Thursday, May 15, 2008

Should the U.S. Congress Have British-Style Sessions?

Posted by Teresa at 10:38 AM
An interesting proposal from the McCain camp:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate
John McCain said on Thursday that, if elected, he would like to
take a page from the British government and appear in
question-and-answer sessions with lawmakers.

"I will ask Congress to grant me the privilege of coming before
both houses to take questions, and address criticism, much the
same as the prime minister of Great Britain appears regularly
before the House of Commons," McCain said in excerpts of a
speech he is to deliver later in Columbus, Ohio.

Although U.S. presidents deliver annual "State of the Union"
speeches to Congress at the start of each year, those formal
addresses do not include a question-and-answer session.

McCain said exchanges such as those in the British House of
Commons are a way of holding leaders accountable.

The question-and answer sessions seem to be more entertaining compared to
what we are use to:

Another clip:

However, I really can't imagine Majority Leader Harry Reid or Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi getting all fired up. Can you? Perhaps, Americans prefer our television
news political commentators to duke it out (verbally, of course) instead of our politicians.
It would be a political blogger's dream though.

Another quote from the Reuters article:

"When we make errors, I will confess them readily, and explain what
we intend to do to correct them," McCain said. He also reiterated a
pledge to hold weekly news conferences, a change from President
George W. Bush's practice of holding them roughly once a month.

One of my biggest frustrations with President Bush is that he not really been media
friendly or savvy. So this will be a welcomed change.



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