maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller


I was watching C-SPAN, I'll admit it.

So I was taking a break from my english paper last night and flipped on the TV. I ended up watching C-SPAN's coverage of the British House of Commons for about half an hour. My grandmother was a huge anglophile, and watched this stuff all the time. When visiting her in Chicago I would catch some of it, but I hadn't seen it at all since she died (about four years ago) until last night.

So Tony Blair was in there talking to the House of Commons about the British Health Service, pensions, loss of jobs, and a few other things. Blair had to stand there and answer every question the Conservative party leader could throw at him, and then questions from other members of the House. Debate was fierce, funny, and thoughtful on all sides. Here was the Prime Minister (!), having to come up with facts and arguments at the podium. He was leaning over it, getting angry, yelling.

The following is what I wrote in the back of my notebook as I watched:
"This is REAL debate. With supporters on each side shouting out their yays and nays, asking questions to their leaders. Members of the labour party are challenging their own prime minister, not kowtowing to whatever his office tells them. This is DEBATE. This is GOVERNMENT."

The lack of real debate, of visible thought, in our government is appalling. Bush held sixteen press conferences in his first term, as compared with 84 in George H.W. Bush's four years, and literally hundreds by FDR during the New Deal era. We have gradually allowed our leaders to become less and less accountable for their actions, and I don't know how to change it.

For now? I'll start with finishing my poli sci reading. sigh.


  • At 3/08/2005 12:31 AM, Blogger mquest said…

    See the older you get the smarter you get. Soon you will be listening to NPR and 30 years old and even smarter. If voting made a difference it would be deemed a terrorist activity.


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