They want what we have


In the wake of Barack Obama’s appearance at a Republican gathering last week, a rather eclectic and impressive group of Americans is demanding their own “Question Time.” David Corn at Mother Jones explains. Balk at the Awl dissents. David Axelrod isn’t convinced.

POLITICO asked White House senior adviser David Axelrod about the possibility of regular question time on Monday, before the online campaign was announced, and he said the president’s aides were more likely to look for one-shot opportunities for Obama to engage with Republicans. “The thing that made Friday interesting was the spontaneity,” Axelrod said. “If you slip into a kind of convention, then conventionality will overtake the freshness of that.”


They want what we have

  1. "Question time" is an awkward reminder to how far Canada has fallen away from it's democratic processes. Down south we witness a President who engages in a constructive way his opponents. In Canada we have a Prime Minister who looks for ways to shut out and close down the opposition when the going gets tough.

    Only time will tell which road Canadians are willing to travel but one thinks from the events of the past month that Canadians are much more willing to embrace a leader that does not run and hide and is willing to do his job rather than position himself for photo-ops at the Olympic Games.

    • Canadians are much more willing to embrace a leader that does not run and hide and is willing to do his job rather than position himself for photo-ops

      Are you describing Paul Martin, or Harper? I felt the same way when I voted for Harper rather than Paul Martin four years ago. I've since become disappointed. I'll likely continue to be disappointed if I vote for Ignatieff, thinking that he'll do things differently than Harper: No photo-ops, no dodging difficult questions, will do his job, etc…

      It's easy to see why voters are disillusioned, and don't even bother to vote anymore.

    • Oh, you mean the president who tried to ram through a bill in the senate with 60 democrat votes and 0 republican votes without incorporating a single republican idea into the bill? The one who tried to ridicule the US supreme court directly in their faces? So constructive.

  2. Responsible government!

  3. Do you mean they want Question Period, or they want spontaneity, with the public never knowing when Government will engage in Question Period?

  4. I think it's a more of a case of "They want what they don't have" because there is no way they could want what we currently have.

  5. Wow I wish the situation was the same in Canada and the head of state was required to take questions from law makers.
    Dean Del Mastro: What are you going to do about the corrupt liberals attempts to destory our democracy.
    The Queen: Hem Hem…

    I wonder what would be asked and answered if Stephen Harper took questions from his caucus under two scenarios – one in-camera, one televised.

  6. Next up, metrification.

    Don't do it! It's a trap!

  7. I think whatever the Americans are 'toying with' at the moment would look like our QP awfully quick.

    It is not often I find myself agreeing with Axelrod but on this occasion I do. It was only interesting because Repubs were not really ready for confrontation and Americans pay a lot of respect to President, no matter who it is, so Repubs were pulling their punches a bit because he's the President and it's unseemly to be attacking him.

  8. "They want what we have"

    *four horsemen ride through town*

  9. Can we sell them ours?

  10. Funny, I thought we already had.

  11. Ha! Two points for each of you.

  12. More accurately, they want what Britain has. And so should we.

    They do not want what we have.

  13. I think you mean "They want what we used to have." Now that QP has devolved into opposition members phrasing wild accusations as questions, and government members mouthing unrelated, semi-coherent platitudes in response, it looks nothing like what our friends to the south are toying with.

  14. We have Question Period which is not the same as Question Time many British PMs used to sweat with anxiety right up to Question Time because of the grilling they would get. Our questioning is somewhat different.

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