As an American who has been living in Canada for 10 years, it is apparent to me that there is much greater party discipline in parliament but much less partisanship among the electorate as a whole. That’s a good thing. Given this quality of the Canadian political system and the country’s culture, for a “rogue” prime minister to succeed he or she would have to first successfully whip the people into a partisan tribal frenzy similar to what we are seeing in the Republican Party in the US. Without that, his or her unpopularity would simply cause the party to replace their leader in order to hold onto power in the next election, or at least minimize the damage going rogue has done by holding onto as many seats as possible. In other words, for a PM to successfully “go rogue” much of Canada must be already going rogue with them. I see no imminent danger of that but, like every democracy, Canada must always remain vigilant. Also, the transition period in parliamentary democracies is at most days as opposed to months, to say nothing of election seasons of weeks as opposed to a year or more. In addition, Elections Canada is an independent non-partisan agency that would need to be co-opted and it is difficult to establish a strictly partisan media network here. This all serves to minimize the damage a “rogue” PM can do while things settle themselves out. Also, parliament is never in session during an election which serves to incentivize a quick resolution to any election disputes, legitimate or otherwise. So far at least, Canadians faith in this process hasn’t been eroded. If anything, it has probably been enhanced as they watch their southern neighbours in horror.

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US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

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