Buckley gave a brief talk about why he wrote the book, which argues that Canada’s political system is performing better than the United States’ when it comes to important issues such as protecting liberty and controlling the power of the executive.
He then had a discussion about the subject with MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley and finished off the evening with a lively discussion featuring questions from the audience, many of whom held copies of the book the author had signed.
Buckley, a Canadian who teaches law at George Brown University in the United States, argues in The Once and Future King that what Americans increasingly have is the rule of an all-powerful president.
He makes the case that not only is Canada's monarchical parliamentary democracy producing better outcomes for Canadians in terms of control of the executive and ability to pursue needed policies, but it has also been more successful in preserving our liberty.
“When you explain this to Americans they never get it”, Buckley told the audience. “But it seems to me one gets it if one’s living in a Parliamentary system”.
By way of example, he pointed to the frequency with which leaders are turfed from office. History displays several occasions of Prime Ministers losing their jobs at party conventions – he cited John Diefenbaker in Canada and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom – but there are no cases of a sitting president being removed from office.
In an op-ed that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, Buckley built on the arguments in the book to explain why the federal government shouldn’t be trying to empower backbench members of Parliament.
— Jason Kenney ن (@kenneyjason) September 30, 2014