Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Demand Question Time

Via Pam's House Blend:

Tired of seeing your elected officials spinning the issues? Demand Question Time: "I think this is a brilliant idea, since our current relationship with our elected officials about the issues has devolved into a lack of accountability, with spinning and posturing and sound bites the norm. Constituent services has turned into a PR form letter generator.

It's time that these elected officials let the people see them answering questions about policy and legislation without all of the hired guns behind the curtain -- aides, consultants and pollsters ready to coach them on dodging a direct answer. We'll be able to see who the empty suits are on the Hill, and perhaps break through some of these legislative logjams.

We live in a world that increasingly demands more dialogue than monologue. President Obama's January 29th question-and-answer session with Republican leaders gave the public a remarkable window into the state of our union and governing process. It was riveting and educational. The exchanges were substantive, civil and candid. And in a rare break from our modern politics, sharp differences between elected leaders were on full public display without rancor or ridicule.

This was one of the best national political debates in many years. Citizens who watched the event were impressed, by many accounts. Journalists and commentators immediately responded by continuing the conversation of the ideas put forward by the president and his opponents - even the cable news cycle was disrupted for a day.

America could use more of this - an unfettered and public airing of political differences by our elected representatives. So we call on President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader John Boehner to hold these sessions regularly - and allow them to be broadcast and webcast live and without commercial interruption, sponsorship or intermediaries. We also urge the President and the Republican Senate caucus to follow suit. And we ask the President and the House and Senate caucuses of his own party to consider mounting similar direct question-and-answer sessions. We will ask future Presidents and Congresses to do the same.

It is time to make Question Time a regular feature of our democracy.

Please join us by signing the Demand Question Time petition.

And this is not just progressives calling for QT. Leading this effort are folks like David Corn, Nate Silver of 538, Markos Moulitsas of DKos and on the other side of the fence -- Grover Norquist, Glenn Reynolds, and Brent Bozell III.

You can follow Question Time on Twitter (#QuestionTime)



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