1. Country you live in: Canada
2. Opinion of the US Government in general: My opinion is very similar to the Bees who have replied from other Constitutional Monarchies (Australia – New Zealand – and the UK). The US Political System is sooo diffrent from ours… and that is mainly because when the US became a country they didn’t want to have anything in place that reminded them of Great Britian.
So as others have said, it doesn’t seem to have the same controls and checks that is place in other G8 Countries… and there is waaay too much say by Big Business, Money, Lobbying etc. I think it sad because most Americans I meet are great people… with common sense but somehow their input is lost in the shuffle of all that is the Political Machine.
I do like the Canadian system where we have the ability to elect more than just 2 parties to the House of Commons… this gives “the people” more say in how our country is run IMO. And how over time a Party may evolve to being one that is a backbencher to someday being the Elected Minority or Majority.
I also think that altho the US proclaims a seperation of Church & State in reality “the Church” (aka Bible Belt) is alive and well in formulating policy in the USA. Which is strange for me, in a country where we clearly have many elements of religion (as in religious tolerance) part of our Political System, and yet Religious based arguments / items aren’t on our radar so much here (like Abortion – Gay Marriage – or who our Elected Politicians are sleeping with in their off hours)
3. Opinion of the current state of the government (including if you even knew our government is shut down right now). Quite aware as in Canada we get all the US Tv Channels & Newpapers.
Like another Bee said, in a Constitutional Monarchy like Canada, if an issue like this arose (Parliament not willing to pass the Federal Budget then a Non-Confidence Vote would be called against “the House”) and the safeguard of the Governor General (Our Head Of State who represents the Monarchy / QE II) would dissolve Parliament and Call an Election.
We have had this happen a few times in our history… I recall the time in 1979 when then Prime Minister Joe Clark’s Goverment (Conservatives who were in power with a Minority) weren’t able to pass their Federal Budget, and the House Fell, and an Election was called. (The Liberal Party came to party afeterwards with a Majority)
I do find the current situation quite bazaar, in that for whatever reason the US doesn’t seem to realize that the time has come for change… cause the world has changed, and is quite frankly passing them by in some regards
Be that economically or socially. Things like a fair wage has to happen for the betterment of all, same with universal healthcare, Gay Rights / Marriage, and even some serious Gun Control. Without this stuff happening, the US is going to fall further and further behind what the rest of the G8 Countries are doing.
Military Strength has always been the US’s fall back point… but since the Cold War, and the globalization of the world… with everything now happening virtually instanteously the world has had to change. We’ve come to realize that we are all in this together… we aren’t a planet any longer where MIGHT IS ALWAYS RIGHT. What is right is taking care of each other so we can all get along a lot better.
Sadly for whatever reason it appears as if the US still has an attitude in some situations of “the guy with the most whatever… at the end of the day wins”… and that just isn’t true anymore.
I don’t for a minute think that Capitalism is any where near over… but the world is changing, and that what worked for the last 200+ years in America clearly isn’t working now.
Hope this helps,