President's Question Time? (doesn't contain nanny state)

teeb

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Six days ago now, John McCain said this in a speech :

John McCain said:
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.

He wants to use the British (and Canadian) system of Prime Minister's Questions and use it in the US Houses.

To give people who don't know, to give you a quick idea, in the UK PMQs is a half hour long session on Wednesdays in which any MP can ask a question to the Prime Minister. Names are chosen by random ballot beforehand and questions can be asked 'on the spur of the moment' by standing up (like putting your hand up in school). The Leader of the Opposition gets 6 questions and the leader of the next biggest party 2. The other questions are all from MPs, roughly asked in proportion to the party numbers (40:40:18:2 Labour:Tory:LibDem:Other in the UK, if memory serves).

It's a piece of theatre, basically, and it can be very entertaining. It's one of C-SPAN (in the US)'s most popular programmes. The problem for the PM or President is that he has no idea what questions are coming so he has to be briefed on many topics.

My opinion is that it is a great idea, allowing the President to be held to account as well as making politics more available to everyone. It also says a fair bit about John McCain, that he's willing to put himself through something like this. It's an idea that should be taken up, no matter who wins in November. What do you think?

If you're interested in the UK PMQs, transcripts, mp3 podcasts and video can be found here for the past fair while. An opinion piece on McCain's idea can be read here.
 

jetsetter

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An interesting idea, I would support it.
 

Jay

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I like the idea, as as a president is elected by the people, so it does make sense that the representatives of the people ask questions to the servant of the people.

But....I see it as becoming a lot of grandstanding and not asking critical questions, but rather personal vendettas political fencing, as only people in Washington are wont to do.
 

Hidden_Hunter

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They do it here, usually it ends up as a piss fest. Oppositions demands why their isn't something totally unfeasible and the cycle repeats for the duration of question time.
 

Firecat

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Good idea, if Congress wasn't full of spineless chumps.
 

Cobol74

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The Aussie one is different to the UK one because of the relationship that Mr. Speaker has with the governing party IMHO - but hey suits the Aussie character IMHO.

It would be very interesting to see McCain try this - I have actually warmed to him as I have seen some of the Political coverage, I am not a natural GOP supporter in our terms but I MUCH prefer his character to the other two choices.

One thing if you act like an arse then, as it is on TV, people are not stupid and can see you NOT representing them, tends to put the breakes on things. I wonder how your politicians would deal with this as its not in your tradition tho'.
 

anti-net

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The House Of Commons can be a bit of a joke, but at least it means the MPs have to show they have balls. I'm not sure how much debating happens in the "House" compared to the Commons.
 

Twerp128

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I really like McCain. He has some great ideas, and backs up his words with actions. Something neither of the democrats can say, specifically 'Bama. He isn't afraid to try new things, more importantly he can admit when he was wrong.
 

Firecat

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I really like McCain. He has some great ideas, and backs up his words with actions. Something neither of the democrats can say, specifically 'Bama. He isn't afraid to try new things, more importantly he can admit when he was wrong.

I think that's a perfect description...of somebody who's not McCain.
 

tigger

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I think that's a perfect description...of somebody who's not McCain.
I'm not a McCain supporter, hell you'd probably have to put a gun to my head to get me to vote republican, but I think you're giving him too little credit. He seemed like a real stand up guy, 8 years ago anyway. Now I think he's kind of whored himself out to the Christian right, but gestures like this show he's still got a little character.

Anyway, I like the idea. It would probably just turn into a lot of political posturing, instead of anything really productive, but I'm still in favor of it.
 

Twerp128

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I think that's a perfect description...of somebody who's not McCain.
I'll get some proof, just give me 'till Wednesday, I gotta work.

Now I think he's kind of whored himself out to the Christian right, but gestures like this show he's still got a little character.
This is true. But in all fairness Obama and Hilary have done the same to their, I don't know, easier-to-persuade demographics.

Plus he's not all right-wing Christian:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24781872
 
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