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Should America have declared independence in hindsight?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Should America have declared independence in hindsight?

Yes
140
77%
No
43
23%
 
Total votes : 183

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Glorious Hong Kong
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Should America have declared independence in hindsight?

Postby Glorious Hong Kong » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:41 pm

Alt-history hypothetical exercise. Knowing what we know now, do you think America should've declared and fought a unilateral War of Independence against Great Britain in 1776? Do you think such a revolution, had it occurred, should've been snuffed out by Great Britain? Why or why not? Would America and the world be a better or worse place if the American Revolution had never occurred or had been crushed?

Knowing what we know in 2021, I'm increasingly of the opinion that America should never have declared independence in the first place. Or if it did declare independence, the Redcoats should've decisively crushed the rebellion. I think America, and to a lesser extent, the rest of the world, would've been better off as a result.

At the time of the Revolution, parliamentary democracy in Great Britain was still in its infancy and, although Britain had already had its share of early prime ministers, the King continued to wield a considerable, albeit waning, degree of personal power and influence. It would never have occurred to the American Founding Fathers that a prime minister, rather than an all-powerful king or president, could've been the one to lead their country to greatness, and the legislature could've played a central role in propping up future governments, hence the growing constitutional pains and political polarization America faces today. It would never have occurred to the Founding Fathers that Britain would eventually evolve to become just as liberal and democratic as the United States today and that had a parliamentary system been retained, America would've turned out the same way.

Today, things have gotten so polarized that it would take another revolution or civil war just to amend the Constitution, and America has already had one civil war. As time has gone by, America's aging and inflexible legal and political system has slowly begun to buckle under its own weight. By contrast, British politics remains far less polarizing and volatile than French or U.S. politics, France having experienced its own revolutions and counter-revolutions beginning in 1789, that one being of a more socialist or communist rather than liberal character. Britain's legal and political evolution has been far smoother and British democracy continues to go from strength to strength. It appears that gradual reform and evolution are preferable to sudden, violent revolution.

The American colonies, like the states and provinces of present-day Canada or Australia, would've gradually consolidated into a de facto independent Commonwealth Dominion of the British Empire. Rather than a sudden, short, sharp revolution and the accompanying violence and upheaval, America's political evolution would've closely mirrored that of Great Britain itself as well as Canada and Australia with gradualism, reform, and convention being the norm.

It is likely that both the slave trade as well as slavery itself would've been abolished much sooner by the British colonial administrators long before the colonies were granted Home Rule or self-governance. It is also possible that a Civil War might never have occurred. As a result, while racism would continue to persist to this day, racial tensions would be nowhere as bad as they are in our timeline and it is possible that most African-Americans alive today might be descended from voluntary immigrants rather than slaves. It is also likely that blacks would make up a far smaller percentage of the population than they do now. America would certainly be a far less racist country. It would be about as racist as Australia is today. However, Native Americans wouldn't be a whole lot better off than they would be in our timeline.

As an unintended side effect, the cultural situation might be very different for black Americans. There would be no African American Vernacular English ethnolect or southern-based accent. We know this because black Canadians don't generally speak AAVE and there is no "south" in Canada. Jazz, hip hop, blues, and other varieties of music historically associated with African-Americans might not even exist today. Perhaps something more closely resembling Brazilian samba might take its place.

America would still emerge to become a fully-independent, economically, militarily, and culturally dominant superpower, albeit with somewhat closer historical ties to Westminster with a legal and political system that closely resembles the British model.

Britain's parliamentary style of governance would've been retained by the colonies that would eventually constitute a future Commonwealth of America. As with the United Kingdom, political liberalization would've occurred in stages over the course of the 19th century eventually culminating in the development of a full-fledged, Westminster-style parliamentary democracy with a Governor-General as a symbolic, and mostly powerless, head of state, and a Prime Minister of America as the country's paramount leader by the early 20th century, in line with most emerging democracies at the time.

According to Wikipedia, almost every Third World democracy with a U.S.-style presidential system has devolved into a full-blown, one-man dictatorship. By contrast, two-thirds of Third World democracies with a Westminster-style system remain democracies, albeit deeply flawed, to this day. I'm grateful that Malaysia was a British rather than an American colony, else we might've ended up with a complete, authoritarian demagogue similar to Rodrigo Duterte, Suharto, or Ferdinand Marcos instead of the kind of useless, half-assed leadership we have right now.

The Philippines, Indonesia, and many African and Latin American former colonies modeled their democracies on the United States, paving the way for decades of failed attempts at democratic governance, violence and instability, and a cycle of coups and counter-coups. Even in the absence of external interference by the CIA, Venezuela has still managed to devolve into a full-fledged, anti-American dictatorship. Things might've been a little more stable had the British interfered instead. There could've been a Disraeli doctrine instead of a Monroe doctrine and everyone would've been somewhat better off because of it.

In a failed or non-Revolution scenario, American democracy would be even more stable and resilient than it already is if it was more closely modeled on the British system. After all, America, like every other country in the world by today's standards, was a "Third World shithole" until c. the 1950s. A parliamentary democracy is preferable to a presidential democracy, and the American Revolution, and the accompanying lack of foresight that the Founding Fathers couldn't possibly have possessed in the absence of what we now know, only served to undermine that trend in retrospect. The American Revolution may have bequeathed the United States with an extremely robust set of democratic institutions and norms in the short-to-medium term, but it may ultimately become a victim of its own success in the longer term, having sown the seeds for its possible demise from the very outset.


Further details regarding the style of governance a Commonwealth of America would assume and why a parliamentary democracy is preferable to a presidential democracy are contained in the annex spoilered below.

Instead of a written constitution requiring a two-thirds majority to amend, America's entire legal basis would be based upon centuries of established convention and precedent known as common law. Separation of church and state, due process, the rule of law, one-man-one-vote, and all the rights and liberties that Britain enjoys today were gradually accrued over centuries all in the complete absence of an actual, written constitution. I am increasingly convinced that a written constitution requiring a two-thirds majority to amend is actually a serious impediment to America's future political and societal progress rather than a guarantor of it. A pre-industrial-era, centuries-old document simply wasn't intended to serve the needs of a post-industrial populace. However, I remain open to the idea of Americans promulgating a brand-new, written constitution to supplant the old one in order to meet the needs of the 21st century.

Instead of an all-powerful king-like president who is vested with an exorbitant amount of executive authority and personal power, fame, and glory, and who is extremely difficult to remove from office bar a long-drawn-out impeachment process and conviction by two-thirds of the upper house, a prime minister would be selected from among his peers in the lower house and his/her ministers must also all be members of the lower house, or on rare occasions, the upper house. By convention, the leader of the largest party would have first dibs in attempting to form a government with majority support.

Should the prime minister lose his/her majority and become unable to pass laws, opposition members of the lower house can introduce and easily pass a motion of no-confidence, removing him/her from office and triggering the dissolution of parliament by the Governor-General and a snap general election, which must occur within 60 days, greatly curtailing the length and sheer expense of a four-year-long (re-)election campaign. A prime minister would have far less time to rile up his supporters into storming a government building in the event that he/she loses re-election.

Failing to pass the Queen's, or in this case, the Governor-General's speech or the annual budget would also be tantamount to a vote-of-no-confidence resulting in the collapse of a government and early elections. No drawn-out impeachment trial or two-thirds majority are required to remove the PM from office. Filibusters and supermajority requirements wouldn't even exist. It's really that easy and straightforward.

Additionally, the prime minister must also command the broad support of members of his/her own party or risk being deposed in an internal leadership election and succeeded by a party rival in lieu of a general election. There would be no expensive and drawn-out party primaries. One would have to be a fee-paying member of a political party in order to vote for a leadership candidate.

The executive branch would be entirely beholden to the every whim and fancy of members of the lower house. It is so much easier to remove a prime minister from office than it is to remove a president from office, and it is considerably more difficult, though not impossible, for a prime minister to attempt to accrue so much personal power and become a dictator. I can guarantee that Boris Johnson would have a much harder time attempting to cling on to power than Donald Trump did despite the fact that the vast majority of British voters don't actually elect their Prime Minister directly.

As the governor-general is merely a ceremonial, non-partisan office-holder with little in the way of actual political power, it wouldn't really matter whether the GG is directly or indirectly elected or appointed. The whole debate over whether the Electoral College should be abolished would be moot as such a body would never have been set up in the first place.

A parliamentary system would also be fully amenable to a proportional arrangement whereby parties are allotted a certain number of seats based on the percentage of votes that party receives either nationwide or within a multi-member constituency, or a mixture of both. In a proportional system, no single party would be able to capture the support of a majority of the electorate and therefore a simple majority in the lower house. There would be no true "winners" and "losers" as even the losing side would still have a say, and failing that, moderate centrist parties in the middle would serve to temper the right-leaning or left-leaning passions of more radical and populist parties. The result, as in Germany, would be government by consensus rather than a tyranny of the majority.

If the upper house is also elected, then the precise manner of electing a Senator or peer would be up for debate. The very existence of either an elected or unelected upper house would also be up for debate given America's federal character. However, I suspect it would be somewhat less polarizing than a debate over the existence of an electoral college or whether Washington D.C. should be granted statehood, the latter of which would determine which president gets elected or which party controls the Senate for the next two or four years.

In a presidential system, the president, being a single-office holder, cannot be elected by proportional representation because there can only be one president at a time. The losing candidate and his supporters would be completely locked out of power for four whole years, causing anger and resentment to build and exacerbating political polarization. One need only look back over the past couple of months to know what I'm talking about.

Instead of fixed terms and the high stakes that come with them, snap general elections can be called or triggered either by the Prime Minister or the Opposition (House votes permitting) at any point within a four- or five-year period, greatly lowering the stakes for voters. The focus would shift to voting for parties based on their policy platforms, election manifestos, and perceived competence, rather than voting for whoever the most charismatic leader happens to be. This would go a long way toward checking the rise and/or personal ambitions of populist leaders and mitigating the harmful and divisive effects of political polarization. It would be less circus and more substance.

Rather than resort to quick-fix executive orders that can easily be reversed by a Prime Minister from a rival party, the Prime Minister, who, by established convention, must command majority support in the House of Commons/Representatives, can simply introduce and pass a series of bills on the floor of the House.

If, like the British House of Lords, the upper house is unelected and/or hereditary, it is likely that its powers will have been severely curtailed over time, reducing it to merely a point of formality. In this case, laws may be passed swiftly without a hitch if a single party commands a majority in the lower house. The lower house would be where all the cheering, jeering, and drama happens. It would be far more interesting than the stultifying torpor of U.S. House and Senate proceedings in our timeline.

In addition, the Speaker of the House would be strictly neutral and non-partisan, and the same would go for the Lords/Senate Speaker. Impartial speakers would be able to command far more authority and respect across the aisle than partisans such as Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi, the latter of whom would inevitably incur the resentment of House or Senate colleagues from the opposite side if they ever attempt to set rules of conduct, such as being required to pass through metal detectors.

Given the absence of a written constitution, a near-total absence of gridlock and conflict between the legislative and executive branches, and the relative ease with which laws are passed, lots of things can get done very quickly.

If, like the U.S. Senate in our timeline, the upper house is elected, then some gridlock may indeed ensue. Alternatively, in the event of a hung parliament where no single party commands a majority of seats and two or more parties are forced to cobble together a loose coalition government or agree to a confidence-and-supply arrangement whereby one or more parties agree to prop up a minority government in exchange for policy concessions, any resulting gridlock may lead to the collapse of a government, the dissolution of the legislature by the Governor-General, and a snap general election.
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Postby Borderlands of Rojava » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:42 pm

Yes, Americans had a right to self determination and did not deserve to be taxed without being represented. I will say the events that led to the war were somewhat questionable though, like the Boston massacre (it was actually a riot and the British soldiers were defending themselves in a time where tear gas and pepper spray didn't exist).
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Postby Atheris » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:43 pm

Obviously, yes.
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Postby A z a n i a » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:44 pm

Absolutely yes.
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Postby Arisyan » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:44 pm

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Postby Ethel mermania » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:47 pm

Yes, we just should have voted down the constitution.
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Atheris
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Postby Atheris » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:48 pm

Borderlands of Rojava wrote:Yes, Americans had a right to self determination and did not deserve to be taxed without being represented. I will say the events that led to the war were somewhat questionable though, like the Boston massacre (it was actually a riot and the British soldiers were defending themselves in a time where tear gas and pepper spray didn't exist).

It wasn't solely the Boston Massacre. It was the blockading of the American ports, the quartering of British soldiers, the restriction of free speech, the impressment of Americans (although this was a way bigger issue in the War of 1812), King George's and Parliament's arrogance, and many other things that all culminated in a breaking point.
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Postby San Lumen » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:49 pm

Yes. Is this really a question?

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Postby Dorylaeumnia » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:52 pm

Yes, the United States deserved its freedom because of its unfair taxation and forcing British soldiers to live in colonial houses. The world would be way more conservative if the United States didn't declare independence (or didn't win) and became a commonwealth state instead. Liberalism would have less support and be oppressed, and it's possible that the world could have been ruled by monarchies for a while. I'm not referring to the UK specifically, but the consequences of the American revolution in general.
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:50 pm

What is this weird fetish you have for the British Empire? Keep us out of it, please. We're better off on our own than as a private cash crop plantation for the UK.
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Postby Nuroblav » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:54 pm

As a a Brit, yes. Not that it has any contribution to whether or not I think so. But given the reasons for the revolution happening in the first place, definitely had the right to do so.
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Postby United Engiresco » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:55 pm

As an American, no; we didn't deserve to win. We should have just paid the tax amount the British citizens were used to and moved on with our lives. I long for the day that we do crumble into revolution for what we've done to the world, because that day is long awaited.

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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:01 pm

United Engiresco wrote:As an American, no; we didn't deserve to win. We should have just paid the tax amount the British citizens were used to and moved on with our lives. I long for the day that we do crumble into revolution for what we've done to the world, because that day is long awaited.


How about instead of hoping for death and destruction (which would be inevitable in any hypothetical USA collapse scenario) you wish for change and reform instead?

Self-hate is self-destructive and leads to unnecessary suffering and misery. It's literally toxic thinking, especially when you apply it on a national scale.

And cut the melodrama, please. We've done nothing that no other country hasn't already done.
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Postby The New California Republic » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:03 pm

What is independence in hindsight?
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Postby Atheris » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:06 pm

United Engiresco wrote:As an American, no; we didn't deserve to win. We should have just paid the tax amount the British citizens were used to and moved on with our lives. I long for the day that we do crumble into revolution for what we've done to the world, because that day is long awaited.

The tax wasn't the sole issue for the Revolution. It was the blockade of American ports, the impressment of American sailors, the quartering of British troops, the use of martial law on Massachusetts, the Intolerable Acts, the arrogance of King George and Parliament, the lack of American representation in Parliament, British corruption (see the Great Alamance Creek rebellion), the Boston Massacre (which wasn't a massacre but still fueled fire in the colonies), the Royal Governor of North Carolina, the passage of the Halifax Resolves, and the meeting of the Continental Congress(es).
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Postby Major-Tom » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:09 pm

I crap on the current state of America until the moment someone recommends we oughta have stayed British. Christ, what a bad take, we're the US of god damn A.
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Postby Novo Portugal » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:09 pm

United Engiresco wrote:As an American, no; we didn't deserve to win. We should have just paid the tax amount the British citizens were used to and moved on with our lives. I long for the day that we do crumble into revolution for what we've done to the world, because that day is long awaited.

Based and edgy.




Honestly I think it was inevitable, It would have happen eventually.
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Postby Munkcestrian RepubIic » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:09 pm

Yes. "America obtained its independence because of a war that was started by people who were genuinely terrified of the 18th-century equivalent of black helicopters" and that's a good thing. Any issues with the modern U.S. are the result of ignoring or misinterpreting its founding ideals.
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:13 pm

Novo Portugal wrote:
United Engiresco wrote:As an American, no; we didn't deserve to win. We should have just paid the tax amount the British citizens were used to and moved on with our lives. I long for the day that we do crumble into revolution for what we've done to the world, because that day is long awaited.

Based and edgy.




Honestly I think it was inevitable, It would have happen eventually.


Edginess by definition excludes any possibility of a take being "based".

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Postby Atheris » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:15 pm

Trollzyn the Infinite wrote:
Novo Portugal wrote:Based and edgy.




Honestly I think it was inevitable, It would have happen eventually.


Edginess by definition excludes any possibility of a take being "based".

Taboritsky from TNO.

People who are batshit insane are based already and TNO is edgy as hell.
Last edited by Atheris on Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Partybus
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Postby Partybus » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:16 pm

Well, seeing as "hindsight is 2020" I'll say yes..

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Greater Kopmakia
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Postby Greater Kopmakia » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:19 pm

Glorious Hong Kong wrote:Alt-history hypothetical exercise. Knowing what we know now, do you think America should've declared and fought a unilateral War of Independence against Great Britain in 1776? Do you think such a revolution, had it occurred, should've been snuffed out by Great Britain? Why or why not? Would America and the world be a better or worse place if the American Revolution had never occurred or had been crushed?

Knowing what we know in 2021, I'm increasingly of the opinion that America should never have declared independence in the first place. Or if it did declare independence, the Redcoats should've decisively crushed the rebellion. I think America, and to a lesser extent, the rest of the world, would've been better off as a result.

At the time of the Revolution, parliamentary democracy in Great Britain was still in its infancy and, although Britain had already had its share of early prime ministers, the King continued to wield a considerable, albeit waning, degree of personal power and influence. It would never have occurred to the American Founding Fathers that a prime minister, rather than an all-powerful king or president, could've been the one to lead their country to greatness, and the legislature could've played a central role in propping up future governments, hence the growing constitutional pains and political polarization America faces today. It would never have occurred to the Founding Fathers that Britain would eventually evolve to become just as liberal and democratic as the United States today and that had a parliamentary system been retained, America would've turned out the same way.

Today, things have gotten so polarized that it would take another revolution or civil war just to amend the Constitution, and America has already had one civil war. As time has gone by, America's aging and inflexible legal and political system has slowly begun to buckle under its own weight. By contrast, British politics remains far less polarizing and volatile than French or U.S. politics, France having experienced its own revolutions and counter-revolutions beginning in 1789, that one being of a more socialist or communist rather than liberal character. Britain's legal and political evolution has been far smoother and British democracy continues to go from strength to strength. It appears that gradual reform and evolution are preferable to sudden, violent revolution.

The American colonies, like the states and provinces of present-day Canada or Australia, would've gradually consolidated into a de facto independent Commonwealth Dominion of the British Empire. Rather than a sudden, short, sharp revolution and the accompanying violence and upheaval, America's political evolution would've closely mirrored that of Great Britain itself as well as Canada and Australia with gradualism, reform, and convention being the norm.

It is likely that both the slave trade as well as slavery itself would've been abolished much sooner by the British colonial administrators long before the colonies were granted Home Rule or self-governance. It is also possible that a Civil War might never have occurred. As a result, while racism would continue to persist to this day, racial tensions would be nowhere as bad as they are in our timeline and it is possible that most African-Americans alive today might be descended from voluntary immigrants rather than slaves. It is also likely that blacks would make up a far smaller percentage of the population than they do now. America would certainly be a far less racist country. It would be about as racist as Australia is today. However, Native Americans wouldn't be a whole lot better off than they would be in our timeline.

As an unintended side effect, the cultural situation might be very different for black Americans. There would be no African American Vernacular English ethnolect or southern-based accent. We know this because black Canadians don't generally speak AAVE and there is no "south" in Canada. Jazz, hip hop, blues, and other varieties of music historically associated with African-Americans might not even exist today. Perhaps something more closely resembling Brazilian samba might take its place.

America would still emerge to become a fully-independent, economically, militarily, and culturally dominant superpower, albeit with somewhat closer historical ties to Westminster with a legal and political system that closely resembles the British model.

Britain's parliamentary style of governance would've been retained by the colonies that would eventually constitute a future Commonwealth of America. As with the United Kingdom, political liberalization would've occurred in stages over the course of the 19th century eventually culminating in the development of a full-fledged, Westminster-style parliamentary democracy with a Governor-General as a symbolic, and mostly powerless, head of state, and a Prime Minister of America as the country's paramount leader by the early 20th century, in line with most emerging democracies at the time.

According to Wikipedia, almost every Third World democracy with a U.S.-style presidential system has devolved into a full-blown, one-man dictatorship. By contrast, two-thirds of Third World democracies with a Westminster-style system remain democracies, albeit deeply flawed, to this day. I'm grateful that Malaysia was a British rather than an American colony, else we might've ended up with a complete, authoritarian demagogue similar to Rodrigo Duterte, Suharto, or Ferdinand Marcos instead of the kind of useless, half-assed leadership we have right now.

The Philippines, Indonesia, and many African and Latin American former colonies modeled their democracies on the United States, paving the way for decades of failed attempts at democratic governance, violence and instability, and a cycle of coups and counter-coups. Even in the absence of external interference by the CIA, Venezuela has still managed to devolve into a full-fledged, anti-American dictatorship. Things might've been a little more stable had the British interfered instead. There could've been a Disraeli doctrine instead of a Monroe doctrine and everyone would've been somewhat better off because of it.

In a failed or non-Revolution scenario, American democracy would be even more stable and resilient than it already is if it was more closely modeled on the British system. After all, America, like every other country in the world by today's standards, was a "Third World shithole" until c. the 1950s. A parliamentary democracy is preferable to a presidential democracy, and the American Revolution, and the accompanying lack of foresight that the Founding Fathers couldn't possibly have possessed in the absence of what we now know, only served to undermine that trend in retrospect. The American Revolution may have bequeathed the United States with an extremely robust set of democratic institutions and norms in the short-to-medium term, but it may ultimately become a victim of its own success in the longer term, having sown the seeds for its possible demise from the very outset.


Further details regarding the style of governance a Commonwealth of America would assume and why a parliamentary democracy is preferable to a presidential democracy are contained in the annex spoilered below.

Instead of a written constitution requiring a two-thirds majority to amend, America's entire legal basis would be based upon centuries of established convention and precedent known as common law. Separation of church and state, due process, the rule of law, one-man-one-vote, and all the rights and liberties that Britain enjoys today were gradually accrued over centuries all in the complete absence of an actual, written constitution. I am increasingly convinced that a written constitution requiring a two-thirds majority to amend is actually a serious impediment to America's future political and societal progress rather than a guarantor of it. A pre-industrial-era, centuries-old document simply wasn't intended to serve the needs of a post-industrial populace. However, I remain open to the idea of Americans promulgating a brand-new, written constitution to supplant the old one in order to meet the needs of the 21st century.

Instead of an all-powerful king-like president who is vested with an exorbitant amount of executive authority and personal power, fame, and glory, and who is extremely difficult to remove from office bar a long-drawn-out impeachment process and conviction by two-thirds of the upper house, a prime minister would be selected from among his peers in the lower house and his/her ministers must also all be members of the lower house, or on rare occasions, the upper house. By convention, the leader of the largest party would have first dibs in attempting to form a government with majority support.

Should the prime minister lose his/her majority and become unable to pass laws, opposition members of the lower house can introduce and easily pass a motion of no-confidence, removing him/her from office and triggering the dissolution of parliament by the Governor-General and a snap general election, which must occur within 60 days, greatly curtailing the length and sheer expense of a four-year-long (re-)election campaign. A prime minister would have far less time to rile up his supporters into storming a government building in the event that he/she loses re-election.

Failing to pass the Queen's, or in this case, the Governor-General's speech or the annual budget would also be tantamount to a vote-of-no-confidence resulting in the collapse of a government and early elections. No drawn-out impeachment trial or two-thirds majority are required to remove the PM from office. Filibusters and supermajority requirements wouldn't even exist. It's really that easy and straightforward.

Additionally, the prime minister must also command the broad support of members of his/her own party or risk being deposed in an internal leadership election and succeeded by a party rival in lieu of a general election. There would be no expensive and drawn-out party primaries. One would have to be a fee-paying member of a political party in order to vote for a leadership candidate.

The executive branch would be entirely beholden to the every whim and fancy of members of the lower house. It is so much easier to remove a prime minister from office than it is to remove a president from office, and it is considerably more difficult, though not impossible, for a prime minister to attempt to accrue so much personal power and become a dictator. I can guarantee that Boris Johnson would have a much harder time attempting to cling on to power than Donald Trump did despite the fact that the vast majority of British voters don't actually elect their Prime Minister directly.

As the governor-general is merely a ceremonial, non-partisan office-holder with little in the way of actual political power, it wouldn't really matter whether the GG is directly or indirectly elected or appointed. The whole debate over whether the Electoral College should be abolished would be moot as such a body would never have been set up in the first place.

A parliamentary system would also be fully amenable to a proportional arrangement whereby parties are allotted a certain number of seats based on the percentage of votes that party receives either nationwide or within a multi-member constituency, or a mixture of both. In a proportional system, no single party would be able to capture the support of a majority of the electorate and therefore a simple majority in the lower house. There would be no true "winners" and "losers" as even the losing side would still have a say, and failing that, moderate centrist parties in the middle would serve to temper the right-leaning or left-leaning passions of more radical and populist parties. The result, as in Germany, would be government by consensus rather than a tyranny of the majority.

If the upper house is also elected, then the precise manner of electing a Senator or peer would be up for debate. The very existence of either an elected or unelected upper house would also be up for debate given America's federal character. However, I suspect it would be somewhat less polarizing than a debate over the existence of an electoral college or whether Washington D.C. should be granted statehood, the latter of which would determine which president gets elected or which party controls the Senate for the next two or four years.

In a presidential system, the president, being a single-office holder, cannot be elected by proportional representation because there can only be one president at a time. The losing candidate and his supporters would be completely locked out of power for four whole years, causing anger and resentment to build and exacerbating political polarization. One need only look back over the past couple of months to know what I'm talking about.

Instead of fixed terms and the high stakes that come with them, snap general elections can be called or triggered either by the Prime Minister or the Opposition (House votes permitting) at any point within a four- or five-year period, greatly lowering the stakes for voters. The focus would shift to voting for parties based on their policy platforms, election manifestos, and perceived competence, rather than voting for whoever the most charismatic leader happens to be. This would go a long way toward checking the rise and/or personal ambitions of populist leaders and mitigating the harmful and divisive effects of political polarization. It would be less circus and more substance.

Rather than resort to quick-fix executive orders that can easily be reversed by a Prime Minister from a rival party, the Prime Minister, who, by established convention, must command majority support in the House of Commons/Representatives, can simply introduce and pass a series of bills on the floor of the House.

If, like the British House of Lords, the upper house is unelected and/or hereditary, it is likely that its powers will have been severely curtailed over time, reducing it to merely a point of formality. In this case, laws may be passed swiftly without a hitch if a single party commands a majority in the lower house. The lower house would be where all the cheering, jeering, and drama happens. It would be far more interesting than the stultifying torpor of U.S. House and Senate proceedings in our timeline.

In addition, the Speaker of the House would be strictly neutral and non-partisan, and the same would go for the Lords/Senate Speaker. Impartial speakers would be able to command far more authority and respect across the aisle than partisans such as Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi, the latter of whom would inevitably incur the resentment of House or Senate colleagues from the opposite side if they ever attempt to set rules of conduct, such as being required to pass through metal detectors.

Given the absence of a written constitution, a near-total absence of gridlock and conflict between the legislative and executive branches, and the relative ease with which laws are passed, lots of things can get done very quickly.

If, like the U.S. Senate in our timeline, the upper house is elected, then some gridlock may indeed ensue. Alternatively, in the event of a hung parliament where no single party commands a majority of seats and two or more parties are forced to cobble together a loose coalition government or agree to a confidence-and-supply arrangement whereby one or more parties agree to prop up a minority government in exchange for policy concessions, any resulting gridlock may lead to the collapse of a government, the dissolution of the legislature by the Governor-General, and a snap general election.


If the US hadn't declared independence, the ideals of democracy would have taken MUCH longer to spread and thus colonization would continue well into the future. Without the US there would not be a big push for independence or dominion for a while, as there would be no reason if the people were content with the current situation. In conclusion, if the US hadn't revolted the ideals of democracy would have either not made a comeback at all or would have taken much longer to successfully spread among the people.
Last edited by Greater Kopmakia on Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Trollzyn the Infinite
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:21 pm

Atheris wrote:
Trollzyn the Infinite wrote:
Edginess by definition excludes any possibility of a take being "based".

Taboritsky from TNO.

People who are batshit insane are based already and TNO is edgy as hell.


Dude I have literally no idea what you're talking about at all.
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Postby Munkcestrian RepubIic » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:24 pm

Trollzyn the Infinite wrote:
Atheris wrote:Taboritsky from TNO.

People who are batshit insane are based already and TNO is edgy as hell.


Dude I have literally no idea what you're talking about at all.

Now this is based.
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Postby A z a n i a » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:24 pm

We may as well question whether or not every nation in the world deserves to exist.
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