12 August 2008

The Prime Minister of America

Republicans in Montana have chosen 85-year-old Bob Kelleher as their nominee to challenge the incumbent Democrat senator, Max Baucus, in the upcoming election.  Only problem is: the Republican Party aren't keen on Bob at all.
So what is the problem with Mr. Kelleher? Well, for one thing, he is almost certainly the only major party candidate anywhere who has pledged (as he did in previous campaigns) to scrap a cornerstone of the Constitution.

He wants to replace the equal branches of executive, legislative and judicial government with a parliamentary democracy patterned on England's, with a prime minister who would lead both the executive and legislative branches. Under the change, the speaker of the House of Representatives would take the first prime minister's chair.

The idea of the current speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, as a prime-minister-in-waiting has most certainly not endeared Mr. Kelleher to the Republican powers that be.

"Separation of powers is ruining this country," Mr. Kelleher, a lawyer, said in defense of the proposal in an interview in his tiny, cluttered apartment, where a dog wandered in and out and friends periodically shouted up the stairs to see if anyone was home.

- 'Candidate Shocks Party and Himself', New York Times, 11 August 2008

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