You know things have gotten bad when the United States, king of all political dysfunction, starts pointing out the flaws in your political system. An article published today in Slate Magazine wonders what happened to the "nice" Canada of yore. It lists a slough of factors- most notably, our unstable, CPC-led minority governments- for undermining our reputation as a nation with a high-functioning political discourse. Moreover, it's wrecking our national character as a compassionate, socially-liberal, fiscally-conservative and environmentally conscious state.
Here's a particularly revealing passage:
But beneath the calm exterior, Canada's political system is in turmoil. Since 2004, a succession of unstable minority governments has led to a constant campaign frenzy, brutalizing Canada's once-broad political consensus and producing a series of policies at odds with the country's socially liberal, fiscally conservative identity. Canada is quietly becoming a political basket case, and this latest election may make things even worse.
Ouch. I don't agree with everything in the article, but its telling that our political troubles are now becoming manifest for observers in other countries. And no one can recognize political dysfunction like an American. Scary to think we may be heading down the same road.