Sometimes I wonder if the USA would be better off with a parliamentary system. The US government (a kind of presidential system) is never really supported or forced into having truly vigorous debates.
The other thing I admire about parliamentary systems is the quickness of the elections. Bam! There's an election and Bam! it's over.
In the US we've already started the 2004 presidential campaign. Fundraising and the deliberately stilted primary firewall will take care to preserve and further polarize the two party system...
"In '84, primaries were spaced farther apart and big expensive media states came later. Now, the schedule is compressed and expensive states are holding primaries earlier, favoring establishment candidates."