Demand Question Time

It may seem strange but some Americans are asking for their politics to be a little more like ours.

This does not mean that they want their own expenses scandals with Americanised versions of moats and duck houses paid for by the tax payer.

But the Demand Question Time campaign is trying to get the cut and thrust of Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) to be a part of US political life.

It follows a recent open question session between President Obama and Republican Congressmen at the GOP House Issues conference in Baltimore which featured the sort of tough questions and frank answers that don’t normally happen in front of the TV cameras in US politics.

While PMQs are often criticised in Britain for being formulaic or the worst example of yah-boo politics, they are a hit with political junkies from other countries and at least offer a regular opportunity for political leaders to cross swords and be held to account.

The Demand Question Time campaign has garnered support from left and right in the States, although the online petition has only garnered some 15,000 signatures – a similar number to those on the 10 Downing Street e-petitions website asking the government to “stop criminalising live music” in small scale venues like schools, hospitals and pubs.

It remains to be seen whether the Demand Question Time campaign will be successful or not – but a Sky News campaign for US style leaders debates in the upcoming British general election made it and their online petition had a remarkably similar level of support.

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