Clearly as a system of government, the US has failed. The legislative branch enjoys the lowest approval ratings in history and the behavior of the present congressmen will only drive it further down. You know it is bad when recent polling shows that voters preferring colonoscopies, cockroaches and root canals to the US Congress.To a European, the fact that a small number in congress (some estimate as few as thirty representatives can hold the whole country to ransom at all is staggering to a European.
And not only are they holding their government ransom, but they are fighting to stop affordable health care- the lack of which in the US is criminal. In February 1974, President Nixon proposed comprehensive health insurance reform involving an employer mandate to offer private health insurance and replacement of Medicaid by state-run health insurance plans available to all with income-based premiums and cost sharing. It sounds like we’ll have to rewrite our textbooks,
President Nixon’s now a radical Democrat in disguise he surely would only be seen by most of todays republicans as a RINO (Republican In Name Only).
The Right and the Left in Europe accept that health care of their citizens should be a right and built into its social fabric. Health care costs in the US are double what it is in the UK (16.8% GDP to 8.0% GDP). Is the health care in the US twice as good as the UK? I don’t think so.
Reforms that the UK might consider when we’re asked to come back in and run the country could include:
1. Introduce a parliamentary system – eliminating the need for confirmation by the Senate of cabinet Ministers
2. Introduce electoral reform- eliminating the US’s near-constant presidential election campaigns and the overwhelming role of money would be good places to start
3. Introduce press regulation requiring news programs to be independent from political bias and personality-based shows such as O’Reilly and Maddow to be listed as political opinion shows
4. A single federal law overseeing the electoral process
5. A limit on the number of political adverts on TV which would be free on all channels
These would stabilize the political process while allowing for space for the Tea Party, the Green Party and the Libertarians to emerge as individual parties if people supported them.This country used to be at the forefront of emerging challenges –at least in the area of “greening” the economy, the initiative now seems to have moved to China in areas such as renewables and back to Europe.
Americans love the Queen, so having her as the Head of State would probably be popular here. Kate Middleton already gets more media coverage in the US than climate change or electoral reform.
There would have to be a few other changes – end of Independence Day – maybe renamed as ‘Saved by the UK’ Day. Of course, hand guns would be illegal. In the UK we have .04 homicidal deaths per 100,000 people – a total of 146 deaths per year(2010). In the US there are 3.6 homicidal deaths per 100,000 people – a total of over 11,078 (2009) deaths per year. If the UK had a similar population to the US we would be looking at 730 deaths per year.
To put this into perspective, 2,996 died in the attacks of 9/11- so without gun control, the US has the equivalent of over 3.5 ‘9/11s’ each year.