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Democracy is Chaotic - when it is done right.


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Media Contempt for Political Deliberation
But passage of a $1.7 trillion spending bill no one has read is seen as wondrous for democracy.

The House of Representatives’ struggle to elect a speaker has been repeatedly defined as “chaotic” by mainstream media outlets. Apparently, deliberation and debate are signs of disorder and are not to be desired in our society. While the phrase “threat to our democracy” has become increasingly trite due to its ubiquity in the news, media members who frequently employ it are often blind to their own hypocrisy, which is best illustrated by their apparent contempt for political deliberation. Although deliberation and debate are key components of our nation’s form of government, many journalists seem to want our government to take action quickly and often but are less concerned with that action’s quality or the process that gives rise to it.

Journalists often assess the “productivity” of Congress by tallying how many laws our legislative body passes. In early December, David Boaz of the Cato Institute argued that this is an extremely poor way to evaluate Congress. He’s right

While legitimate debate about who should be the Speaker of the House has been negatively labeled as “chaotic,” there was very little concern raised in the media over the frenetic process that led to the omnibus spending package at the end of 2022. The $1.7 trillion package, which totaled over 4,000 pages of text, was released in the middle of the night just days before it was to be voted on.

There has also been relative silence about the lack of debate allowed in the House of Representatives over the past six years. As former Michigan Representative Justin Amash occasionally points out on Twitter, there have been a grand total of 0 votes allowed on floor-offered amendments in the House of Representatives since the end of 2016. When our nation’s law-making body is micromanged from the top down and precluded from considering amendments to proposed bills, our elected leaders are not engaging in a deliberative process. More bills may be passed with greater haste, but too much power resides in a small number of political leaders.

The article is American but the sentiments apply to Canada as well. Parliament, in Canada, is not a deliberative chamber. The PMO strives for efficiency in the delivery of deliverables. It gives classes in deliverability.

PMO - Project Manager's Office?

The bureaucrats, technocrats and apparatchiks of the world, in the Civil Services and in the apparatchik's paradise known as the EU, aspire to efficiency. The chaos of parliament is anathema to them and should be avoided at all cost. That ultimately is why they variously sneer at, laugh at and detest Britain's system.

The tale of Brexit, Cameron, May, Johnson, Truss, Sunak, Covid, Northern Ireland, Ukraine and JEF is entirely too complex and chaotic for their liking. The unpredictability is chaotic. They see the feature as a bug.

So does the Trudeau faction, in my opinion.

The worst of all solutions except the alternatives.

Brad Sallows

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If it happens on the legislature floor, it's "chaotic" and the nation is "ungovernable". If approximately the same thing happens beforehand in the backrooms, the vapid nitwits who write news copy don't know and don't care.

The only foolish thing about the recent example is that by taking it to the legislature floor, the party with only a narrow majority risked allowing the minority party to make the choice.


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I kind of like the idea of "parliament" modelling a "barney", people passionately fighting their corners, then finding a solution and heading to the bars only to do it all again tomorrow.

Fight clean and fair. And know that it doesn't have to be personal.


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Another article conforming to my biases.

Notably, what has unnerved so many in Washington is that this speakership debate was not just largely public but also unscripted. It was an actual deliberation, conducted in front of the American people. While repellent to many, it just might be something that voters could get accustomed to.


Fishbone Jones

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I've always liked this one. Seems fitting right now.


It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.

From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.

It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.

From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.

It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!

It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.

But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.