U.S. politics may be in a state at the moment - but Canadians can't afford to be smug about it

Posted In: News Date:Feb 9th, 2020

On any given day, it can be difficult to feel good about Canadian democracy — particularly if the day includes a session of question period, Parliament's regularly staged (but poorly acted) exchange of shouted platitudes and rote umbrage.

But it could be much worse, as a glance at the United States over the past week would make clear — and not only because Washington has been consumed by President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

The American example of late is a useful benchmark these days for measuring the relative efficacy of Canada's institutions. It also offers a stark warning against complacency.

To start, ask yourself which you prefer: the prime-time partisan spectacle of a State of the Union address or a speech from the throne — where the leader of the government is made to sit quietly in a wooden chair while a statement of the government's priorities is read flatly by a representative of the country's distant, but deferential, head of state?