Writing about the political turmoil/deadlock in Belgium, Megan McArdle observes:
In the long run, in the modern world it seems hard to have a state without a nation.
America is a state without a nation. Ideology, and not innate identity, unites Americans.
The fatal flaw in Belgium and many other countries in the world is a parliamentary system which assigns power directly to parties instead of individuals. In diverse societies, parliamentary parties inevitably evolve around group identities. People cannot move beyond their identity loyalties without losing political power. Soon all political battles become conflicts between identity groups, and the natural fissures in all human societies are exacerbated to the point of failure.
America would have never survived if we had adopted a such a system. Numerous parties would have evolved, each attached to a specific ethnic or religious group. We survived because the Constitution grants power to individual office holders, not groups. (Winner-takes-all also helps drive the formation of broad coalitions.)
Parliamentary governments only work for nation (unitary ethnic) states like England, France and most of the rest of Western Europe. For the majority of countries in the world who are significantly multi-ethnic, they are a disaster waiting to happen. Those countries need to look to the example of diverse America for their political model instead of to the freakishly uniform countries of Western Europe.