Speaking of Venezuela

David Frum, speaking in, and of, Venezuela:

In our modern world, we have two main systems of democracy. In the United States, France, and Mexico, the executive and the legislature are elected separately. Powers are separated, and each checks and balances the other. In Britain and the British Commonwealth, in Japan, and in most of Europe, the legislature is elected directly and the executive derives its power from the legislative majority.

Political scientists argue about which system is better.

But all agree on which system is worst: a system where the executive controls the legislature. You can call this system by many names: guided democracy, Peronism, socialism with Chinese characteristics.

By whatever name, the system of executive supremacy over the legislature amounts to the same thing: unchecked power. Such power can never be trusted. And those who most avidly seek such power are precisely those who can least be trusted with it.

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