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Thread: In Defense of Presidents

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    In Defense of Presidents

    What essentially was the purpose of the presidency?

    And, why does America have a PRESIDENT not a PRIME MINISTER?

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    Re: In Defense of Presidents

    Another ready thread in the making.
    "Every time something really bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking rights away from good people." - Penn Jillette.

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    Re: In Defense of Presidents

    Quote Originally Posted by JimHackerMP View Post
    What essentially was the purpose of the presidency?

    And, why does America have a PRESIDENT not a PRIME MINISTER?
    The purpose of the presidency have a combined head of state and head of government elected by the people's representatives (the Electoral College) who could act independent of a legislature in order to govern the country's national government (including for purposes of national defense) without suffering from an ill-timed vote of no confidence or being stabbed in the back by members of his own party.

    Having seen how Parliamentary democracies work, I can only say how singularly unimpressed I am. Rather than voting for an individual who one believes will best govern (or, just as likely, against an individual), most parliamentary democracies have you voting along party lines, the parties then form a winning coalition who then choose the next head of government. Rather than voting for a candidate who you believes best represents your values, you vote for a party that you believe represents your values and then pray that your party takes enough seats along with some other parties and that together they can choose a leader. Now the benefit is that you will almost certainly never get a wild maverick at the helm of of the Prime Ministership. But what is the strength of its stability is also its curse: you will almost never get a wild maverick at the helm when you need them most.

    Not the worst system in the world, but certainly nothing to write home about.
    Fiat justitia, et pereat mundus

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    Re: In Defense of Presidents

    Quote Originally Posted by JimHackerMP View Post
    What essentially was the purpose of the presidency?

    And, why does America have a PRESIDENT not a PRIME MINISTER?
    Because the founding document requires it, assuming we operate under the rule of law. The founding document is considered to be the Supreme Law of the Land.

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    Re: In Defense of Presidents

    Quote Originally Posted by Thoreau72 View Post
    Because the founding document requires it, assuming we operate under the rule of law. The founding document is considered to be the Supreme Law of the Land.
    That doesn't have anything to do with having a pres instead of a PM. Australia has a PM and its constitution is also the supreme law of the land in Australia. (I've purused it a bit.)

    I agree with you, Leo. I was thinking of writing a blog about "Explaining America" or something. But I can't do it myself. I need to learn a lot before putting pen to paper (or electron to website, whatever).

    The Weimar Republic, the French 4th Republic (they might as well go monarchy since they don't seem to have much luck with republics!), and almost Italy in the 1960s (though it is still dysfunctional).

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    Re: In Defense of Presidents

    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanSlug View Post
    Another ready thread in the making.
    Yeah, I'm good at those

    I must admit however, that the parliamentary republics are more interesting to watch. Have any of you seen Prime Minister's Questions? They have it on C-SPAN now and then.

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    Re: In Defense of Presidents

    Quote Originally Posted by JimHackerMP View Post
    That doesn't have anything to do with having a pres instead of a PM. Australia has a PM and its constitution is also the supreme law of the land in Australia. (I've purused it a bit.)

    I agree with you, Leo. I was thinking of writing a blog about "Explaining America" or something. But I can't do it myself. I need to learn a lot before putting pen to paper (or electron to website, whatever).

    The Weimar Republic, the French 4th Republic (they might as well go monarchy since they don't seem to have much luck with republics!), and almost Italy in the 1960s (though it is still dysfunctional).
    Well it has everything to do with it mate. Nowhere in the US Constitution is the word "prime minister" mentioned. Quite simple, eh? OTOH the office of President has one entire Article devoted to it.

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    Re: In Defense of Presidents

    Quote Originally Posted by Felis Leo View Post
    The purpose of the presidency have a combined head of state and head of government elected by the people's representatives (the Electoral College) who could act independent of a legislature in order to govern the country's national government (including for purposes of national defense) without suffering from an ill-timed vote of no confidence or being stabbed in the back by members of his own party.

    Having seen how Parliamentary democracies work, I can only say how singularly unimpressed I am. Rather than voting for an individual who one believes will best govern (or, just as likely, against an individual), most parliamentary democracies have you voting along party lines, the parties then form a winning coalition who then choose the next head of government. Rather than voting for a candidate who you believes best represents your values, you vote for a party that you believe represents your values and then pray that your party takes enough seats along with some other parties and that together they can choose a leader. Now the benefit is that you will almost certainly never get a wild maverick at the helm of of the Prime Ministership. But what is the strength of its stability is also its curse: you will almost never get a wild maverick at the helm when you need them most.

    Not the worst system in the world, but certainly nothing to write home about.
    And to add to your excellent reply, it also serves to protect the two party system, which prevents the nations governance from fracturing into several parties like Parliaments seem to do.
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    Re: In Defense of Presidents

    Quote Originally Posted by chuckiechan View Post
    And to add to your excellent reply, it also serves to protect the two party system, which prevents the nations governance from fracturing into several parties like Parliaments seem to do.
    Our founders didn't imagine that political parties would form at the federal level. They figured there would be temporary coalitions that would coalesce around this or that particular issue. Well, no one can be a prophet.

    But in a way they were right. We don't really have "parties" in the sense that the Europeans or Canadians have them. It used to be that there were more differences within the parties than between them in the U.S. I pray that the present toxic environment will not last.

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    Re: In Defense of Presidents

    Quote Originally Posted by Felis Leo View Post
    The purpose of the presidency have a combined head of state and head of government elected by the people's representatives (the Electoral College) who could act independent of a legislature in order to govern the country's national government (including for purposes of national defense) without suffering from an ill-timed vote of no confidence or being stabbed in the back by members of his own party.

    Having seen how Parliamentary democracies work, I can only say how singularly unimpressed I am. Rather than voting for an individual who one believes will best govern (or, just as likely, against an individual), most parliamentary democracies have you voting along party lines, the parties then form a winning coalition who then choose the next head of government. Rather than voting for a candidate who you believes best represents your values, you vote for a party that you believe represents your values and then pray that your party takes enough seats along with some other parties and that together they can choose a leader. Now the benefit is that you will almost certainly never get a wild maverick at the helm of of the Prime Ministership. But what is the strength of its stability is also its curse: you will almost never get a wild maverick at the helm when you need them most.

    Not the worst system in the world, but certainly nothing to write home about.
    You don't actually vote for the President either, though. If you did, there'd never be a President elected with a minority of votes.
    Near as I can figure your system, the people elect the congress and the states elect the President.
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