January 30, 2008

Why We Need to Scrap the Televised State of the Union Speech

I'd much rather go back to the days when this thing wasn't a speech. Matthew Shugart nails some of the format's basic flaws.

In this respect, the State of the Union is really the worst of both worlds. The head of state stands before the people’s representatives (oh, and the senators, too) and delivers something allegedly about the nation as a whole. But then, as head of government - and therefore a partisan leader - he (i.e. the same person, unlike in Westminster systems) never sticks around to answer tough questions and subject himself to ridicule for the absurdities he has just mouthed. Instead, the opposition has to send someone to a TV/radio studio to give an equally absurd speech that hardly anyone listens to, and thus an opportunity for the sides to engage each other when people actually are paying attention is squandered.
Posted by armand at January 30, 2008 09:06 AM | TrackBack | Posted to Politics

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