Saturday, January 30, 2010

Obama meets the "Loyal Oppostion"

Yesterday's meeting with President Obama at the Republican's retreat in Baltimore MD was quite remarkable, perhaps almost unprecedented in that it was the first time a President's meeting with the "Loyal Opposition" was broadcast live.   We're used to seeing that back and forth in Parliamentary systems but not in a "separation of powers" as in the States; and even then the questions and answers are brief and inprecise at the best, a mean spirited shouting match at worst.   (Witness Canada where we've gone from the one extreme to the other in the course of about twenty years.   Even the British H of C has become quite rowdy as of late.)

Here, there were specific detailed questions, and specific detailed answers -- not the soundbites the networks are so fond of which is why, unless they were the news channels, they couldn't be bothered to broadcast it (except on the Net or on the digital "sub-channels").     I don't know how such a meeting could be made to work in Canada or the UK, but if the fox went into the henhouse every once in a while and just talk in a polite, dignified manner, maybe there wouldn't be so much cynicism and things could get done that benefits everyone and not just the lobbyists who have the connections.

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