Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Book Review: "Legislatures"

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Book Review: "Legislatures"

Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny

At long last (for the many, I’m sure, who have been anxiously waiting), here is a book composed of scholarly studies of legislatures around the world. For those who thought that Pennsylvania has the only legislature in the universe, we learn there are legislatures across the globe. (What confuses people is that Pennsylvania has the world’s best legislature, not the only legislature. Now, let’s get back to the book.)

This is a collection of scholarly articles by researchers who have examined legislatures. Which is a scary thought to think someone is gaining tenure by looking at offices like ours. The goal of the book is that legislatures can learn from each other. This extends the NCSL concept that state legislatures can teach each other how to best create legislation. We can discover ideas worldwide.

Among the universal traits appears to be that the number of issues facing all legislatures is greater than there is time to look at each. One of the most important decision each legislature faces is how to create a process that best handles this. It is stated that understanding this process tell us much about what type of legislature that exists. Who gets noticed and who gets ignored tells much about that government’s societal power structure.

Nearly every legislature has to develop rules and procedures and to decide how to handle constituents. Further universal issues appear to include considerations on how legislators are selected, how they may retain office, and whether or not legislators should be career professionals. We also learn that American legislatures tend to have greater resources than legislatures elsewhere. Further, turnover amongst American legislators generally is less than turnover elsewhere.

We have advantages in America. We generally do not have to worry about a coup d’etat (although I still am suspicious about the 2000 Presidential elections, but I digress). Readers may develop an appreciation for our government process when reading about the difficulties legislators and democracies face in other countries. One researcher claims it generally is America that creates and improves its political institutions and that the rest of the world tends to learn from our experiences. If that is the case, then let us all do a good job, not just for Pennsylvanians, yet, indeed, as an example for the rest of the world.


Blogger PSoTD said...

Pennsylvania has the best Legislature in the world? I just can't get my subjective opinion in that camp...

9:13 AM


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