Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Parliamentary System an Advantage Because It Gets Things Done: Flaherty: Parliamentary System Gets Things Done: Flaherty

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Parliamentary System an Advantage Because It Gets Things Done: Flaherty: Parliamentary System Gets Things Done: Flaherty

Article excerpt

OTTAWA - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says Canada has an advantage over the U.S. in dealing with the economy -- it has a system of government that can make decisions.

The finance minister extolled the virtues of a parliamentary system to reporters in New York on Tuesday after participating at George W. Bush Institute tax conference.

Asked if his model for reducing corporate taxes could be extended to the United States, Flaherty told reporters a majority government made that easier but he acknowledged that he was able to get important policies passed even while the Conservatives had a minority mandate.

In language that might surprise Canadians, Flaherty said the minority Conservatives were able to work with the opposition over the course of five years and implement fundamental policies, including tax reductions.

"One of the advantages that Canada has is we have a government that can make decisions," he said.

"We have a majority government. But even when we had a minority government, we were able to work with the opposition over the course of five years and implement the important policies, the fundamental policies that we wanted to follow."

That's a different view the government appeared to take while in minority -- at least publicly -- when it often complained about obstructionism from Liberals and the NDP.

Prime Minister Harper dropped the writ in 2008, breaking the spirit of his four-year election law, because he said Parliament had become dysfunctional.

Flaherty, however, was able to get his first five budgets through the House of Commons without concessions to the minority parties.

The minister did not specifically refer to gridlock in Washington that many blame for the country's inability to deal with massive deficits and debt in his response, although the implication from the question was clear. …

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