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My latest bloggingheads with Matthew Yglesias is up. Topics discussed include Obama's first month, why less earmarks means more grandiose slabs of pork, and how to do an end-run around Hugo Chavez.
Go check it out.
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2:02 AM ET
February 20, 2009
I continue to be puzzled by
I continue to be puzzled by your optimistic view of Obama's economic policies. The market has lost around a quarter of its value since his election, so he certainly hasn't instilled any confidence.
Adding over a trillion dollars of debt in a non-stimulative 'stimulus' bill seems very harmful to me (and it's going to impact us much sooner than the five years out you indicate in your dialogue). I half-jokingly posted on your old blog that if Obama got elected and actually believed the economic policies he was pushing during the campaign, we'd hit Dow 6000 at some point during his term; now it looks like we might hit that during his first six months. At what point do you rethink your views on his policies? Dow 7000? 6000? 5000? 3000?
3:43 AM ET
I thought it was a great Bloggingheads until the last 2 minutes when you started comparing parliamentary systems. You made it seem like it was a random occurrence as to whether a parliamentary system leads to a strong single party (Britain) or a coalition (Israel, Italy, etc.). It is not random and is instead based on how the MPs and MP are elected.
The strong single party systems occur in nations that elect their MPs using single member districts. The coalitions occur in nations that vote by proportional representation.
Another important factor is whether the MP needs to get a majority or just the most votes. (majority --> coalition, most votes --> strong single party).
These are very important distinctions that many people gloss over when comparing parliamentary systems. That last exchange of the podcast could have easily been its own 10 min section (or for that matter could have been the basis for a dissertation in Political Science).
If your interested, the books by Kenneth Shepsle and Mark Bonchek explain these results in much greater detail.
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
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