This is a fascinating article. For those who understand how difficult it is to reverse ciizenship-based taxation, FBAR and FATCA consider the following excerpt:
“What Canada has importantly over the U.S. is reversibility, the ability to undo bad laws. That doesn’t happen so easily in America, with the gridlock built into its separation of powers, and that’s a problem Fukuyama himself has identified in two recent books that describe a sclerotic society of special interests which enact wealth-destroying laws. Once passed, Americans are stuck with bad laws. Their constitution doesn’t have a reverse gear.
What Fukuyama recognized in his recent books is James Madison’s error in The Federalist Papers. Madison argued that the separation of powers would prevent bad laws from being enacted in the first place. However, that’s an example of what Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek called the “fatal conceit,” the idea that planners can anticipate all the problems that might arise with a well-drafted statute. More modestly, Canada’s parliamentary system assumes that, in a world of human fallibility, mistakes will be made, that “experts” are often unreliable, that dumb laws will be passed; and that what is more important is giving the legislator the ability to bring hindsight wisdom to bear in undoing laws which experience tells us were ill-planned. If American government has gotten too large, if the statutory code and the federal regulations have caught a case of elephantiasis, that’s not surprising. The know-it-all hubris of the planner was baked into the American constitution from the start.”
Conrad Black calls his new history of Canada Rise to Greatness. That’s a provocative title which will puzzle Canadians and amuse Americans. And yet it’s not entirely inapt, for Canada’s accession to independence with a Westminster system of parliamentary government was a model for the world.
Americans take just pride in their Revolutionary tradition, in the Spirit of 1776 and the delegates to the Second Continental Congress who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honour to their cause. That’s not the Canadian way. With their cases of champagne and grand balls, the Fathers of Confederation doubtless had much more fun, but nevertheless seem rather less than heroic. And yet the Canadian model proved the better one.
[np_storybar title=”Conrad Black: Canada’s story needed telling” link=”http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/11/15/conrad-black-canadas-story-needed-telling/”]The National Post will next week generously serialize excerpts from my just published book, Rise to Greatness, The History of Canada From the Vikings…
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