CFL Pass

#CanadaEnvy: Why the Canadian government doesn’t shut down when the PM’s in a snit

Canada Envy has become steadily more prevalent among Americans in the 21st century. CFLpass predicts the phenomenon will soon balloon to epidemic proportion – likesay, right about in late 2019 when the Second Great Global Recession kicks in and a few tens of millions more Americans are left without healthcare.

Yes, hearing/reading of the European-style neo-socialist Canadian Healthcare System is clearly the primary driver of Canada Envy among Americans today. Whereas once upon a time the no. 1 cause for admiration of the Great White North was simply the nation’s reticence to either militarily participate in the Vietnam War or extradite any young American males who’d blown to Canada to dodge the draft, today the country just seems generally saner than its neighbor.

(And lest you picture yours truly a typical American loopy liberal, let’s clarify that Canada’s been saner for a lot longer than the 45th POTUS took office.)

You’ve probably heard it before: Canada has less crime, less violence and a government that actually works for the people well more frequently than politicos and billionaires. Talking (writing?) of the latter, consider the current government shutdown in the United States. Regardless of how one feels about President Drumpf, it’s clear that politicians, plural, are straight up posturing while paychecks aren’t issued.

Back in 2013, a government shutdown occurred (naturally, the Democratic Party, despite holding the presidency, placed blame squarely on Republican senators) under slightly more mundane circumstances. The Huffington Post ran a piece at that time entitled Why a gvonerment shutdown would never happen in Canada; the piece was rerun in January 2018, an earlier shutdown event, and is certainly getting lots more play again these days.

In short, the truth is that such a maneuver in Canada could cost those at the top their very jobs in Ottawa. According to the HP piece:

“Like in America, Parliament can fail to pass a budget or estimates bill. This could jeopardize the flow of dollars from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (the pool of money collected through taxes and government revenue) to government departments and public servants. However, for Canadians in this case, we either go back to the ballot box to elect a new Parliament – unlike in the U.S., we can go to an election at any time – or the Governor General may ask the existing parties in Parliament to form a coalition.

(Incidentally, mid-term elections and coalition governments are made possible by the multi-party system employed by most sane Western nations. Seriously, how intriguing would a confidence vote on Trump’s government be right about now? #CanadaEnvy)

And whereas calling a snap election or pulling a new coalition government together takes well longer than a handful of American politicians agreeing to compromise (usually), Canadian law provides for the eventuality vis-à-vis government services and employees:

“Canada fortunately has a back-up decision-maker in the Governor General, who can approve a Special Warrant that allows money to flow to the government without Parliament’s approval.”

How much better high-level “public servants” in the U.S. might perform if under such a threat. It boggles the mind…