Prime Minister’s Questions
If you are ever in the mood for good television about British politics, watch C-Span on Wednesday mornings (7am) or Sunday nights (9pm). You can watch Prime Minister Tony Blair being grilled by members of the British Parliament on whatever grievances the MPs want to raise. While some questions are submitted in advance, I’m still amazed by how well Tony Blair handles some of the random questions that get thrown at him. Last night he answered numerous questions related to potential war with Iraq, crime in London, equal funding for all higher education schools, immigration, health care for hemophiliacs, etc. Thinking this is one idea we (America) should have borrowed when Congress was established. I would love to see President Bush (or any of the former Presidents for that matter) engage in this kind of live debate with members of House or Senate. If you are interested in learning more about this House of Commons practice that dates back to the late 17th century, go here.
January 25, 2004 at 5:27 pm
I found this randomly.
I too wish we had something like PMQ in the US. In “the BEst and the Brightest” David Halbertam suggests that if LBJ had been grilled by Congress on his escalation of Vietnam that debacle could have been avoided.
February 22, 2003 at 4:24 pm
The problem with watching the reporting of the British parliament in America is that it is very biased. The TV people only select the best bits – they did this for Mrs Thatcher too – she looked a lot better on American TV than she did on British TV. I guess there’s not much point in showing the bad bits on TV, but it does make for quite biased reporting.
You can get a slightly better idea of what’s going on if you watch the BBC news.
In a few years we’ll probably have truly global TV, but it’s not here yet, so we can only guess how the news is reported in different countries.