I would say that continental European news does not make too many waves in the Canadian mass media very often. We seem not to care about the economic state of Germany et al. But if there is a terrorist attack . . . . .
I did spend two years in Europe. I was in Czechoslovakia in 1992 and lived through the breakup. Then I was in Slovakia for the second year. I used politics as my means to bring out conversation practice in my English classes, so that helped allay my political junky needs.
As you know, both CR and SR kept their a PR government after their split. One thing that intrigued me was the influence of the President. On paper, this position was mostly ceremonial. He/she had no power. Yet the President could say things that needed to be said--and the real politicians were often annoyed with him. An interesting balance indeed, and this "power' became part of Chapter 5 in my book.
All media is biased, including The Economist. They are very much free traders, going back to their days of the Corn Tariffs. I maybe see it once a year these days. But there is no doubt that it helped shaped my thinking about the state of the world. I like getting PBS for my American news. But it's a little hard to remember the limited time slots it has an Canadian streaming channels. My wife likes CNN, and I try to balance out things with some Foxx. But I won't bother with MSNBC; this network is truly tainted. But mostly Canadian news: CBC and CTV. I'm not much of a newspaper or magazine reader these days.
It is interesting that you mention "myopia." So true in so many facets of our western life. And "political correctness" is all around us. There are so many barriers to finding the better solutions because we are too scared to talk about certain angles of whatever collective issues face us. Without that truth, the better solutions elude us.
And this leads to my issue with proportional representation (thank you very much for taking this thread in this direction for it helps me solidify my thinking). In PR, elected politicians are still somewhat bound to the mandate they suggested in their election campaigns. For example, if they campaign on increasing pensions for retired people, they have to bring that mandate into legislative deliberations. This is actually selfish on two levels: 1) retired people, like almost everyone else, want more money, and 2) the politicians are dependent on the votes of these retired people.
But often, such a discussion never goes into the realm of "What is better for society?" The motivation is usually selfish: one group gets more of the pie than the groups. It often becomes a case of who can muster up enough political support to get the change they want.
And this is where the TDG comes in. TDG representatives are not elected on their mandate. They are not constrained by "Well, I said this in the campaign or my party ideology is _______, so I must try to push things that way."
For example, promising retired people more money might bring in votes, but there is the other angle of "where's the money come from?" A politician who campaigned on more money for retirees needs to deflect that second question. So much for the truth finding the better solution.
TDG representatives are not subject to those political forces. They can look at both sides of most issues without fear of political retaliation.
I don't see PR as mastering "better for society" better than FPTP on a consistent basis. Remember Canada has FPTP and we look like a social democracy. The PR of Hungary is turning that country xenophobic. The PR of Italy still hasn't managed to rid the mafia of a significant part of its economy. While systems of government are important, there are other forces whether a society moves forward or backward. I believe that PR releases more positive forces, but the TDG will release even more.