I don’t comment in writing on American politics. It’s not my business, it’s not under my control (or influence even), and fussing about it does nothing to make my life better.
Today, though, I’m posting a link to an article about American politics because I think it offers an interesting perspective for Canadian politics even though we don’t have the two-party system that Drutman would like to see changed in the USA.
My take-aways for Canada?
First, if we invest more power in provincial and local governments (as opposed to federal), we can simultaneously achieve three things:
- Lowering the scope of any given decision, thereby lowering the value of lobbying and the potential for corruption
- Responding better to regional differences
- Increasing our own leverage over our elected representatives
Second, we can limit intense take-no-prisoners partisanship if we do these things:
- Refuse to demonize people with whom we disagree (even strongly)
- Accept intra-party differences of opinion rather than suppressing them in the name of party discipline
- Expect the same or better from our representatives
To give you an idea of the article, here’s an excerpt:
Take what happened in the presidential debate last week. President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden did little to conceal their disdain of one another. And although the debate marked a low point in our national discourse, it was a crystallization of a long-developing trend: loathing the opposing party. . . .
So how did we get to this point?
Broadly speaking, there are three trends that we can point to. The first is the steady nationalization of American politics. The second is the sorting of Democrats and Republicans along urban/rural and culturally liberal/culturally conservative lines, and the third is the increasingly narrow margins in national elections.
The combination of these three trends has turned Washington, D.C., into a high-stakes battle where cross-party compromise is difficult, and both sides are increasingly holding out for complete control.