Saturday, January 21, 2006

Upcoming Elections

There are two major elections coming up next week.

First there are national elections in Canada. Canada is a parliamentary system, so they are electing both their executive and legislative branch at the same time. Furthermore, they are electing their complete legislative branch at the same time, they do not stagger the elections as our legislature does. This provides for huge political swings, and by all accounts one is on the way. The Liberal Party has dominated post WW II Canada, but that could be coming to an end. It now seems likely that the Conservative Party will at least win enough seats to form a coalition government and come to power. The Conservative Party has made modest promises to reduce anti-Americanism and contribute more to the war on terror, so a Conservative win would be helpful.

Then on Wednesday the Palestine National Authority will be holding their elections. They will elect a parliament. Their president (who is the Head of State) is elected separately (Mahmoud Abbas was elected last January) and appoints the Prime Minister (who is the head of the government). (our president is both the head of state and the head of government, in Canada and the UK, the Queen is the head of state and the prime minister {elected by the governing party in parliament} is the head of government) Now the outcome of the election on Wednesday will have little effect on the United States, but it will have an effect on the upcoming Israeli elections in March, and those will have an impact on the United States. It remains to be seen whether or not Sharon's new Kadima party will win enough support to govern. That would seem to be the best outcome for the United States.

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