canadian residents. Most is in the difference in the presentation.
I contrast that with the U.S. election process, where huge corporations fund special funds to support candidates.
In Canada, campaign funds are restricted and amounts that can be given to candidates are legislated.
Not so in the U.S.
In our last federal election, Justin Trudeau campaigned on an upbeat, hopeful note of “sunny ways.” He was refreshing and offered hope when reflected against the gloom of Stephen Harper.
South of the border, the Republican candidates are focused on who can create the greatest fear.
They want to blame the current president for all the fictional ills of the U.S.
All the Republican candidates continue to blame the government and other nations. It is hard to believe that the six remaining ones fail to understand that it is 2016 and the world has changed.
The military threat of powerful nations no longer scares terrorists or rebel factions. International corporations, with factories spread around the world, have to meet the requirements of taxes in every nation.
People who have acquired stock in those companies for their RRSPs, or 401Ks in the U.S., enjoy the dividends and growth.
Across North America, every nation has seen the movement of manufacturing from one country to another as nations compete for jobs by subsidizing companies to locate in their jurisdiction.
Republican candidates seem to stumble over the simple fact that the House of Representatives controls the spending in the U.S.
Down there, the president presents a budget to Congress.
We know from history and current announcements that the House of Representatives is unlikely to even consider the president’s spending recommendations.
In Canada, the sitting government presents its budget and with a majority, it approves the budget.
With the sudden passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Republicans (within minutes of the announcement) proclaimed they would not consider any nominee put forward by President Barack Obama.
In the past four years, two justices to the U.S. Court of Appeals have received unanimous votes in the Senate. But it now appears no currently sitting justice in any court could receive the approval of the Republicans in the Senate.
The president, under the U.S. Constitution, is required to place nominations before the Senate.
It, in turn, is tasked with the responsibility to ensure any appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court is properly vetted and meets the requirement for the position.
Over the course of the weekend, we have learned that the U.S. Senate Republicans would rather hobble the Supreme Court than fulfill it requirements.
It strikes me now that in the governing bodies that make up the U.S. government, there no longer are reasonable people making good decisions for their country.
In Canada, our main parties might not always agree on policies but they do co-operate in the best interests of Canada.

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