Now that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee, there seems to be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth going on in certain quarters. As a Canadian, I have to ask, why does it matter that much who the nominee is?

I find your system a bit baffling. See up here, the Prime Minister is the person who leads the party that has the most seats in the House of Commons. Unless there is a Minority government (a situation where the party with the most seats still has less than 50% +1 of the seat total. We have more than two political parties that hold seats.) the Prime Minister’s party is pretty much free to enact their agenda.

In your system on the other hand, if a candidate wins the White House, they win the White House. It doesn’t get them any control over your Congress, except for veto power, and they get the right to enact executive orders. The last few years have amply shown how much Congress can obstruct a President if they want to. I don’t know enough about your history to know if all the heel dragging and temper tantrums of the past few years are a new phenomena, or something that has sprouted up periodically in the past, but it seems like your Founder Fathers when they set up the system never conceived of people who would openly talk about how they were going to just automatically oppose anything the president proposes just because the president proposed it.

Unless you get some new faces in your Congress, it won’t matter if Bernie or Hillary win the Presidency. The Republicans hate both of them, and in your current political climate where it seems, from up here at least, one party treats the other as evil incarnate, I don’t see Republicans in Congress being willing to compromise with either of them.

Former Ontario Premier Bill Davis used to like quote Otto Von Bismarck who said “Politics is the art of the possible” meaning that if you want to advance your agenda, you need to work out what it is possible to achieve at this moment.


It seems to me the best chance of moving Bernie Sanders’s agenda forward is not to latch on to him as some sort of saviour figure who is going to fix everything, but instead to back candidates who are willing to work on a progressive agenda and compromise around issues where they may not entirely agree.

I dunno. That’s just my view from up here in the cheap seats.