Years ago, many political scientists in the US used to critique their rather free flowing party system for not offering voters a definite programmatic contest. In post-war normative democratic theory, parties were seen as able to organise and coalesce a range of interests and measures into a competing platforms which would enable citizens to make a rational choice in voting.
Of course, now that one of the two parties has started to act much more like the disciplined parliamentary caucuses found in Westminster democracies, not everyone is so enamoured of this notion.
But it’s interesting to see a bit of momentum building for a Question Time in the US, which would represent a distinctly different relation between the executive and legislature.
I wonder, though, whether many of its proponents have taken the time to watch Australia’s Question Time, or Britain’s Prime Minister’s Questions.