I thought it might be interesting to compare the federal political systems / voter paradigms of Canada and the USA. I am Canadian. I freely admit my knowledge of politics on either side of the border is limited. Having said that, feel free to correct anything I might get wrong.
I take issue with the two party system in the USA. I find it bizarre that voters in the world's largest democracy have only two options to vote for @ election time. I do not understand how something as complex as politics can be lumped into one of two categories. You are either a "con" or a "lib" and must vote accordingly.
I think the Canadian system is more democratic in the sense that we have multiple parties / options to vote for. This does cause minority governments. But I don't think that is a bad thing as it keeps whichever party is in power in check. There is more balance in the decision making.
I am impressed with the average American's engagement in their politics. Canadian's (as a whole) tend to not care about politics. Our voter turnout is brutal. We tend to make a party pay the price @ the polls if they have the audacity to force an election. It's almost like Canadian's view the democratic process as a pain in the ass. Most Canadians I talk to in everyday life don't even know who our Prime Minister is or how our system works.
I had a co worker tell me during the last election he was voting for the Green Party. When I asked him why, he told me because he seen a deer run across the road in front of him on the highway. I'm not making that up, it's scary. He didn't know anything about what the party stands for. Maybe we are complacent / ignorant because the majority of us have it good?
One thing I like about the American system is you can go online and look up a politician's voting record. I wish we could do that in Canada. I think being able to do this allows a voter to separate what the politician is saying to get elected from what their voting record is.
In closing I would like to say that I am neither a "con" or a "lib". I guess I would be a moderate if I was American. I like things from both sides of the fence. I tend to lean Conservative in financial matters and Liberal in social matters.
Thoughts? And please, if you are going to respond leave the tired old dogma of "Lib" vs "Con" @ the door.