Sentiments you won’t hear expressed during an American election campaign: “[A]ll of the candidates are actually reasonably thoughtful and intelligent and progressive people (by international standards) who probably want the best for Canada.”
I note that the near-total lack of check and balances on a Canadian Prime Minister backed by a parliamentary majority should call into question the American conventional wisdom that multiplication of veto points and supermajority is necessary to produce near-median outcomes. Under Brian Mulroney the country was governed by a Progressive Conservative Party that won the allegiances of the median voter by being so moderate that it was eventually undermined by the creation of a further-right splinter party. Then Liberals won a bunch of elections by being the centrally-positioned party on the ideological spectrum. And now under Stephen Harper’s minority governments the big political mission has been Harper’s efforts to persuade people that his real agenda is a moderate one and he can be trusted with a majority. The American system encourages politicians to make extremist promises to their base while the Canadian one challenges politicians to reassure voters.