With the election coming up next week here in the U. S., I thought I would explain a little about how the political system in Johnny’s country–the Plains Republic–is different.
If you’ve looked at the “Johnny’s Geography” link in the menu above, you’ll see that Johnny’s continent has shattered into seven countries. What would have been the U. S. is four countries and what would have been Canada is two. (Mexico in Johnny’s world is called Tierra del Sol.) Because of this, I wanted the Plains Republic to have a different form of government than the U. S. now has–a parliamentary system instead of a presidential system. As you may know, a parliamentary system is the kind of government that exists in Great Britain and Canada.
A parliamentary system has only one elective body at the national level. In the U.K. it’s called the House of Commons. When elections are held the party that wins the majority of seats in the House of Commons gets to form the national government. The party (or coalition of parties) that gets a majority in the Commons gets to pick the prime minister, who is the head of government. And he or she selects members of parliament from his or her party to head the various ministries of government.
The type of government we have in the U. S. is called a presidential system. The president is elected independently of the Congress. Elections for president are held every four years. After this year’s election, the next presidential election will be in 2016.
Each system has its own particular characteristics, which I won’t go into here. But history has shown that democracies can flourish under either a parliamentary or a presidential system.