Is the British system better?

Britain was blessed, cursed and obsessed with a controversial politician named Boris Johnson who had a good brain and mostly good policies but a bad personality. For the latter, he’s been canned. His own crew have jumped ship, effectively dragging their captain overboard with them.

Don’t feel sorry for Johnson. He’s a bit of a jerk, he got caught up in some ridiculous little scandals, he got very little backing from his friends whom he backed very little in their own times of need, he had a habit of saying attention-grabbing but inappropriate things, he’s a second-rate womanizer, and he has funny hair.

Sound familiar?

Johnson was a conservative, or a “Tory” as the Brits call them. You might therefore suppose that the outcome of this political fall would be that the opposing party, the Labour Party, or what we Americans would call the Democrats when we’re feeling charitable – or the Socialists, Marxists, Communists, Stalinists, Maoists or Chavistas when we’re not – now comes into power.

Wrong. When a British Prime Minister resigns before his term has expired, his successor is chosen by the majority party in Parliament. Today, that’s the Tories, the same party that chose Johnson.

(This being Britain, I should mention that there’s a role for the monarch in all this but the role is almost always ceremonial. There’s no chance that Queen Elizabeth II will appoint hairy Harry.)

America is different in two basic ways here. One is that presidents hardly ever resign. The most recent one to resign was Richard Nixon, who resigned nearly half a century ago.

In Britain, prime ministers resign in the wake of scandals or simply because they lose a no confidence vote in Parliament. Johnson survived his no confidence vote – barely – but was still sunk by his scandals along with back stabbing and front stabbing from his own staff.

If Congress in America held no confidence votes as Parliament does in Britain, it’s likely that Joe Biden would no longer be our half time and half-witted president; he’d be full time and outwitted in his Delaware basement by now. Politicians are smart enough not to express confidence in a leader with approval ratings in the low 30s. Indeed, Biden can’t even scare up local Democrats to join him on the stage when he comes to town.  

The second difference is that in America the President’s successor in the event of a resignation or incapacitation is predetermined. It’s the Vice President or the Speaker of the House or the President Pro Tempore of the Senate or the Secretary of State and so on, in that order.

This particular collection of politicians at this particular time in history is not stellar. It’s Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, 82-year-old Patrick Leahy, and someone named Blinken. It goes downhill from there as it dives deeper into Joe Biden’s Cabinet, whose members were chosen more for skin color and sexual preference than for merit.  

In America, there’s no opportunity for Congress to pick a successor and certainly no opportunity for the people to do so, until the next presidential election anyway.

And so, in Britain the Tories will replace Johnson with another Tory to continue mostly popular Tory policies without Johnson’s personal baggage. (In a bizarre twist, there’s speculation that their replacement for Johnson will be … Johnson.)

But in America, we’re stuck with Biden for another two and a half years unless the media finally discovers the zillion pixels of family wide criminality on Hunter’s laptop that the rest of us know about but the investigative “journalists” at the New York Times and Washington Post have not yet sleuthed.

And in the unlikely event that they do, Joe’s replacement will be Kackling Kamala.

There’s another more subtle but even more serious problem about the choosing of American presidents. They’re chosen by the people (albeit with a small amount of buffering through the Electoral College) which sounds like a good thing. But people are reactionary. A reaction against overreach by Barack Obama is what elected Trump. I liked Trump’s policies and voted for him twice but he has a lot of Boris Johnson in him which turned off many voters.

Those turned-off voters then reacted against Trump by electing Biden who, for all his failings – and there are more failings in Biden than we’ve ever seen in a president – is indisputably not Trump.

(I know, I know, many of you will say that the people did not in fact elect Biden. I won’t re-re-re-litigate that, other than to say that enough people voted for him that he’s President today.)

Under a parliamentary system back when Trump was elected in 2016, we probably would have gotten a Republican president with Trump-like policies without the Trumpian tweets, titters and twitters.

That Republican president would now be in his sixth year in office. He would have managed Afghanistan much better. He would not have injected trillions of wasted, inflationary and indebting dollars into the economy. He would have stared down Vladimir Putin, as Kennedy did Khrushchev and Reagan did Gorbachev. He would have maintained America’s energy independence to keep gas prices reasonable. This past spring, he would have replaced Justice Stephen Breyer with another conservative to give the Supreme Court a conservative tilt for the next 30 years.

And if the Republican fell into disfavor and he were defeated after a single term, we never would have wound up with Joe Biden. The Democrat party elders would have picked someone I don’t like, such as John Kerry or Al Gore, but at least it wouldn’t be an embarrassing, stumbling, bumbling, incompetent, stupid, senile, servile, comical, corrupt doofus with capped teeth, hair plugs, ill-fitting suits, a psychopathic son, and a wife who writes his inane speeches and wants to be called “doctor.”

I have a lot of respect for America’s founders, but in the matter of presidential succession they screwed up.

34 thoughts on “Is the British system better?

  1. Glenn, of you seriously think Biden was honestly voted in, your judgment is too impaired to take into account anymore on presidential politics.

    • From the article:

      “I know, I know, many of you will say that the people did not in fact elect Biden. I won’t re-re-re-litigate that, other than to say that enough people voted for him that he’s President today.”

      Ah, but you want to re-re-re-litigate it anyway. OK.

      A commision of prominent conservatives including my former partner Ted Olson concluded after an exhaustive study and deliberations that there was not enough fraud to make a difference in the outcome.

      Ted was the Solicitor General under Bush. He has argued 65 cases before the Supreme Court, including the 2000 case of Bush v. Gore (he represented Bush). He’s the smartest lawyer I’ve ever met, and an unabashed conservative. I trust his judgment.

      I do recognize that there were many incidents of fraud in the 2016 election. But the question is, was there enough TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? Ted says no, that commission says no, and I say no. If you have contrary evidence that there was enough fraud TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE (not just specific instances of fraud) feel free to bring it to the attention of Ted’s commission.

      • Conservative media has trashed that report. Olsen is a Never Trumper, I’m sorry to disagree but cases of fraud and other is moving forward as well as Zuck Bucks funded it all, no irregularities there. No until a full vetting is allowed the 2020 is a total disgrace and is the Californication of the Nation. I would think the calls to shut up and quit would be enough to set your curiosity on edge rather than pacify you. Now the US Army and FBI seem to have had a hand in January 6th, Julie Kelly’s latest column. As far as the voting machines are concerned, it’s been admitted to that some were on ling when it was sworn that they could possibly not. Mr. Olsen is not a go to, I’m sorry.

      • I’m still waiting for the evidence. Where is it? Why won’t the people contending there was fraud ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE release itheir evidence of it?

        The answer is, of course, they don;t have it. They believe there was fraud ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE not because they’ve seen the evidence of it, but because they simply want to believe it’s so.

        But contentions, disappointment and feelings are no substitute — in my evaluation — for evidence.

      • So the many, MANY anomalies mean nothing to you? You know, like the count stopping in several vote-counting stations at the same time and resuming again next morning at about the same time – which never happened anywhere before; all the runs of hundreds and thousands of pristine ballots, all for Biden; the fact that harvested votes hugely favored Biden, even in locales where Biden was known to be disliked; and on and on like that. That the courts won’t accept such evidence is a strike against them. To refuse to countenance indications that something mighty fishy was going on is lame, and to accept the protestations of innocence by uniparty scions is to fail to make important distinctions.

        Anyone with a brain knows there was cheating going on. That we can’t prove it to the satisfaction of a court doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. That you quit the fight without so much as agreeing that it sure did LOOK like a lot of cheating – that just means your judgment can’t be trusted on this issue.

      • The issue isn’t my “judgment.” The issue is the evidence. There’s evidence of fraud in the 2020 election, as there is in every election, and maybe there’s more evidence than usual for 2020. But I’ve never seen a credible calculation showing there was ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. And you still have not shown me evidence that there was ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. After two years of investigations by all manner of interested people, there’s still not evidence showing there was ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

        What you’re left with, Jack, are personal attacks on me for my supposed naivete in refusing to be persuaded by evidence you’re certain is out there, and are a fervent believer in, but can’t seem to put your finger on. OK.

      • Glenn: I am still wondering what happened here in my state, PA! A Superior Court decided (correctly in my opinion) that Philly and surrounding areas MISHANDLED 800K ballots that were NOT dated and also had removed them from their envelopes. In PA Law, that constitutes an ILLEGAL ballot. BUT, the PA SC REINSTATED the ballots in a 7-2 PARTY LINE vote! Most likely PA goes for Trump if those ballots were handled legally. May not have turned the tide, but, when folks say “this was all litigated by courts,” to me, that doesn’t mean something legally happened.

      • There was plenty of evidence of election fraud. You haven’t seen it because no court permitted an evidentiary hearing — all challenges were dismissed for lack of standing. If you question how it was done, you really should watch Dinesh D’Souza’s “2000 Mules” And FWIW, the Wisconsin Assembly just decertified its 2020 election results and Arizona is considering doing the same.
        Joe Biden couldn’t draw a crowd as large as his Secret Service detail when he ventured out of his basement, while Trump was filling stadiums with overflow crowds waiting outside. Despite that, 8 million more people supposedly voted for Joe Biden than Barack Obama in his record win. That enthusiasm was inspired by Trump’s mean Tweets? Negative campaigns suppress votes. They don’t inspire record turnouts.

  2. Actually, Glenn, I disagree with your premise that a Republican *other* than Trump would have implemented the same policies as Trump did. No Republican elected official had shown the necessary back-bone to do so.
    As for the order of Presidential succession, the Founders never assumed that being a politician would be a career unto itself. they wanted people to serve in Congress and then go back and live under their own laws.
    As for the British form of government (or other parliamentary government), they don’t have a candidate elected by *all* the people – they have parties whose leader is then appointed to office. That would be the same as having Nancy Pelosi elected President because the Democrats won a majority and she was the leader of the party. Trust me, the only people interested in electing Mrs Pelosi are those in her own district.

  3. I’d say that enough cheating went on to place him in the White House. So much has been revealed and IS winding their way through the Courts. FBI and other Federal Agencies and today Julie Kelly let’s out the Military in violation of the Constitution was involved with January 6th. We need a serious Reset or we’re a Banana Republic, a very large one.

  4. Boris had “mostly good policies”? Please educate yourself, sir. He compromised Brexit with the Northern Ireland “accords”, went all in for Net Zero, spent billions on Ukraine in the wake of draconian Wuhan Virus lockdowns – exacerbating energy shortages, surrendered on illegal immigration, stood idle while Pakistani grooming gangs ran rampant up and down the British Isles, and cuddled with Trudeau and the other usual World Economic Forum suspects.

    True, what comes next will probably be worse. God save the queen.

  5. The founders never anticipated the precipitous decline of the Judeo-Christian civil religion…nor could they have imagined a false religion of human intellectual arrogance, Marxianity, would be allowed control of DC. Most vastly underestimate the nature and extent of evil incarnate seeking the destruction of the Constitution.

    “An evil enemy will burn his own nation to the ground to rule over the ashes” Sun Tzu

    How evil and how duplicitous is not a matter of conjecture. Go to YouTube, type in ‘Matrix Pamphlet No.1’ and take the time to read…God’s opinion of Marxianity and its leader Obama.

    (PS if blurry go to setting and increase resolution)

  6. You might consider these points to be nits, but I think they’re worth putting into the record.
    – Parliament gets to name a new Prime Minister because they picked the old one. The Founders considered having Congress select the President, but they didn’t want the Executive branch to be beholden for his appointment to the Legislative branch, hence the Electoral College. (And the Founders would have been perfectly happy if the President was NOT aligned with the Congress. Checks & Balances; how quaint.) It was assumed that Electors would be named by the popularly elected state legislatures, but all states have opted for popular vote to dictate the make-up of their Electors – by various mechanisms.
    – The shiny, new 25th Amendment essentially gives the party (through the Cabinet or the Congress) the power to remove the President at will, although they do have to follow the succession rules. It was the Dem leadership who picked Harris, so they deserve to be stuck with her.
    – Most of the adjectives you applied to Biden apply equally to Kerry, Gore, and virtually every other member of the current Dem elite.

  7. Interesting thesis, but I am finding it difficult to reason out the relative virtues of one political system over the other when the central character is such an extraordinary, larger-than-life figure straight out of a Shakespearean tragedy. It’s hard to imagine, for example, how the personality that vanquished fifteen Republican primary candidates by reducing them to “Low-energy Jeb,” “Little Marco,” “Lyin’ Ted,” and so on, and then summoned up 62,000,000 votes in enough states by which to defeat “Crooked Hillary,” could subsequently produce 81,000,000 votes for “Sleepy Joe” Biden four years later by being so “mean.” Really, who among his supporters in 2016 changed their vote in 2020, when in fact even more people voted for him?

    No, his defeat and Biden’s victory were engineered by enormous globalist forces with enormous resources: there’s something very fishy about that 81,000,000 vote total for a candidate who, as Rush had said about Hillary, “couldn’t draw flies” at a campaign event, while Trump was filling stadiums and turning the rest away. And even if a parliamentary system had replaced Trump with a “nicer” president with the same policies prior to 2020, would the election outcome have been any different? Would Democrats have hated, say, Mike Pence any less? Would globalists have hated “America First” any less? Would Zucker-Dorsey-Bezos-Zuckerberg media have been any fairer and objective?

    No, our system as designed is fine, but only when it’s run by an educated and moral populace that doesn’t allow power to be concentrated in an oligarchy on the one hand, and a mob on the other.
    Is Britain really faring any better?

    • Maybe the problem runs deeper. Maybe the problem is representative democracy.

      Consider this: Do any large corporations allows the employees to elect management? No, of course not. They instead allow people to ascend into management by their merit — by demonstrating to the higher-ups that they are valuable to the organization. In politics, I suppose you might call that a Politburo. Food for thought.

      • I guess that passes for serious commentary.
        But, to go along with the joke. Most large corporaations have Boards of Directors, who in turn choose the CEO. Then they all scratch each other’s backs. I see no need to seriously address the relative merits of a Politburo.

      • Ah, now we’re speaking of the kind of “filtered” representation found in the original Republic, when, for example, senators were selected by state legislatures rather than by the popular vote as they are now. The Founders certainly understood that full-blown democracy is exactly what “blown” means — infested with maggots.

  8. On the Beaten Track sings the same old song. It is very hard to prove fraud, it the courts and Justice Department officials will not even allow the evidence to be heard.
    We will never know the full extent.
    On the other hand we do know that the election was fraudulent a priori, because key states illegally changed their voting procedures–in some cases in violation of their own state constitutions. Coincidentally, the revised procedures made it easier to commit fraud if someone were inclined to do so.
    An honest and courageous Supreme Court would have invalidated the election on those grounds and demanded a new one using only legal procedures.
    Oh yeah. That would have been “disruptive”.
    Our system of government is not the problem. The people pulling the voting levers, and the people they elect, are the problem. If one is to point to Great Britain as an example of the Parliamentary system, they must also acknowledge such as Italy and Israel as examples of the chaos it can produce.

    • When you speak of “the people pulling the levers,” I think of Dominion Voting Systems, which tabulates how those levers are pulled in 26 states, and which has sued its accusers into silence with claims of defamation — another way by which to keep allegations and evidence from being heard.

    • I completely agree that the people pulling the levers are the problem. And your point about the instability of a parliamentary system is well taken.

      As for the notion that we don’t have the evidence of fraud in 2020 because the courts refuse to hear it, even if that’s true to some extent, it doesn’t explain why the fraud-believers refuse to offer the evidence in some other forum. They could post it on their own website or could give it to one of dozens of conservative outlets that would love it scoop it, such as the New York Post, Washington Examiner, Powerline, The Federalist, American Thinker or The Aspen Beat. Notably, they have not.

  9. I don’t know enough about politics or law to argue about the 2020 election. I do know that our current president is mentally ill and also morally unclean. I cared for my husband as he died of several cancers and alz. Biden shows alz symptoms.
    Here is my concern: with Britain, France, Sweden, Germany now full of immigrants, and with all the illegals entering our country every single day, are we in danger of losing our Anglo Saxon heritage?
    With tiny Britain and the European countries still weak from World War II, they have now been weakened by the huge amount of migrants. Can our large country absorb all these current migrants and remain a predominately white Anglo Saxon country with many Jews and Christians living together in support to our American way of life?
    But the current Biden crowd is made up of mainly black and/or homosexual people, none of whom seem to be patriots. Instead they seem to be determined to force us into their ideas of “green.”
    Please don’t think I hate people of color or homosexuals. I don’t, never have and never will. I do hate the way we are being ruled by Biden, Fauci, etc. who are trying to tear down our way of life and turn us into robots. Masks did not help protect us from covid. Closing schools was cruel to children. Television ads showing 75% of black actors when black people make up only 15% of our population is ridiculous. Why was that man taking part in a women’s swimming competition? Are we vain enough to think we are superior to God, who made us male and female?
    Glenn, you wrote a column that makes us think. I am old enough now to compare our current politicians and attitudes of those during the 40’s when we dealt with danger and reality. I am still thankful to George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the others who formed us into a great country.

  10. “I know, I know, many of you will say that the people did not in fact elect Biden. I won’t re-re-re-litigate that, other than to say that enough people voted for him that he’s President today.”

    This certainly has negatively impacted my opinion of Glen.

    Each to is own.

    • I don’t care what you think of me, Jon. I don’t think anyone else cares what you think of me, either. This isn’t Junior High, or Facebook, and I’m not looking for “likes.”

      I’m in this to present ideas. If you have one, let’s hear it.

  11. Even a cursory review of the literature on the subject establishes that the Founders–God bless ’em!–rejected the British parliamentary system, specifically because it converged the legislative with the executive function. They wanted “The People” to control the direction of their own government. The only divergence from this principle was found in the indirect election of Senators, which was explicitly designed to give “the States” more power; i.e., part of the system of federalism. Of course, that was thrown out in one of the “Progressive Era” amendments to the Constitution, whereby direct election of Senators was substituted. At any rate, “The People” have gradually become a rabble–not all, but enough– lacking the required intelligence to vote in their long term best interest, but simply demanding immediate gratification of the basest needs and wants. Politicians, being politicians, have accommodated that desire by voting to bestow the nation’s largesse on said rabble. As the late and lamented P.J. O’Rourke observed, the nation was doomed at the precise moment that people discovered they could vote themselves rich. Our founders also knew that “democracy” was the very worst form of government, as it enabled tyranny, and always leads to anarchy followed by totalitarianism. In addition, our original tripartite system of governance has become bipartite, as the Legislature has ceded more and more of its power to the Executive. E.g., whereas the budgetary process is SPECIFICALLY vested in the House, it has now become the practise to wait for the Executive to submit a budget proposal, rather than creating one ab initio, passing it in both houses of Congress then submitting that to the President to sign or veto. I could go on, but (I am sure to the relief of all who might read this) won’t. But in closing, allow me to add that BoJo’s problems all began when he fell for the dame he knocked up, then married. A quick read on her positions and philosophy of governance will establish that she has been a singularly malign influence over Johnson. She, not he, is the source of all his deviations from conservatism, particularly his fascination with all things “green”. It has always been thus: Cherchez la femme!

  12. At his best and in his prime, Joe couldn’t have even come close to this performance. Nor (some tribalists will curse me for saying this) could Trump.

    American government is broken. Our incredible resources and people and technological innovation — and some luck — have largely hidden it, but it’s now clear. America cannot survive in it’s present system. We simply elect too many morons.

    • There is a way to fix our American government … and I believe that a solid majority on SCOTUS is beginning to lead the way.

      Follow, abide by, faithfully adhere to, and enforce the US Constitution. Period.

      SCOTUS has indicated this in the recent Dobbs decision, along with recent decisions regarding the 2nd Amendment, free speech, and 1st Amendment exercise of religion by the high school coach, among others.

      As far as the United States emulating British Parliament … it might be easier to just build a time machine and travel back to 1777 and convince General Washington to surrender his forces to the British, because of what … Nixon, the Rodney King riots, Bush v. Gore, Obama, Antifa/BLM, Orange Bad Man, Dementia Joe, and/or a licking her chops Hillary beast always lurking in the background. Then, maybe we could very well have an English modeled parliament. And then, we would just likely have all of the same problems as the Brits. While much of the U.K. is interesting and intriguing, I do not want to be them.

      No thanks … I like my teeth and dental care just the way they are, among many other considerations.

      But constitutional republican government is designed to be hard … this level of difficulty is what tends to preserve our cherished individual rights and freedoms from the constant corrosiveness and degradation by political demagogues, statist central planners, and wannabe authoritarians.

      It was Benjamin Franklin who after all responded with “A republic, if you can keep it” when asked what had just been created when the US Constitution was drafted.

      Lastly, its interesting that the US Constitution has been replicated and tried in several other countries, but none of these countries have had the amount of success, prosperity, guaranteed freedoms, innovation, and economic viability as the United States.

      Right now I am in The Philippines, a country which largely adopted the US Constitution when it gained its independence shortly after WWII. A few others countries in South America have also adopted close versions of the US Constitution as well, yet they too haven’t had the same success and prosperity that America has had.

      Why is this?

      Some years ago, I attended a great ISI conference that delved into the roots of American order. The distinguished guest speakers, high functioning and ethical professors affiliated with ISI and from such campuses like Hillsdale College, had shown that these other countries have not been able to replicate America’s freedoms, success and prosperity because of many cultural, societal and normative factors that make our US Constitution so workable. These factors include among other things, our English language, the Anglo-Protestant work ethic (i.e., delayed gratification … work hard today to reap your rewards tomorrow), the enshrinement of the American individual over the collective, scientific inquiry, fealty to God, a trustworthy and impartial legal system, etc.

      Now as much as I like and respect The Philippines and its people, they are not from the same mold that was in the DNA that birthed the United States. Here, family tends to take precedence, even over the individual.

      So … if you were an enterprising and independent individual in a country such as this, there would be tremendous family pressures put on you to hire your family, whether they were deserving and qualified, or not. So, you might end up hiring your alcoholic brother-in-law or your kleptomaniac nephew due to family pressure, the collective. These family, i.e., collective, pressures have a tendency to push out meritocracy resulting in mediocrity and cronyism.

      These are generalities of course and there are always lots of exceptions. But in countries like these, they tend more to be the norms creating further impediments to just and meritocratic societies.

      And please note, I do not mean this as a put down of these societies. They are just different. In another aspect, I think that people in The Philippines are probably happier in many ways because they are so tied into families and close kinships. As social beings, people tend to be happier when in the presence and comfort of those people closest to them.

      The Founding Fathers realized foremost that freeing the individual from the red tape of oppressive government unleashed the imaginations and innovations of millions upon millions of Americans at the grass roots level. Our nation was built up from the grass roots level, not from the top down like a monarchy or Politburo.

      Check out …

      G’day … from a tropical paradise.

    • Love him as I do, I agree with you about Trump. If he lost the election legitimately (which most of us here doubt), it was because of those rambling, repetitive, ungrammatical, and interminable press conferences he gave with Fauci and Birks standing around smirking, filled with remarks about bleach and so on that his enemies easily caricatured as moronic.
      Performance matters when you’re surrounded by real, and really malevolent, morons.

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