EDITORIAL: Two systems, different outcomes

March 19, 2020   ·   0 Comments

SEEMINGLY LOST in the deluge of reporting on the COVID19 pandemic is the thus-far failure to account for different results in Canada and the United States.

As of Tuesday, reports indicated that more than 30,000 Canadians had been tested for presence of the virus but only a little over 20,000 Americans, and the death toll in the U.S. had reached more than 100 to Canada’s eight, seven in a single B.C. nursing home.

Part of the problem may lie in the fact that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration closed a lot of testing facilities created by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and part in the current president’s initial view that somehow the pandemic was just another “hoax” or something promoted by the “fake news” media.

But historians may eventually conclude that the different responses in the two countries could be attributed in large part to their starkly different political systems.

In the U.S., the founding fathers devised a division of powers that has left responsibility for any action to be shared by Congress and the Administration, whereas in Canada the parliamentary system places all responsibility during an emergency on the government of the day and its leaders, be they the prime minister of provincial premiers – all of whom seem to be cooperating as never before.

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