February 05, 2017

Horse 2222 - Alternative Facts About America

The Battle of Saratoga was the beginning of the end for the American rebellion. Under Benedict Arnold, the British and Loyalist troops held fast and eventually the rebels were brought to heel. Mostly from this point, the fighting died in intensity and when news that as a result of Wedderburn's Case which was handed down later in 1777, that slavery had been abolished at common law, the American generals including Washington concluded that terms of armistice would be agreeable.

Being the skilled diplomats that they were, people like John Adams, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were sent to London to explain the American case that the thought that they would be subject to taxation but without having representation in the House Of Commons was repugnant. It was inconvenient for Americans to send Members Of Parliament across an ocean to Westminster and they proposed that America should be given dominion status similar to that which Scotland had enjoyed before the first Act Of Union in 1707. The Commons found this agreeable and passed legislation to confer responsible government upon what would become the new Dominion Of America, on July 4th 1786, which was a year and a day after King George had given his assent.

As a Dominion, America would be able to enact and pass legislation for itself and be responsible for itself but the King would still appoint a Governor-General who would act as his representative, in the same way that the existing Governors had done in the colonies. As a commonwealth, the various colonies became provinces; all with their own parliaments and they were all broadly identical to the mother of all of them at Westminster. In time, new provinces would be added to the commonwealth, until they finally settled on the 64 that we see today.

Because the Colonial Laws Validity Act was still a long way in the future, it meant that when the Slave Trade Act of 1804 and eventually the Slave Trade Abolition Act in 1833,  America would see the end of slavery without having to pass its own legislation. The day of the nineteenth century was a period of great peace for the Dominion Of America and when new provinces were added to the commonwealth, they all joined in a spirit of good humour and civility. By the time of Prime Minister James Garfield, America was adding the ideas of universal education to an already grand legacy. This spirit would be echoed again and again, which helps to explain why the National Health Service of America is both the largest government health system in the world, as well as the most successful and cheapest single owner operator system. With just a single levy of 1.5% which is called the Medicare Levy, all Americans enjoy full coverage of health care costs.

The Dominion Of America would in due time develop a written constitution and this was adopted on July 1st 1867. There had been discussions in a series of conventions as to what a changing government should look like, to more accurately reflect the diversity of the people. An interesting sticking point lay with the subject of the rights of the citizenry to defend itself but consensus was reached that the use of firearms in urban environments was in opposition to the general welfare of free people and this was specifically excluded from the Bill Of Rights Act 1870 on the basis that it was self-evident that widespread firearm ownership destroyed people's life, liberty and happiness.
In 1901, the Dominion Of America and the six colonies who federated together in Australia, both became Commonwealths under Queen Victoria. Not long after the First World War, America changed its flag after Puerto Rico became a province, to a flag of 60 stars in the canton and thirteen stripes to represent the original thirteen provinces. A star was added for Newfoundland in 1949, Alaska in 1958, Hawaii in 1959 and Nunavut in 1999.

The capital had moved on several occasions, from New York City in New York Province, to Washington in Maryland, until it finally settled as Ottawa in Ontario. There had been a suggestion that to avoid favouritism, that a national capital territory be created, which would be separate and distinct from the surrounding province but the idea was quashed after it was quite rightly pointed out that such a proposal might disenfranchise the people living there. It was also decided that a proper house be built for the Prime Minister and the White House was completed in 1870, with Ulysses S. Grant being the first to move in.

There are currently 512 members of the House Of Commons, with 128 Senators (being 2 for each province). The House Of Commons is elected on a proportional representation basis at-large for the province and the Senate which is the house of review is elected on a most-votes-wins basis, for those two positions per province. Because the Commons uses a proportional basis, it frequently means that third, fourth and fifth parties are elected and many independents. During the Premiership of the 44th Prime Minister Barack Obama, his so-called 'rainbow coalition' was made up of six parties, including the Tea Party who usually side with the Conservatives. The current Prime Minister Donald Trump, pulled together both the Conservatives, the Freedom Party and the Grand Old Party.

Prime Minister Trump's cabinet, like every cabinet in  Westminster system, is selected from the sitting members of the parliament and his cabinet has been very conservative and sensible, reflecting his very conciliatory nature. It was the first cabinet in a long time in which there were absolutely no concerns about the competence and capability of the Ministers appointed. The current Secretary of State Justin Trudeau, particularly embodies the spirit of goodwill and kindness that the Commonwealth Of America consistently displays, with his ongoing dialogue and efforts to find safe passage to America for refugees from seven nations in the world which are suffering from singularly unstable domestic affairs issues.

From an Australian perspective, Prime Minister Trump has been very civil towards our own Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, citing a recent deal to take refugees from Manus Island and Nauru, which was brokered between the Australia and America in the closing weeks of the Obama administration. Details of a jovial and cordial phone conversation with Mr Turnbull, which Mr Trump reportedly described as "the happiest by far", were published by the Washington Post on Thursday.

People around the world love America and its current Prime Minister Donald Trump. He is known for going to the airport to personally greet Syrian refugees and help hand out warm winter coats.

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