So, did everyone else but me know what a “filibuster” is? Ever since the appointment of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, around which there was much talk of filibusters, banning filibusters in the senate, and so forth, I’ve wondered, what on earth were they talking about? Well, as usual, Wikipedia came to the rescue. Specifically Filibuster.
Now, I always knew that governmental procedure was often silly. I mean, how else can you get a bunch of politicians to actually get something done than to strap them down with a bunch of bizarre rules and regulations? Well, I gotta say, the filibuster takes the cake. To quote:
“a filibuster is an attempt to extend debate upon a proposal in order to delay or completely prevent a vote on its passage”
So, traditionally, to filibuster something, all you do is talk. And talk. And talk a whole bunch more! And in the US this is made even easier because, as it turns out, senatorial speeches need not cover the topic at hand! So you can literally pontificate about anything. In fact, you can even “[read] from the telephone directory” if you like. The only limit is your personal endurance! And the current record? Held by Strom Thurmond, who set a record of 24 hours and 18 minutes while attempting to filibuster the 1957 Civil Rights Act. How’s that for tenacity?
And, as a Canadian, I can feel proud knowing that we, too, have contributed to the glorious history of the filibuster. Back during the pre-megacity days in Ontario, the Liberals and NDP, in an attempt to filibuster the megacity merger proposal, actually pioneered a new form of filibuster by “[introducing] 11,500 amendments to the megacity bill, created on computers with mail merge functionality”. Now that’s what I call innovation!
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