Oh Bern

I’m a big believer that Hillary Clinton would be a much better President than Bernie Sanders. A lot of Americans hate hearing me say this but in order to be a good President you need very different skills than you do in order to be a good Senator. I think Bernie is a good Senator and that he can do a whole lot more good for the world in the Senate than he could as President.

Most of Sanders’ policies focus on domestic issues, an area where the President has marginal powers. Without Congress they are unable to advance a domestic agenda. If you want to make the US a more equal place and advance social programs having strong left-wing voices in the House and Senate is vital. Being President is about brokering and convincing Congress to work with you. In the Senate you can lead the way yourself.

Paul Ryan recently lamented “If we lose the Senate, do you know who becomes the chairman of the Senate budget committee? A guy named Bernie Sanders.” Imagine how much Bernie can change by having control over the budget, by sitting at the table where the decisions get made. The powers and role of the President are greatly overvalued. The role of Senators is vital.

At this stage in the game the races in the House and Senate are more important than the Presidential one. They decide how hard or easy it will be for Hillary and co. to achieve their objectives. Imagine how much Bernie and Hillary can do together. Because the Democrats are not a zero sum party where the President runs everything and no one else gets a say. They are made up of a bunch of different people working together. They are a conciliatory party where rivals are brought into the fold. When Obama beat Hillary he made her Secretary of State. When Hillary beat Bernie she made him into a key voice alongside her. He is at rallies and he will be able to work with the top Democratic leaders to set the agenda. His ideas are there even if he doesn’t move into the White House.

It’s been a year since Trudeau reclaimed Canada from Stephen Harper. The most memorable moment of that transition for me was watching the cabinet being sworn in. I was on Twitter celebrating with all the other political nerds and engaged citizens. Many of us commented on how we were totally not crying. It was hard not to be moved and relieved and inspired. I don’t love the Liberals, they remain my third choice behind the Greens and NDP, but I respect their work and voices. The cabinet is made up of a diverse range of individuals who all bring something to the table. They all make me proud to be a Canadian. There is one Prime Minister or President. They need a whole team of worthy individuals to run a country with.

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