Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Who isn't coming to dinner"

Rehearse 'Deliberative Dialogue' by writing about "Who isn't coming to dinner" from The Economist.

The Economist editorial suggests that three factors are at work that help to explain why Congress fails to live up to citizens' expectations: 1) growing ideological differences between members of each party in Congress; 2) flaws in the fundamental design of our Congressional system; and 3) members' unwillingness to honor the Founders' belief in “deliberation, institutional loyalty and compromise.”

Which of these three factors seems the biggest challenge that Congress must overcome? WHY?

REMINDERS:
1. To satisfy the requirements for this assignment, you must either: 1) post your opinion - thoughtfully; and/or 2) respond to one of your classmates' posts - in the spirit of deliberative dialogue. (Daily grade)
2. Consider writing in MS Word and using copy-and-paste to enter your comment... at least until you are comfortable using our blog.
3. Remember to 'sign' your post with first name and last initial - to earn full credit.

108 comments:

Claire Criss said...

The government in the United States is a very complex and multi layered system. Acording to the artical "who isn't coming to dinner," American electors and representatives should get along better, specifically with the opposite party. It claims that we need less debate and more "deliverate discussion". This may seem fine and dandy until we reach a point that is either a yay or nay decision. The reason we have different parties to vote for here in the US is because there are so many different sides to each decision. While it way seem extreme to only chose one side per party, it saves the people who run America time and the taxpayers money. If congress was to sit together in a room, trying to come up with a solution that would please everybody, they would spend months at minimum on one of many problems, and most likely never come up with and solution that pleases everybody. Being a democracy the people need a say in decisions. When the different parties don't agree on something, the people of America are given an oppertunity to put in their two cents by voting. To make sense of everything I've said, it boils down to the fact that deliberate discussion may seem like a good theory but it ultimetly leads to an extensive amout of time wasted and leaves the American people out of it.

Beyzeus said...

The thesis in “Who Isn’t Coming For Dinner” is about how it seems that congress seems really unclear and divided in it’s decision making and legal systems. It is a direct variable with the way each country is run and it is leading to division and conflict within the country. I strongly agree with the author in a sense that the U.S is so determined to be a democracy, that it has become overpowering and thus hurting our government systems. I also strongly agree with the idea that in the British system, the ruling party governs, which makes much more sense than having a re-election every two years, which not only takes money, but also unnecessary time. My perspective of this article is that it clearly states the truth in a way that everyone can compare and clearly see that the way legislature and the U.S is handling many of these important things is not a very diligent system. My favorite lines that caught my attention were "It is the people who work the system who need to change, primarily by meeting their opponents half way. They could make a start by asking a member of the other party over for dinner." I thought this was funny in a sense that in the U.S it seems that only one side is willing to go to dinner, while the other will go, but in the end push farther away than before. Despite this, the approach is one that should be used by the U.S to ensure that everything is more fair and less dicey, shady, and behind the scenes.

Michael B.

jack attack said...

The author of "who isn't coming to dinner" is clearly upset with the way things are run politically in the untied states. his thesis states that congress is so divided up and argumentative toward one another that it makes decision making seem merely impossible. this argumentative nature of the congress because we are so split up between republicans and democrats is making huge problems for the united states. not only is the split between the congress a problem but also the way the country runs things politically. electing new representatives every 2 years is very time consuming and expensive and seems to be a complete waste of time and stress. i agree with the author to some extent because although the united states is trying very hard to stay a democracy, we need to be a democracy. we need to be a democracy that isn't too powerful. we must find a happy medium. the author also makes a very valid point when comparing the difference in the way the people of the british government treat one another versus the way the american congressmen treat one another. it seems as if the british discuss topics and laws and the united states debates and fights them. we see this when the author refrerences that the way the congressman debate issues is just a game that they all are trying to win. this is the problem within the government in the united states. both the republicans and democrats must come much closer together and start deliberating rather than debating. i believe this will help ease the tension in americas government there by solving problems.

Anonymous said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming to dinner” from The Economist, the author discusses the differences between Britain’s House of Commons, and the U.S. Congress. He proposes that our friends across the pond, though having the appearance on severe hostility towards opposing parties, are actually more agreeable than their American counterparts. British politicians actually congregate in the palace of Westminister to drink, eat, and smoke with the very people they were screaming at previously. The author of the article eventually concludes that, because of their proximity and general politeness towards each other, British politicians are more respectful towards each other than American congressmen.
I believe that there is something to the author’s argument. I feel that American politicians are constantly spending the majority of their time arguing with each other, or campaigning for more votes, when they could be using that time to reach agreements with each other. The divide between parties has gotten so wide in the U.S. that we even have specific television channels that are far right or far left. Still, I am convinced that Britain is not perfect. It is against human nature to befriend the person that you hated five minutes ago. I do believe, however, that they are on the right track with having a certain place for politicians to meet and talk. It is difficult to befriend someone who you never see, a problem I think many American politicians encounter. Though British politics can’t be perfect, we can surely learn a thing or two from them.
Paxton S

Miranda M. said...

In "Who isn't coming for dinner" article featured by the Economist talks about the U.S. Congress and the British Parliament and how they have completely opposite systems of discussing and solving their problems. The U.S. Government acts more civilized with their discussions, where the British Parliament takes the chaotic path. However, though the British Parliament is more vicious with one another, they get things done and have a decision made. Our government never gets anything done; no decisions are ever being made. Even though they act civilized, they really all hate each other. All the congressmen of our government are single-minded and never want to listen to anyone’s opinion but their own. Also, the fact that one candidate has the ability to spend the amount of money in only one presidential election that is equivalent to the amount of money spent in twenty elections in England is trying to give America a huge wakeup call that we need to make a change. I strongly agree with this author’s point of views and thoughts and I believe we should really learn something from the British Parliament.

BlairS. said...

In the article “who isn’t coming to dinner” the author’s thesis is one that believes
The US Congress should do more deliberate discussions rather than viciously arguing to promote each political parties' point of view. The article gives an example of how the British government handles decisions. In their parliament they deliberate and discuss, rather than having an opinion they won’t change. I agree that the US government should discuss more about the topic than argue their own opinion. On the other hand, the way our elections and voting works, the people in the Congress have to vote their political parties' way if they want to get re-elected. I do think we should adopt the term policy from Britain, it would save the United States a lot of money because the campaigns are every five years instead of every two and the congress can actually vote on what is better for the country instead of having to worry about being re-elected in the next term. My opinion of the whole article is that there were good points especially for the length of terms and for working closer together, but at some point they'll have to make a decision in a timely manner, which at the end of it will likely be the opinion they started with.
Blair S.

Anonymous said...

The writer’s opinion in "Who isn't coming to dinner," is that both parties of congress need to meet the other halfway. Both are very sure that their policies are right but never consider what the other side has to say enough to know for sure. Just like we talked about in class, it’s not so much a debate (an argument where one side has to be right) as it is sharing ideas and building on each other’s thoughts. I do feel like government spending is crazy. The fact that the British could pay for twenty elections with the money that our president would pay for one is a serious issue. It also does seem like the five-year plan overseas is working much better than our own two-year term. When congress gets in office, they usually do begin campaigning for another term as opposed to fixing the issues that they promoted in their campaign. A five-year term may fix this problem and give enough time to settle in and do what they originally planned to. I don’t believe that the relationship inside congress is being affected by the places they reside. They should be civil enough to be able to get along and respect each other’s opinion that they wouldn’t have to live near each other.
Madison V

Anonymous said...

In to the article “Who isn’t coming to dinner” the author discusses the differences between the US Congress and Britain’s House of Commons. In America, the author says representatives should learn to get along better with the opposing party. The thesis of the author’s article is that America has a more consensual form of politics while Britain has a more adversarial. I believe that there is some truth behind the author’s argument. Because their term is only two years, American politicians are more concerned with gaining votes, than reaching agreements. In Britain however, the elections are every five years which allows the representatives to spend more time focusing on the issues at hand rather than their re-election process. The author also mentions that “the most conservative Democrat on Capitol Hill is to the left of the most liberal Republican.” The divide in the United States has become so vast over the years that different radio stations and televisions stations support different sides. The author has a point by mentioning Britain’s House of Commons kindly meet together at the bars and tea rooms in the Palace of Westminster. Agreements in the United States could be reached a lot quicker if the member just agreed, rather than immediately thinking their ideas are the only way to go.
cate c

DanielleW said...

In the article “Who Isn’t Coming For Dinner”, the author discusses the differences of the U.S. Congress and British Parliament’s ways of discussing legal matters and how different the two are in coming to descisions. The thesis states that America has the more consensual form of politics while Britain the more adversarial. I believe that the American electors need to get along better. We need to stop wasting so much time argueing and maybe take a hint from Britain’s form of government. They go about discussing their issues in a deliberate way and weighing eachothers opinions with their own. While on the other hand, the U.S. Congress goes about this more visciously; each congressman is very headstrong about their own opinion. Also, I believe that the U.S.’s spending is out of control. “The $1 billion that Mr Obama is said to be seeking for his re-election campaign would pay for an entire British general election 20 times over”. This is ridiculous. I feel as if we should adapt to Britain’s 5-year election because it would give us more time to discuss important descions like they were hired to do versus worrying about gaining votes for the next election after our current short 2-year term. It would also save us a lot of money. The author also tells us how the Britain congressman meet in the Palace of Westminister to eat and drink. I believe this is a good idea and that we should do this. My view on the article is that while Britain’s form of government is no where in the least bit perfect, at least they go about dealing with their legal matters in a more civil and deliberate way than the U.S. does.

Danielle W

Morgan said...

After first reading this article and before our class discussion, I would have said the thesis was the last sentence of the first paragraph: “The casual observer might easily conclude that America has the more consensual form of politics and Britain the more adversarial.” At a quick glance, this sentence seems to be the only possibility of a thesis. When we talked about the article in class, I realized this was most likely not the author’s intended thesis. Now I feel like the last sentence of the entire article, “They could start by asking a member of the other party over for dinner,” is actually the thesis. This thesis leads us back to what I thought originally was the thesis. The words “casual observer” is the most important aspect of this sentence. To a person who knows an average amount about America’s system of Congress and the British Parliament, the conclusion seems to be true. However, when you look deeper into the situations, the conditions are actually the exact opposite. Yes, the British Parliament is not a place where everyone gets along and has the same ideas; it is full of argument and debate. But when the members of the Parliament leave for the day, they put their work and disagreements aside and enjoy going out together. On the other hand, the “consensual” American Congressional System appears to be more agreeable, yet when they leave work the congress members sleep on their sofas and isolate themselves from the other parties. There is too much tension between the two political parties in America, and I think that if they became closer in terms of friendships they would also come closer to solving major issues. I completely agree with what the author has said in this article and believe we should learn from the Parliament’s method of leaving work at work.
-Morgan C.

Anonymous said...

The article in The Economist called “who isn’t coming to dinner” refers two how the United States has a very divided and complicated government. According to the author of the article the two sides of the American government should get along better and compares it to the British Parliament. He thinks that it is the responsibility of “the people that work the system to change, primarily by seeing their opponents halfway.” I think that this is what needs to happen so one side doesn’t have to do all the work to make the two sides closer together because if they are so divided it becomes more of a majority vote than what is actually better for the country. As stated most of the government doesn’t even have apartments or houses in DC because they don’t spend enough time there so how are the parties going to be united if they are never there to meet and get to know the others. In England all of the parliament have houses paid for by the taxpayers, which brings their government closer together because they communicate. I feel that the government of the United States needs to spend more time together ands not back in there home states so that they can better serve our country.
Travis S

Anonymous said...

In “Who isn’t coming to dinner,” the author discusses several components that makes American politics different from British politics. In America politicians put up a civil front during debates or meetings, while in Britain they hash things out in a very upfront manor. It is Britain’s outspoken traditions that play a large role in the functioning of their government. The author also argues that British politicians live near by, allowing underlying friendship to form across part lines that aid in compromises. They are more willing to listen to each others ideas when they are friendly to one another and know each other outside the stiff world of politics. In America a big problem stems from republican “newcomers” who see their newly elected posts as a chance to radically change the government. Their views are often set in stone and they are unwilling to make compromises. Overall the author believes that its not the American political system, but the people that need to change in order to make compromises and have a functioning government. I completely agree with this, however I don’t think that its necessary for all politicians to have a home base in DC. I think it is important for them to remain connected with the areas they are representing in Washington and not be completely absorbed by politics. I see the advantages of living near by, but I think it is possible for relationships across party lines to grow in other ways. By being open to opposing views it would not only improve individual politicians, but the country as a whole.

-Katherine T.

LaurenS said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming for dinner?” published by the Economist magazine, the topic discussed is about the difference between British and American politics, specifically the attitudes possessed by each country. The British House of Commons and the United States Congress specifically are portrayed as very different in the ways they not only conduct themselves during their work, but outside of the Houses as well. The author quickly draws to the reader’s attention the varying styles in which both countries conduct their business, the British politicians are open to the idea of having the ruling party govern while the other waits its turn, whereas in the U.S. both sides are constantly pushing the limits of the ruling parties. Adding to that the relations between the political parties are somewhat different in Britain than in the U.S. and vice versa. In Britain they have a central location where politicians gather to converse, eat, and drink all under amicable attitudes. In America, the Congress have a more separated relations with each other, partly due to the time they are available, but nonetheless we are still nowhere close to the solid foundation of friendship that the British have created for themselves outside of the political debates. Finally the author concludes his article with a well-developed idea on what he thinks needs to be done; the changes he wishes to see are in America’s politicians who he believes have the responsibility of meeting the opponents half way. I think that this ideal is certainly something for America to strive for and can make a difference in how our government is perceived as well.

Lauren S.

Anonymous said...

In the article the author is trying to say that the United States government is not united at all, but we are the “United” States right? The United States is not United because the two parties of Democrats and Republicans are very divided. If these two parties were somewhat united then they would have collaborated on some of their viewpoints to make the country better for both parties. Whenever people elect a president, governor, or any elected official people usually elect the leader that benefits themselves. The author in this article want the U.S. government to be more like the British government. Even though they have different views they still get along and are friends, unlike the American Government. In the U.S. Government the Democrats and Republicans have completely different views and which makes them hate each other, but if they could work together and create policy that would benefit both parties the United States Government could be more “United.” Also the when the United States hold elections the nominees spend so much money on campaigning and trying to get as many voters as they can; they waste precious money that could be used to help the country instead of themselves.

-Kamil H.

Anonymous said...

The author of “Who isn’t coming for dinner” contradicts the common belief that America’s Congress is more civilized than that of Britain’s. Instead, he argues that American congressmen, although their debates are more civilized, are hostile towards the other party’s beliefs and are unable to agree with one another. Therefore, I think the thesis is, “America needs to make big changes if it is to live within its means. But this will not be done by tinkering with its system of government. It is the people who work the system who need to change, primarily by meeting their opponent half way.” I believe the inability of congressmen to get along is a major problem. As stated in the article, “In America’s system, the battle never pauses.” Members of the British Parliament learn to put their difference of opinions aside and are friendly to each other outside of the debate room. The American congressmen are unable to do so, and I think this makes it much for difficult for them to reach decisions because none of them are willing to meet halfway or even consider another point of view. I believe a lot of this opposition and division between the two parities in American is due to the two-year term. As soon as the congressmen are elected to office, they begin preparing for the next election, raising money and making speeches. This doesn’t leave them much time to enforce the issues they discussed in their campaign, or to mend relationships between the two parties because they are constantly on the road and trying to win public support. However, Britain has a five-year re-election term, allowing the members of parliament time to get to know each other and consider each other’s difference of opinions. I believe with the author that the main flaw with American government is not the structure, but instead the Congress member’s inabilities to come to terms with one another.

-Christina B.

Megan said...

In the article, "Who isn't coming for dinner", the author discusses the differences between internally between British parliament and American democracy, and additionally suggests that civility between Republicans and Democrats within American's government could be a very positive change for the nation. The author begins with a thesis stating that initially a casual outsider would conclude British politics is more adversarial compared to America's more consensual. I agree with the authors notion that in reality, American government is much more hostile between parties, especially in more recent years. Although British parliament parties have more time between elections and therefore the recessive party "bides their time", American government officials seemed to have focus more on a "tug-o-war" between the two parties. For example, this summer with the debt ceiling issues, from my perspective it seemed of secondary concern that the members of government came up with a plan that was most beneficial to the country. It seemed as if each party just argued so that their side could win in a "my daddy is bigger than your daddy" type manner. Over-all, the article was very informative and gave good insight to a foreign perspective of our government.
- Megan Riney

Anonymous said...

In the artical "Who isn't coming for dinner" from The Economist, the author is unhappy with how representatives of opposite parties are not getting a long and spend most time bickering. The author states that there are many sides to each party from the most conservative Democrats to the most liberal Republicans. No decisions are being made because of this. I agree that our government needs to be able to listen and discuss rather than going into these debates one way minded and to only get their point across. I agree that the British are better at communicating while Americans are focused on winning and votes. I think that we should try and follow how Britain's government acts towards each other and much more will be accomplished. The re-elections every two years is a huge waste of money and would also give the government more time to be together and learn to get along, making it easier to come to a conclusion. The author has many good key points in this article that I strongly agree with.

-lauren bookout

zeevf said...

In "Who isn't Coming for dinner" the author explains that the United States government would function better if the Republicans and Democrats got along better. The author explains of the differences between the United States Government and the British Parliament, he said that the United States would never truly be united because of the two different parties. Even though that the British Parliament has parties, they get along together. One reason why the British parliament is closer to each party is because their re election term is 5 years rather then two. Since it is five years they have more chances to rebuild, and build relationships between the other parties. So much could be done in three extra years as far as helping relationships between the Republicans and Democrats, now all they have time for is preparing for the elections. When you stop and think about it two years isnt near enough to write speeches, gain public support, ect. and help their relationships with the opposing party. A smart thing that could help our country is to change the re election terms to 3 years or more.

Andrew Boyd said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming for dinner,” the author speaks his views on the British and American governments. After reading the short essay, it can be seen that the author believes that the American government is far more argumentative and adversarial than the British government. Referring to the American government, in he thesis he writes, “It is the people who work the system who need to change, primarily by meeting their opponents half way. They could start by asking a member of the other party over for dinner.” By saying this he is talking about how in the American government, members of different parties sit side by side in meetings but have no interaction outsides of the workplace, while in the British government, they will be seen yelling and arguing in the meetings but having friendly interactions outside of work. I do agree with the author that something needs to change. The American government puts both parties in a position where they have to compromise and work together. However, with Republicans only interacting with Republicans, and Democrats only interacting with Democrats, the task of working together and compromising becomes much more time consuming and difficult. This relates back to the TED video by means of isolation. Both parties are isolating themselves from each other; they refuse to be seen together outside of work and are not friendly to each other resulting in them having a hard time working together when it is needed. Maybe a change can be made, maybe by simply asking an opposing member out to dinner. ANDREW BOYD

Anonymous said...

In the passage “Who isn’t coming to dinner” the author is comparing and contrasting the U.S. Congress and Britain’s House of Commons. The author seems to like the way Britain does things and agrees with the way they discuss and talk about political issues. For example, the British Parliament goes into a meeting and yells and argues and walks out being friends. They are willing to listen to one another and formulate their own ideas. On the other side the U.S. goes into a meeting and discusses the issue in a friendly way which results in no progress. Once they leave the meeting they never speak to one another again until the next meeting which is a problem. If the U.S. would use their time wisely during the meeting we could benefit greatly. I agree with the author and believe that this is a problem for the U.S. Parliament and that we do need to change something so that there not just wasting their time in the meeting and instead getting something successful done. I believe if we accomplish this simple task we will be able to strive as a whole and grow for the better of our nation.
-Colton U

Anonymous said...

The article "Who isn't coming to dinner" is about the differences between the U.S. and Britain's politics. The author compares each countries form of government and by so is trying to say that the U.S. government needs change. I think that the authors thesis is "Compared with the total war that is American politics, the British version is sport (amateur sport at that:the $1 billion that Mr Obama is said to be seeking for his reelection campaign would pay for an entire British general election 20 times over)."I support what the author is saying because from the reading it is clear that America's government needs change. The British may not like each other or agree with the other party but during there time in the parliament they get along. Whereas the Congressmen of America can never seem to get along it is all about what they want not what is for the best of the country. I think that the fact that the British Parliament members can get along just for the good of the country is great because that will do good things for the country. In America the bickering in Congress is only bad all it does is stop possible good things from happening for the country which is our own faults for not being able to get along. Also with the long terms in Parliament the British are able to save some money and have more time to not feel rushed to get something done. Whereas the quick reelections of Congress are only wasting money and also I think it rushes the Congressmen to feel like they have to do something so they show they are doing their jobs. Overall I think the British government is a much better form of government.

Hunter Prater

Anonymous said...

In the article, "Who isn't coming to dinner", the author is arguing the case of both the U.S. Congress and the Britain House of Commons. Britain's House of Commons is a very competitive place where a lot of yelling and arguing takes place. The author likes the fact that the House of Commons can scream and argue with each other and still leave as friends. But what the author does not like is how the U.S. Congress goes about their meeting's. They enter in a formal manner , sit down , discuss the issue at hand quietly and politely , then part ways not speaking to one another again until the next meeting. This gets us nowhere. I believe that if the U.S. Congress would act a little bit more like the House of Commons , that we could actually improve as a nation. But this would take a lot of maturity and willingness by the U.S. Congress. So , it is to my belief that if the Congress would act more like the House of Commons that our whole nation could be way more successful. This is my belief and my outlook on the situation.

Anonymous said...

By Donovan Owens.

Julie said...

The thesis for “Who isn’t coming for dinner” is that America should look more at how Britain’s government makes decisions and how the parties can come to agreement without so much confrontation. My opinion is that though the author’s suggestion of the parties coming together in a civil manner in America is a nice thought, it is unrealistic to think that just communicating better would fix the problems. I agree with the author in that the constant change in America’s elected officials is a problem because we are continually thinking about who will be next in office, rather than fixing the problems at hand. It is a distraction for the politicians and the people of America. I feel that if we changed the term limit for the House of Representatives to every four years, like the Senators, it would make things easier. They would be able to focus more on the problems and have a better chance of coming to agreement. The way America’s political system works is very different from Britain’s. Our population is bigger which means we have more opinions. America’s problems are complicated and his suggestion is not the only way things will get fixed.
-Julie Wheeler

Anonymous said...

In the article,” who isn’t coming to dinner the author makes a very bold thesis statement saying that, the American democracy is more civilized then the British form of democracy. But, throughout the article, the author proves the opposite of what his thesis stated. With this stated I do believe with how the author feels about the matter at hand; American politics is total war doing anything you can to win. In the congress, whoever the reigning party is, the other party will do anything to not let their ideas be put into bills or what have you. In the British democracy it is almost the complete opposite. The party, under the majority, almost gives up their ideas and lets the reigning party have their ideas passed in bills or whatever the matter is untouched. Also outside of parliament, friendship comes easier because re-elections do not come up for years at a time, where as in America, re-election comes up every 2 years. Another reason why the Britain government is more civilized than the U.S is that American congress members are so afraid of the government and what it may do to them or their family that they try to hide their family and live in their offices. Cameron Laird

RidaB said...

In the article, "Who Isn't Coming For Dinner" the author claims that a regular watcher might just come to the conclusion that America has the more consensual form of politics while Britain has a more adversarial. The author feels as if there are two forms of the government going on. One is where America can't seem to cease wasting money on elections, and getting voters. While Britain sits and fully takes in their terms and since they have elections every 5 years, they don't sit around and argue and make preparations right off the bat for the next election. Where as America has two year terms and has to prepare for an election within a few months of taking on their seat in congress. I, honestly, do not believe that Britain is any where near being a perfect congress, but I do agree with the fact that they are more put together and present themselves a lot better. America on the other hand has a hard time putting their differences aside and working together to accomplish something. Personally, I feel as, if congress took the time to quit bickering and quit making the fact they have a seat in congress a competition and got along with one another, we would truly accomplish so much more as a government. Britain may not be perfect, but at least they know how to be civil and put up with each other whenever it may be necessary.
RidaB

Anonymous said...

In the article of "Who isn't coming for Dinner" by The Economist. The reader can identify that the thesis is stating that America and the British government can’t really agree on anything. Most Americans do not admire Britain’s parliamentary democracy. I agree with Julie, I believe this is why they can’t agree on anything without there being any confrontation. The author makes it very clear to reader that he suggests the two should meet halfway. I agree, but I don’t agree because both America and the British show a tremendous amount of pride in their government and also nation. I think The Britain's House of Commons is a very hostile place where a lot of loud speaking and verbal fighting take place. Above all, British politicians accept the rules of a simple game; the ruling party governs sometimes in coalition while the opposition bides its time. By Americas actions I think that they would have to make a lot of big changes if it id to live within its means. I also feel that the people who work the system need to change their system by meeting the British or whoever they’re dealing with halfway. Not only should they consider going to eat but they should also go watch the parish football team on Friday.
Zach S.

Abby said...

In the article, “Who Isn’t Coming to Dinner” from the Economist, the author discusses to main differences in how the British Parliament and the American government come to a decision. An outsider would probably view the British Parliament as the more adversarial, or opposing form of politics and American government as the more agreeing form of politics. The author’s thesis is that American government would be able to run more smoothly if democrats and republicans weren’t so politically divided. The author states that one of the reasons for this is that every member of Congress is eligible for re-election every two years, therefore congressmen spend too much time campaigning and fund-raising instead of taking time to come up with good solutions to certain problems or reach agreement. The article stated that the $1 million President Obama wants for his re-election would pay for an entire British election 20 times!
My opinion is that the two parties should focus more on listening to each other’s points of view, and even though Democrats and Republicans aren’t always going to agree, I think they should listen to each other and try to learn from and build upon each other’s points of view and ideas.

Anonymous said...

In the article "Who isn't coming for dinner", the author describes how he feels on the American democracy and the British parliament. He explains the American democracy as two parties, with a huge gap between them that keeps growing. The author says also that the elections every two years requires perpetual fund-raising and many congressmen don't even have enough time to interact with each other or get to know each other. I agree that re election every two years is a huge waste of time and effort. Our economy clearly could use some cut backs and that seems like one simple way to do it. As well as they could have time to get know each other and maybe connect more with their views. Also i believe that the parties should start threatening the National Health service or tax rates. We have to start some way on cutting back and no parties seem to be threatening to do so. The author closes with a thesis stating "it is the people who work the system who need to change, primarily by meeting their opponents half way." Which i completely agree with it can't hurt to listen to both sides and not just going into debates with their own parties opinion that they might not even think is right. I believe we should try something different and maybe start taking tips from British parliament.
-megan reynolds

Anonymous said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming to dinner” the author clearly presents his opinion that the U.S. government is not doing a well enough job of deliberately discussing the issues at stake. He does a very nice job of communicating this by comparing the U.S. congress to the British congress. The British congress does a well job of discussing decisions and spends much more time together on a regular basis. Although both of the congresses might disagree about an opinion, the British just handle it in a more open way. Another thought that was mentioned in this article is the government spending on elections. Over in Britain the 5-year plan seems to be doing the job. This increases the focus of the subject in term to focus on the job at hand and not trying to get re-elected from day one. On to government spending it states in the article that the British can pay for 20 elections with the money it takes our president for one. The points throughout the whole article make a very good proposal for change. I believe that the congress should discuss their differences so that one might be able to understand where the other is coming from. Also the government spending is getting out of hand when we are spending twenty times more than the British per election.
Luke H

Brookie H said...

The thesis in the article, Who Isn’t Coming to Dinner, addresses the fact that in the United States the elected officials that represent the citizens have become completely polarized on the debate of issues. The two-sided government that the US has never seems to meet in the middle and both parties of the United States comes to a complete standstill. In my point of view, I like the concept of the British Parliamentary government. It seems to me that they have a civilized debate with a similar two party system that we have in the United States. The debate is courteous to everybody’s points of view and the end result is compromise and moving forward with a solution of the British government’s business. However in America, it is not that way because the two parties are on very opposite ends. For example, in the article, it says that the most conservative democrats that are on Capitol hill are to the left of most of the liberal republicans, and vice versa. What this means to me is that there is little respect and negotiation in the debates happening in the U.S. The issues that are faced in the U.S. today, will continue to not be agreed upon by both parties, unless the people of the nation decide to come together at one.

Brookie H

Anonymous said...

In the article, "Who isn't coming for dinner", the author is discussing the differences between between the American democracy and the British Parliament. The author's thesis of this article is that America has a more consensual form of politics, while the British Parliament has a more adversarial form of politics. In my opinion, the article is saying that the American government needs to be more like the British Parliament. IT states in the article that because the election in the British Parliament is every five year, bonds and friendships form, unlike the American democracy who are continually fighting. I think that Americans should be more focused on fixing the problems, rather that arguing campaigning for the elections. I feel like the British Parliament takes the time it needs and is concerned about their economy. Even though both the British Parliament isn't perfect, they work well together unlike the American democracy. Americans need to take the time and "ask a member of another party over for dinner" so they can see a different perspective and come together to form ideas to better out economy.

Emily L

Anonymous said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming to dinner”, the author discuses the similarities and differences between how the British parliament and United States congress debate current issues. The author brings up many points but most notably the fact that in British parliament the representatives take time to get to know those with different opinions from theirs and understand where they are coming from. This process allows for a real understanding of both sides of an issue instead of two sides who only care about having their opinions heard and not really listening to the other. It also allows for a civilized discussion rather than a debate with lots of hostility. This is different from congress in that instead of getting to know other congressmen from opposing parties, most of them are too busy campaigning for reelection due to the primaries and process that causes some representatives to not live in Washington D.C. thus causing them to not focus on the issues that they were elected to deal with. In my opinion the author’s view on the American system of electing congressmen, in that it needs to be changed to actually deal with the issues, was a very accurate one. If congressmen were to actually deal with the issues and not focus on reelection in our current system of election then they would never get reelected, but if the system were to be changed so that congressmen were in office for a longer time, similar to British parliamentary, then more issues would be resolved and both sides of an argument could be thought through. An extended term for congressmen would allow for an in depth look at all sides of an issue thus creating an agreement that would work for both sides and be better for our country.
Tucker D.

Anonymous said...

In "Who isn't coming to dinner", the author talks about the differences between United States Congress, and Britain's parliament. He compares the two, saying that Britain's parliament is much more agreeable towards each other, where as the Congress of the United States argues with each other and creates much more hostility than what is needed. The author states that the distance and hostility that occurs in congress makes it nearly impossible for decisions to be made. Although it is the idea for the two parties of the Republicans and Democrats to have different view points on situations and events happening in our country, it would be more logical for the two groups to get along with each other, just as the British do. The author talks about how the British simply talk and discuss issues going on in their country, when the American congress is trying to debate and argue. This is extremely counter-productive. In my opinion, the Republicans and the Democrats need to set aside the vast differences and focus more on discussing and trying to fix the issues, rather than just argue about them and not solve anything.

chris cole

Kianna S said...

In Who isn’t Coming to Dinner, from the magazine the Economist, the author discusses the differences between the the US Congress and Britain’s House of Commons, but most importantly, the differences between the parties in the US Congress, and what they could learn from Britain’s House of Commons. The author first points out the financial cost of campaigning and advertising, comparing the cost of American politics as a war with Britain being an amateur sport. I think that the author is correct - the amount of money spent campaigning would be much better off feeding the homeless and hungry, than buying the greatest and newest technology or hottest fashions. I do not need to see someone who’s running for an office’s face to be in every other commercial I watch. I also agree with the author that re-election every two years is much too soon; if I were in their position, it would feel like I would have to start campaigning just after I was voted in. The two years does not give nearly enough time to develop a routine before having to campaign once again - if they don’t have time to bring in their families, there is something wrong. In a mere timespan of two years, one can’t develop close friendships within your own political party, let alone the members of the other parties. The difference of opinions between the houses have grown over the years, and each party is so zealous of their own side that sometimes, they are oblivious to the other and close-minded. The author says that to start closing the gap, they should invite the other to dinner. I think that is an excellent start, but if dinner is too much to ask for, how about watching a lovely Sunday afternoon football game?

Kianna S

Anonymous said...

The author of “Who isn’t coming for dinner” is describing the differences between the governments of two of the leading countries: England and the United States of America. He or she is trying to say that American government has lost its class, and in some cases, it professional behavior. While I agree with the point about how our government is a bunch of screaming people that will not compromise, I have to disagree with the view that people of Parliament are better than our men and women of Congress. The author says that people of Parliament are able to argue inside of Parliament only. While this ability can be seen as a benefit, I see it as a problem. The people of Congress today are eating, breathing, and living politics, meaning that they continue to think about how to solve the problems of the United States even when they are not inside the Capitol. While American politicians constantly work to try and solve these issues, compromise is needed. I recall watching “Solving the debt Crisis” on C-SPAN, seeing Congressmen argue, and there being no resolution. If the parties were able to compromise a bit more, the United States might be a different place than it is today.

Ian M.

Tre V said...

In the article “who isn’t coming to dinner”, the author portrays the difference between American politics and British politics and the problems and the crisis that’s revealing in our government today. The U.S government is divided complicated and filled with numerous stubborn opinionated congressmen while the British are more adversarial. I absolutely agree with the author, our politicians are going about all of this as if it they weren’t trying to improve and better our government, but being recognized and praised for their opinion and thoughts. I feel it is ridiculous that the average congressmen would sleep on sofas in their offices, to avoid being seduced by the pernicious amity of Washington and avoid other parties. There is no way anything could be properly resolved with these kind characteristics of each individual. A wise man once told me “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken”, meaning together as one is more powerful than standing alone. U.S congress men should pertain to this quote and stop fighting so much and be more open-minded and assist in constructing a better government.
TRE V

Anonymous said...

Alex W(Cheesy B)

In the article “Who isn’t coming to dinner” the author is basically telling the U.S. Government to take a hint from Britons Parliament. Saying the the way our government works is not efficient in dealing with problems quick enough or in a correct matter. I think our government is not as efficient as it could be but we do have the right idea as far as how we have different groups to deal with certain issues. I believe the reason it takes so long for our government to come up with a good solution quickly for problems is simply because we have people in government who would rather our country fail then to see someone who believes different succeed. For example President Obama, a lot of people would say he failed to do what he promised. I think he has done a good job considering all the adversity has faced during his tenure. The fact that we have the two part government is why the parliament is more efficient.There is no one to oppose someone else just because they are Republican or Democrat. Point blank our government can make this country better if we have more people fighting to make America a better place and less fighting for whats better for there side of the government.

Alex W(Cheesy B)

Jonathan W said...

The main argument in "Who isn't coming to dinner" is about the difference between American and British politics. The author claims that while the British form of Parliament is more for sport, the American congressman is completely invested in his idea and unwilling to hear the other side of the matter. I support his idea and agree with him because I do believe both parties are more for opposition the coalition. Members of the British Parliament can remain friends because of a lengthy re-election period. In the House of Representatives, elections are held every two years, which creates a constant campaign for each current member and hopeful members. Also, both American parties are drifting farther and farther away from each other which can create much tighter races and that leads to more money thrown into campaigning. At the end of the article, the author asks if the American political ways should be changed but answers his own question with no. He does ask for a change between the people, not the government. I agree with him because if they could possibly meet half way or try to keep an open mind then maybe something can be done about the debt crisis.

Anonymous said...

In Who Isn’t Coming for Dinner, the author feels that a huge problem facing the government is that congressmen have no relationship with one another, and in order for problems to be solved and compromises to be made, this must change. I agree with the author’s thesis because in my experience, I know that I have tried harder to compromise and meet in the middle when disagreeing with a friend versus a stranger or acquaintance, as I value and respect the opinions of my friends. Because members of Parliament hold their positions for five years they are able to settle into their London homes and make friends with the people around them, unlike congressmen who in two years spend little time actually in Washington. Members of Parliament are okay letting the ruling party make the decisions because they know that their time will come. The system in place in Britain relies on the respect one party has for the other, unlike the constant party war in the States where each side wants to get everything they want in every decision. Our entire system does not need to change to emulate that of Parliament, but small steps, such as keeping congressmen in Washington, could go a long way in terms of party relations, and in turn, more suitable compromises.
Morgan K

Anonymous said...

In the article, “Who isn’t coming for dinner”, the thesis that the author is trying to make is that American politics appear more “consensual” to the “casual observer”, but in reality all those involved are at each others’ throats constantly. On the other hand, he states that members of the British Parliament share friendships with one another outside of the debating chamber. The author believes American politicians can’t share the same companionship because all members of the House are up for re-election every two years. Therefore, in their minds they don’t want to get too acquainted with the other house members, or even Washington, DC. The author also brings up how in 1976, Lord Hailsham called Britain’s parliamentary democracy an “elective dictatorship”. However, the author thinks this type of government might not be all that bad when a strong government is needed. I think that too much “change” is occurring in Washington, DC, right now. Either the House needs to find ways to be at peace with each other, or the re-election years need to be extended to a longer period of time. The constant change has representatives worried more about re-election than the real problems at hand i.e. the debt crisis.
-Niko P

Cooper said...

In, "who isn't coming to dinner" the author makes several hints for the U.S to watch, learn and listen from the Britons parliament. They begin by stating the obvious, that the way in which we operate our government is very unreliable when it comes to problems that need to be handled with care and attention and the issues need to be handled quickly. This is an area in which we struggle in and I agree strongly with the author. The way we conduct our government these days, is slow and in my opinion incorrect and now other countries are picking up on it and are giving us their advice and its difficult to realize this and know that we are just watching our country not respond or take advantage of this advice. The sad thing is that if we had that old American spirit than we could all help make America a better place as it once was.

Anonymous said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming to dinner”, an important issue comes to surface. This issue is that the different political parties in America cannot come to agreements about anything. It will take weeks to come to an agreement just because one group doesn’t want to give the other group the satisfaction of being right. The political parties in Britain are the same. The difference between them is that, since the elections are years away, they can be civil with one another. There are little to no friendships between parties in America. Maybe if they would actually listen to one another they could understand each other’s points and reach a consensus instead of wasting each other’s time. In the article it says “the gap between America’s parties is growing”. This is definitely true. Like Megan Riney said, about the debt ceiling issue from the summer, this really showed what the different parties really cared about or, rather, what they didn’t care about. They cared more about being right than choosing the way that would be most beneficial to the country. They are less concerned about the way things will pan out in the future and more concerned about making the other side agree to their terms or nothing at all.

Nicole K

Ryan said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming to dinner”, the author brings up a very prevalent point in today's American government that things have now become more of a competition than anything else, specifically in comparison to Britain's government. This is completely right in that in debates/elections today, things are seldom solely about who has the better plan, but rather about who is right and who is wrong. Things become personal and all civility is lost. This isn't to say that yelling and fighting occurs, but it is to say that any possibility of unity between parties are gone. Since elections are so close together, it's almost like a never-ending feud. In the article, it talks about how "members of the British Parliament retire companionably together to the bars and tea rooms". This would NEVER happen in the U.S. Whether the author is exaggerating or not is beyond me, but the idea is more than clear.
Ryan R

Selina R said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming to dinner” the author states how differently both sides of the parties, the Britain’s House of Commons and America’s Congress, think. The America has the more consensual form of politics and Britain the more adversarial. I think America should pick of some of the British’s habits for debates. Britain handles their matters more maturely and gets things done faster. As for America, we handle debates more roughly. We spend more time arguing rather than making decisions. I strongly agree with the author when he says the party should be nicer among each other. One other thing that I found dumbfounding is the expenses. “The $1 billion that Mr. Obama is said to be seeking for his re-election campaign would pay for an entire British general election 20 times over” just shocks me. This money could be used for more important things. I think funds should be provided for only the most necessary things. Britain seems to understand that. I think we should think about changing to the 5 year election plan rather than the 2 year plan we have now. I think that will cut our expenses in half and really benefit us. I think Britain has some great components that add up their congress and I think America should think about adapting to some of their habbits.

Anonymous said...

The thesis made clear by the author of "Who Isn't Coming for Dinner" states that while American Congressmen appear to be far more consensual than members of the British Parliament, the Britons are able to disregard their political beliefs and join members of the opposing party for a hypothetical 'dinner'. On the other hand, American politicians, whether they are "conservative Democrats" or "liberal Republicans", are unable to break the invisible boundaries surrounding their political party. The author suggests that perhaps the Britons are able to have "cross-party parliamentary civility" because their elections are years away whereas ours are only a matter of two years. In my opinion, I think American politics can only benefit by each party settling down and have deliberate discussions with each other rather than constantly bickering. And maybe a longer amount of time between elections would help as well. The author evidently thinks that this helps members of the British Parliament in breaking the barrier between political parties. As several people have referred to before me, the debt ceiling issue escalated to an even larger concern because of uncivil members of both parties. Overall, I agree that "[making] a start by asking a member of the other party over for dinner" would improve the division of our democracy.

-Natalie J

DillonS said...

The author’s thesis in “Who Isn’t Coming For Dinner” is that America’s Congress is headed in the wrong direction. I strongly support the author’s point of view because the issue is getting out of hand. Congress was created to lead America and to help push America forward. How can any progress be made when parties are more motivated to prove the other side wrong than improving America? Of course there are going to be opposing ideas, but congress needs to build off the various suggestions. It would not hurt anyone to listen to listen to someone else’s opinion and think. It’s easy to either label something right or wrong. Instead, there can be ways to try and meet in the middle and deliberate over new policies. The author is correct in that congress is not in the right frame of mind right now, but it’s something I think that time will heal.
Dillon S

Anonymous said...

"Who Isn't Coming to Dinner" is an article writing about the differences between the U.S. Government and the British Parliament. The author says that British politicians have close views and that this leads to more open minds and ease in compromise, while in America the steep divide between political views with people who have unchangeable ideas in their minds. He suggests that a kinder nature between democrats and republicans in the US government would have very positive effects. I believe the author is correct, while I do have certain beliefs and ideas about the government, I also believe that fighting rather than compromising is much more detrimental than a civilized agreement that meets somewhere in the middle. The government does need to be able to listen to each other and to be aware of what is going on all over the US. Winning and votes should not be the main focus, happiness and health for the citizens of the United States should be.

Sydney D

Mercedez Spears said...

In “Who isn’t coming to dinner”, the Author makes the point of the article very clear. Yes, the British debate to where it may look like they are about to kill each other but it is merely a show to them. As to the Americans look civil as they “discuss” but don’t really spend time discussing matter at all. They simply but heads the entire time, voiding themselves from being open to hear anyone else’s opinion, even on their own side. The British on the other hand say what is needed but then go out to the pub together for dinner and drinks. America is no longer debating for civilization but for the sake of the congress members’ social status.
As I read this I couldn’t help but agree. Following America’s politics is exhausting and sometimes plain ridiculous. Manipulation within politics seems to be a normal element; you never know what you’re really getting through the media. Why can’t it be told how it is and why does congress have to always be a debate, where is the compromise? I believe that the Author makes a valid point throughout his article, and presents a reasonable challenge to the American government.

Anonymous said...

In the article "Who Isn't Coming to Dinner", the author suggests that opposing political parties should make the effort to get along better through the concept of "deliberative discussions". If everyone, including liberals, democrats, republicans, and even members of the British Parliament listened to and respected the thoughts and opinions of other people, governments would be far more productive than they actually are. The article mentions that Congress does not have the patience or tolerance to listen to the other side and that is what is keeping America so close-minded. I agree with the author’s point that if we open our minds to the thoughts of others, we might be surprised by how much we learn and gain from them. This does not necessarily mean that the Parliament is always right, however; it just nearly means they are willing to be more cooperative with each other. A media has a big part of this in America. The debates can be shown from one side but a whole channel could be biased against another side. As this continues I can not help but think that Congress was created with good intentions and if everyone is arguing and debating with one another, it defeats the purpose of what our leaders set for our generations to do.

Kira L

JoshT said...

America has a very unique and somewhat chaotic government that seemingly can’t get anything done. Congress is divided into two very different parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. The Republicans are set on low taxes and little government, whereas the Democrats see things very differently. The author of “Who isn’t coming to dinner,” strongly believes that congress waists too much time on pointless debate when a more deliberative discussion should take place. None of the major problems in the U.S today are being solved because nobody can compromise with one another or even make a plan worth pursuing. The British Parliament on the other hand, is more aggressive in debate and seems to find a solution much quicker and more efficiently. The U.S. needs to work to be more efficient with spending and more open minded to different ideas if we want to get out of the crisis we are getting in. It seems that getting along and being helpful would be a very simple idea that the congressmen and women of the U.S. Should understand, but we are faced with a constant battle for who is right and wrong. America needs answers to its problems and the behavior in congress is the first thing that needs to change.

Molly Aaron said...

The author of “Who isn’t coming for dinner” talks about his views on the British and American governments. After reading the article, you can tell that the author believes that the American government is much more argumentative and oppositional than the British. When he talks about the American government, he writes in his thesis, “It is the people who work the system who need to change, primarily by meeting their opponents half way. They could make a start by asking a member of the other party over for dinner.” In saying this, he talks about how the different parties of the American government sit next to each other in meetings, yet they do not interact with each other outside of work, while Britain’s government does. I couldn’t agree more with the author on his beliefs. Things need to change, rather than just having the Republicans interact with the Republicans, and the Democrats only interacting with the Democrats. This being the situation, it makes compromising more difficult as they isolate themselves from one another. Maybe things could be different if only one side of congress asks the other out for dinner. Perhaps we might arrive at results with a little more ease.

Jack M. said...

In the article, “Who isn’t coming to dinner” the author’s thesis is “The casual observer might easily conclude that America has the more consensual form of politics and Britain the more adversarial.” Throughout the whole article the author is trying to prove that along with physical differences between the American law makers and British Parliament, they also have many others behind the scenes differences, each having their strengths and weaknesses. For example, these differences include Parliament is reelected every five years while in America it’s every two years. The author argues that if law makers have more time to develop friendships and not worry about reelection at the beginning of their term, then they might have a better shot at working more positively and fluidly like in England. In my opinion, I support the thesis of the author due to the results that the two countries produce. In America, more arguing is being done than passing of helpful laws, in comparison in England members of Parliament go to get tea after. Also in Parliament, political differences are only an issue in heated debates within the House, however in America it is always an issue. My point of view is the same as the authors and I think that if some policies in America were changed then American law makers could be more productive.

Nick Izzard said...

The author of “Who isn’t coming for dinner” proposes a very interesting and controversial point criticizing the United States for of government. In his thesis he states that “it is the people who word the system who need to change, primarily by meeting their opponents half way.” By saying this he reveals the main idea of the article, unity is power. Starting off he tells us how at first glance it would seem that Britain’s House of Commons is the true culprit of government-harming separation, but in reality the seemingly undivided House of Representatives is the true victim of this separation. He says that the true problem that the U.S. has is not in the congressional sessions themselves, but outside in the social environment of Washington D.C. In Britain, the members of the House of Commons, though opposing in the House, can join together and have a civilized meal, when in the U.S. though it is viewed as taboo to even talk to the opposing side. I believe that this is a problem that must be fixed before the U.S. can move forward, economically and politically. As this division increases, so will the problems our country must resolve. As we saw with the current debt ceiling crisis, the division in the U.S. will harm our progress and disallow us to make decisions and come to agreements.

Anonymous said...

In the article, “Who isn’t coming for dinner” it discusses how the United States parliament and the British parliament differ in their decision making and way of running their debates. In Britain, the two rival parties sit directly across from each other. British debates are barbed and sometimes vicious, especially during the gladiatorial spectacle of a prime minister’s question. Unlike the British, who runs their congress with a very crude manner, the United States runs a more civil debate. Members of the House of Representatives sit shoulder-to-shoulder in the shape of a horseshoe. Overall, America has a more consensual form of politics and Britain more adversarial.

Daniel K.

Anonymous said...

In the article, "Who Isn't Coming For Dinner" the author makes it clear that he is unhappy and the two sides are being very vague and argumentive. The Democrats and Republicans show there strong hate for one another and differ in every view. The Republicans want low taxes and low expenses, but the Democrats think the opposite wanting higher taxes. The author makes it clear that the United States wastes way too much time on meaningless debate. If the U.S. could be more open-minded to suggestions rather than stick to the same thing they wouldn't have as much confusion. The British government's approach to debate is much different. They are polite with their approach and are very open-minded. They find their conclusions much more efficiently and much faster. Many of the problems of the United States show from the debate system. We need to adopt the way that the Britain’s deal with debate, so we can come to conclusions quicker. My view point is very similar to what the author is expressing. I believe we need to change this soon because it could change our legal system and make it very difficult to come to solutions to newer rising problems.

-Brady Bodensteiner

Anonymous said...

“who’s coming for dinner” is an article that discusses the different tones and mood that The British parliament and The American congress have. It is biest in favor of Parliament so it views the attitude that the American congressman have as negative. It says that congressman are only focused on getting re-elected and spend all their time getting money and campaigning rather than making decisions. I somewhat agree with this point of view because the terms are only two years long and congressman are always trying to add anecdotes to get money for their state and gain popularity, but in this economic down turn this is not how the federal government should be spending their money. Another point it makes is that congressman sleep in their offices rather than rent an apartment, the article makes the assumption that this is to avoid befriending other congressman unlike the members of parliament who are all very good friends when they’re not debating. I disagree I think that they sleep in their office sometimes because they are so swamped with work that they don’t have the time to do other activities. This could be because they have to balance the time consuming task of campaigning and being a part of congress so ultimately it works out.

Anonymous said...

^Jack Leonard

Anonymous said...

In the article, "Who's coming to dinner" the author discusses the differences between the United States congress and the British parliament. He talks about how the two different types have different tones and attitudes. First, he states how the British parliament is bitterly arguemetative, however they still meet an agreement at the end of the day. He also describes their relationship with eachother as, "members of the British parliament retire companionably together to the bars and tea rooms." He describes that their relationship may be harsh during parliament, but they are still friends. Although, when he talks about american congress he says that they have bitter arguments as well but they don't reach an agreement or conclusion. Also the author mentions how congressman don't own apartments or houses, instead they live in their offices because they don't want to be around or next to their fellow congressman. Another thing the author mentions is that the members of the British parliament run for election every 5 years, while the congressman run every two years. This fact might also contribute to the way the members act toward eachother and to the issues they deal with.
Cole Bradford

Daniela Ramirez said...

I believe that the thesis from the article of “Who isn’t coming to dinner” is second to last sentence in the whole article, “It is the people who work in the system who need to change, primarily by meeting their opponents half way.” I support this thought because though we have a democracy, the representatives do not seem to have the valor to accept or consider their opponents ideas on governmental issues. It is hard to try to step forward as a country when people do not come to a consensus because they do not want to talk about their different idea, which is ridiculous! One thing in the article that really made me laugh was the fact that some people in office sleep in their offices just so they won’t have to talk to someone that is form their opposite ideas. I believe that if America is a melting pot, we should observe and learn from other countries how they deal with problems in the government and keep having an open mind so we may grow as a stronger leader in the world with teamwork. One day or another, we are going to have to face a rival but arguing won’t be enough, we should argue in the smartest way possible but also not be so stubborn and accept ideas from others.
-Dani Ramirez

Anonymous said...

In the article "Who's Coming to Dinner", the author compares the political structure of Great Britain to the United State's. The article talks about how America fights and argues without a true meaning other than competition between parties versus how Great Britain settles their differences suddenly. I think its sad how we can't get anything done because everyone disagrees with everyone in politics just because they're in a different party. America should've listened to George Washington's advice in his farewell address to not split up into two political parties. I think if we followed this than we would be so much more advanced than we are today. If we followed Great Britain's example, than we may not be competing against China in the race for the world's strongest nation. I think that we are becoming Britain. We don't manufacture anymore and we are just becoming a nation of regular citizens. I also think its stupid how we spend so much money on elections rather than putting the money to better cause like education. I think this article has a good point on how we are becoming uncivilized in our politics and need to follow the role model of Great Britain.

_Stephen Renard

Larson M said...

In the article "Who isn't Coming for Dinner", the author shares his opinion on political parties in America. The writer’s main point is that it's the people who need to change in order to have a more unified government. By comparing American politics to the British Parliament and House of Commons, the author is able to provide sufficient examples explaining why America's government is more hostile than its neighbors across the pond. It's very clear, in my opinion, that American politics are extremely unfriendly in the workspace as well as outside it. The fact that congressmen hole up in their offices to avoid contact with opposing party members rather than facing them as competitive friends is just sad. These are the people we elect to represent our country in the hopes that they will better it but they won't even acknowledge fellow Americans out of pure spite. By isolating themselves, congressmen are isolating those that they represent which in no way benefits the country. We are supposed to be the “united” States of America but the way politicians act, it seems we are more divided and disunited than ever. If elected officials could form friendly relationships outside of the chambers, politics might run a smoother, more amiable course than they are now which could lead to more solutions and less arguments.

Anonymous said...

After reading "Who isn't coming for dinner," the author clearly states that the American political structure consists of only two polar opposite parties without anything in the middle. For example, he portrays if a bystander were to see the political debates of the British Parliament versus the American House of Representatives, he would notice the many differences of how they are run. A Britain party maturely listens to another party discuss their views and ideas to try to understand their side. This is different than the sometimes argumentative,competitive two parties in America, where one billion dollars was spent on an election campaign. I believe the author's thesis is to convey the adversarial American political structure to the British Parliament as opposites. Although the author mentions the British still argue, the politicians remain friendly outside their debates and elections. I believe this is definitely not beneficial to our country economically due to all the money being spent on elections. The amount of money Obama spent on his election would pay for an entire British general election 20 times. To me, this is not only a waste of money but very unnecessary. I agree with the author's views and thesis especially as a hint to American government to follow Britain. I believe we need to not be focusing solely on what one party believes, but rather what's right for our country. Overall, America's political structure differs greatly from the British Parliament. Lauren C

Anonymous said...

The American congress is known all over the world for working harder than any other congress, while accomplishing nothing. In the article, “Who isn’t coming to dinner” the writer explores how we need to change this in order to save our country as a whole. In my opinion the congress needs to stop caring so much about the party side of politics; and get back to the true reason the system was created, to help the American people. Secondly I believe that the American congress needs to quit thinking that they are always enemies even after an election time. In countries such as England congressmen and congresswomen from both sides of the political spectrum get together and enjoy small talk and drinks at local “tea rooms” around parliament. Lastly I feel that as Americans we need to respect our congressmen more for their hard working attitudes. Many Senators and Representatives cannot even afford an apartment Washington D.C. after always trying to raise funds for their next election. Why don’t we as citizens decide to stay involved in our congress so that instead of bickering amongst each other they actually sit down talk things out and create legislation to actually help the average man?

Ellis C

Anonymous said...

In Guess Who Isn’t Coming to Dinner the author argues that the British parliament handles they legal differences way better than the House of Representatives. It states on topics of how the men in the House are basically set and stone on their ideas and will not be persuaded to think otherwise. But The British parliament are more friendly, and despite their disagreements they could have friendships outside their positions. Some would even have dinner with each other and work to come to a compromise. I somewhat agree with the author because I feel that if we aren’t open to things then our ideas stay biased. When running a country you have to be open minded to others ideas as well. If not everyone is not properly represented. But another problem with that is how can a member fight for the issues if they are constantly working to get re-elected. I also disagree with the author because I don’t believe that honestly if the men are friends has anything to do with their jobs. They are still on the job and as long as they are doing their job to the best of their ability and keeping my company (America) running properly I don’t care if you like the man in the cubical next to you.

Eugene Lockhart

Anonymous said...

in my opinion i think that the writer of this article is making a refrence that American politics works very hard while most of the time not accomplishing much which is pretty sad. i think that congress shouldn't care so much about whos on this side or that side and be more concerned about serving the american people and doing them justice because when it comes down to it we are the ones who got them into office in the first place. and i think that if both parties worked together things would be so much easier, they could get ideas from two points of views making politics run more smoothly.

Anonymous said...

The thesis in “Who isn’t coming for dinner” is, “The casual observer might easily conclude that America has the more consensual form of politics and Britain the more adversarial”. This article compares and contrasts the American House of Representatives and Congress with the British Parliament. I believe that the government should adopt the methods of the British Parliament. The American government is just one party’s idea against another and the citizens have to choose which one to follow. I also believe that during sessions, congressmen should take the time to completely hear out the other party’s beliefs instead of focusing heavily on their own party’s beliefs. Especially since Congressmen only have two-year terms, they are always worrying about what to do in order to be re-elected, instead of focusing on the present. I believe if America institutes the five-year term, congressmen would have more time to bond and get along, instead of hating the members of the other party. I strongly support the author’s intending meaning throughout this article. I agree with the idea that it’s not the government’s structure that is causing the problem, but instead the way the congressmen interact on a daily basis.

-Sam Kimichik

Anonymous said...

In the article, “Who isn’t coming for dinner”, the author states that there is a massive difference between how Britain’s parliament is run compared to the U.S. Congress. The main theme of the article is highlighting how Britain’s House of Commons is driven by conflict and opposition, where America’s Congress seems on the surface way more “consensual”. With that being said, what appears on the surface is completely opposite in reality. The U.S. Congress spends more time on their own political views and what they want to have happen for their particular party than trying to deliberate and come up with the best scenario for everyone. They carry their resentment constantly, waiting for the next election. As opposed to Britain, who may fight viciously up front in Parliament, but after they leave chambers they go out to bars and tearooms, actually enjoying each other’s company. If our government would spend more time trying to get along and do what is best for the entire nation and not just one political side attempting to prove a point, it would be so much better for our entire nation. Many decisions are made basically to get the vote, but many politicians only think about the now and not the future. “The newcomers have forgotten the framer’s belief in deliberation, institutional loyalty and compromise.” If our Congress would spend more time together in Washington and listen to each other, weigh out the issues, and not be so “me” driven our government would run smoother. Politicians need to quit pointing the finger and blaming the government in the past for our problems today. They need to work together to solve the nations problems.

Cassidy H.

Anonymous said...

In the article, "Who isn't coming for dinner", the author contrasts the British and American political structures, and comes to the conclusion that while outwardly, the American system seems more sound, but the British has a more 'adversarial' form of politics. The author concludes that the longer term of office takes away from the tension, letting Parliament members on opposite sides become friends, as they are not planning to win in the next election. However, congressmen are elected every two years,which requires the person in office to spend a large ammount of time working on their reelection, and have no time to relax, the author claims. Each side, republican and democrat, are eternally plotting to gain control of the House. The problem, in the opinion of the author, is that the two halves of the house have forgotten to compromise, a sentiment I readily agree with. The reason that it took so long to reach an agreement on how to handle the debt cealing was due to the two party's work to make the deal more fair to their own side. Maybe, if the two could learn to accept a compromise a little more often, America wouldn't be in the trouble it's in today.

SterlingH

Eric M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The title of this article, “Who Isn’t Coming for Dinner,” is meant to emphasize the animosity between America’s political parties. The author, Lexington, does an effective job pointing out the fundamental problem of our American Congress. He clearly states that the division between the two parties is growing and very seldom are the members of each party willing to even listen to the opposing side. Lexington compares our congressional system with that of the British House of Commons. By doing so, he further illustrates how “broken” our current system is with its fake decorum and inability to negotiate. He points out that a large part of our current problem is due to the constant rate of reelection and both parties are focused on maintaining control. Members of each party are hesitant to confer with “the enemy” and they wouldn’t think of dinner with their opponent. He stresses that many legislators are young and inexperienced and each feel that he knows what is best. In my opinion, this article is very relevant to the upcoming generations and I believe that we, as Americans, need to encourage our congressmen and congresswomen to work together for the common good.

- Sara MacDowell

Eric M said...

In The Economist on August 13, 2011 in the article, “Who isn’t coming for dinner,” the author argues that the United States’ approach to politics has recently become unproductive because the people who “work the system” have been unable to meet their opponents half way and discuss concerning political issues. The author compares US government to the more "adversarial" government approach of Britain. The author’s thesis is that members of Congress would be much more effective at governing the country if there was a general sense of civility, respect and trust that allows for effective compromise to solve the large problems facing our nation. I strongly agree with the author’s criticism of the current conduct of American government. Our system is designed to prevent a single party from gaining overbearing power and to allow significant participation of the minority. In the United States representative government, officials are elected into office for short periods of time to represent a specific body of people that allowed them to be elected. The public has forced these members to isolate themselves and avoid all interaction with representatives from other parties in order for the representatives to maintain their possible candidacy for re-election the next term. This system does not encourage informal collegiality, collaboration or compromise. The system promotes polarization and the development of isolated ideologues. Our country would be much better off if our legislators could meet at an “English pub” and discuss the problems of the day. My basis for agreeing with the author is rooted in two current political actions of our nation. After Bush’s 8-year term as president and abundant spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with other areas of high government spending, or nation has acquired a large national debt. Previously, ideologue legislators proposed creating a rigid debt ceiling, in order to discourage further federal spending. The government could not reach a consensus in solving this dilemma, and therefore stood frozen for months. The apparent ineffectiveness of the government to deal with this issue had great negative impact on the already struggling economy, caused the stock market to tank and stalling the already weak recovery from the recession. On another topic, federal healthcare, progressive movement to solve the healthcare crisis has not been made in the past 3 years. Conservatives have rejected much of the Obama Plan, and the result is an ineffective, watered-down and weak solution to the grave healthcare issues of our country. The Republicans and Democrats have remained polarized because of their desire for re-election, which is focused on their narrow constituency base. These are examples of the opposition party countering purely for political purposes, not to productively engage in problem solving. The result is ineffective government.
-Eric M

JulianneJacobs said...

In the article "Who isn't coming for dinner", the author emphasizes how America's congressman put on a great show for outsiders and it seems that they can get along well and do their jobs efficiently. This however, is not always true. Congress is too consumed with re-elections, campaigns, and competition to truly put their all into the choices they make. Congress may sit side-by-side in a civilized manner, but they can barely communicate with each other since they are so often each other's competition. The author does a very well-put comparison of Parliament and America's House of Representatives and shows that Britain is in better shape than America because Parliament has more time to put thought into their decisions for their country. America is much too competitive and busy to make these well thought out decisions. Congress needs to focus more on their job, which is making America a better place by using their voice and vote, not re-electing themselves.

Chris M. said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming for dinner,” the author clearly states the differences between our government and that of Great Britain. One of the main points presented by the author is that American politics are far more aggressive and the bitter fights between each side of the topic present ideas that are far from the truth. If you don’t have the same political views as someone else in America, then you are their enemy and it becomes harder to get along because things always seem to end up in conflict between ideas regarding government. I, personally, agree to his statements about the growing gap between parties regarding political views. During Obama’s presidential campaign, I often saw people giving others a hard time if they agreed with what Obama had to say and what he believed in. Another example in the growing gap between conservatives and liberals is news stations on TV are either on or the other and rarely show things that would not agree with the political view of viewers. If America less concerned in competition and more concerned with doing what is best for the nation, then there would be less worry about who will “win” and more about who will do what they say they will do.
-Chris Mavor

Anonymous said...

The Article “who isn’t coming for dinner” by Lexington is talking about the tension between both of the sides of the political parties in congress. The Author talks about the problems that congress has. How both sides do always make good point they just don’t work good together. In this article he compares the US congress against the British parliament. The British Parliament are better put together, and In US the representatives are a lot more stern on their answers and their point of views that they don’t want to change at tall. If they changed there terms to longer they could spend more time on their ideas than trying to get reelected. They could be nicer to each other and also have better opinions than many would have. They minds could change over many little things than they used too. More people in the House would be nicer to change ideas and also to work with each other. If these people just got open minded everyone would be happy. Everyone would get along for the greater good of the country. If these things don’t happen this country might not be in dept.

Blake Ransom

Anonymous said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming for Dinner”, the author talks about the differences between the British Congress and the American Congress and how they compare and contrast. Most people may assume that because of the foundation of the American system that America would ultimately have the better system but this can be debated when compared to the British system. The author’s thesis is summarized in the last sentence of the first paragraph, “the casual observer might easily conclude that America has the more consensual form of politics and Britain the more adversarial.” I agree with the authors point of view in saying that the American system is more of a fight for power instead of worrying about the needs of our country. Also the author states how that in the Congress in America the representatives are re-elected every two years which means they are constantly and consistently fighting to get back in office, fighting for their power instead of looking at the countries needs at the moment. Another strong point the author makes is how in basically any governmental election both parties are trying to derail the other and make themselves look better and push them to the top to win the election. Lastly, I found it very interesting how in the British government that even thought they may have different views they all get along. On the American side whenever there is an election the Democrats and Republicans are always looking for dirt on the other party to give them an edge in the election. I think instead of using so much time and effort in trying to derail the other party the candidates should be putting fourth all their effort in trying to find the best solutions to the countries problems.
Preston Klein

Daniel said...

In the article “Who Isn’t Coming to Dinner,” the author compares and contrasts and comments on the habits of the US Congress and the British Parliament. The author states that what people believe when they see the US Congress they see the mix of the parties interact with each other calmly whereas in Parliament the parties are separated. In truth though after all the issues have been settled, it is the British who are calm outside. From the information gathered and presented in the article it is made to believe that the life of a congressman is very isolated. I believe that the isolation from other congressmen to prevent bias and possibly cause problems between the party and members within it, is necessary but not to an extent as presented in the article. If congressmen were to reflect the British there’s a chance that more decisions and issues would be settled faster. Overall the article is trying to convey that with a form of understanding from each side more issues could be settled and there would be far less arguing between the parties.

-Daniel Acosta

Anonymous said...

In the article “Who isn’t coming for dinner,” published by the Economist, the topic of discussion is the comparison between America’s Congress and Britain’s House of Commons. In the article, the author Lexington believes that politicians or more concerned with getting re-elected than the business of the country where as the British seem more understanding and friendly. I believe Lexington’s thesis is, “It is the people who work the system who need to change, primarily by meeting their opponents half way.” I do agree with Lexington that things need to change. The reason why Congress was founded in the first place was for equal representation for the citizens of our country. With members of the House up for re-election every two years, it seems like they are spending all of their time and money on writing speeches, campaigning, and everything else involved in getting re-elected instead of representing those who vote for them. Unlike the Americans, the British re-elect every five years. This gives them more time to spend on the issues and getting to know the taxpayers that elect them. There is as not as big of rivalry amongst the British parties as there are between the Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. I believe a change can be made in all parties of both countries. Maybe all that needs to be done is a simple action, how about asking a member of the opposite party out for dinner?
-Michael Murph

Anonymous said...

“Who isn’t coming for dinner” article was based off Americas congress and British House of Commons. The Economist published this post informing us about how different it is between the elections and in house ways of the two. The American congress is focused on only their own ideas and won’t go out and will take a long time in the house to decide. The British Commons house will get all of their ideas discussed and resolved in the time being but well still go out and eat later. It could also be considered that the reason the congress has trouble about “hanging out” is because our election times are so short, and they are trying to be reelected. A great p9oint brought up in the Economist was the amount of money America uses for the reelection on advertisement. We use more money on ads for our presidential representatives than Britain does on the whole election. But since their time is so short in the office they seem to spend more time on making the other candidates from other parties look bad, which will mean they cannot be seen together. So which brings us to the title of the post “Who isn’t coming for dinner” so maybe if the election times were longer, or if they didn’t focus on their own reelections the two sides could get along to resolve the issues.

-Q Oliver

Taylor Epperson said...

In The Economist article “Who isn’t coming for dinner”, the author compares and contrasts the cross-party parliamentary civility between Great Britain and the United States. He argues that in Britain, parliament members “heap scorn and vitriol upon one another in the debating chamber” however they “retire panionably together to the bars and tea rooms” and in America, it is the exact opposite. The author sums up the article by saying, “It is the people who work the system who need to change, primarily by meeting their opponents half way. They could make a start by asking a member of the other party over for dinner.” I agree with the author that it is the members of the government rather than government itself that must change. In American politics, parliament members are worried more about appearance and reputation than the tasks at hand. For starters, government members should live in Washington at least part-time in order to intermingle with other members, because “Less time in Washington means fewer opportunities for them to befriend members of the other party, even if they wanted to.” In America, so much emphasis is placed on political parties and the rivalry that comes with it; it seems that everything revolves around which party rules the house and senate. Sometimes the overall task is overshadowed by how the parties will vote; the mindset is all wrong going into session. On the other hand, maybe the system needs to be adjusted so that re-election is not a distraction in congress. I would propose that there needs to be a change to four year congressional terms because of the perpetual fund-raising and investment of time in the districts that keep congressmen busy and off topic. However, there would be a need for change in America if a member would simply ask another over for dinner once in a while.

- Taylor Epperson

Michael Mann said...

In the article “who isn’t coming for dinner” the author argues that the members of the British parliament can viciously debate a topic in which different people in the Parliament have completely opposite opinions on the issue, but they always seem to come to some kind compromise and end up as friends after the debate is over. On the other hand the author says that members of the United States government from different political parties can rarely ever seem to find any sort of compromise on the issue being debated, and when they do it usually takes a very long time for it to occur. The author also states that the election for British parliament officials is only occurs once every 5 years were as it is every two years for members of the house of representatives. Having an election every two years causes members of the US congress to spend too much time worrying about being reelected and not worrying about other more important issues. American congressmen also spend twenty times more on elections than member of the British parliament. In my opinion United States congress men should spend less time campaigning and raising funds for reelection and instead worry about the issues that they were actually elected to deal with in the first place. Also even though they are not always agree members of congress from different parties should try to compromise on issues instead of constantly arguing.

Michael Mann

Anonymous said...

In “Who isn’t coming to dinner”, the author contrasts the ways of the American and British governments both at work and outside of work. The British tend to work together as a group with one party sort of controlling the government while the other bides its time. The American government, on the other hand, is constantly debating between parties and taking sides on each and every argument. Outside of work, the British politicians spend time together despite which party they belong to. For the most part, they’re all friends. They don’t have to constantly fight each other for power and votes because they all serve five year terms. The Americans however are always struggling for power and only spend time with their fellow politicians when they are forced to at work. The author claims adopting a system similar to that in England would not help America, but I disagree. The system the British have in place is clearly working out better than that in America, and the British politicians seem to have better and easier lives outside of work.

Katherine P.

Travis S said...

The thesis clearly states, "The casual observer might easily conclude that America has more consensual form of politics and Britain the more adversarial." I believe that America is adversarial. It is a constant battle between different political parties like the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. There is a re-election every two years, so if you lost one election, its already time to start competing again. Unlike America, Britain's congress is much more relaxed after they elect because they are elected for the next five years. So when they ask, who isn't coming to dinner? The answer is that the Americans are not going to be at dinner. The Republicans do not want to have dinner with the Democrats and vice versa. Yet again, unlike America, Britain congressman are much friendlier after elections and much more relaxed.

-Travis S.

AlienorR said...

It is a fact that the ideological differences between members of political parties of the American Congress are growing. More events and decisions are having to be dealt with and there are multiple ways for each event and decision to be handled. The possibilities of the multiple actions that can fulfill the attention of the event causes the political parties to take different stances on how to approach the situation. The flaw in our Congressional system is that since elections are held every two years, there is no room to consider the other political party's stance. Every moment of the two years is critical due to the proceeding election being so soon to the previous. Most time is spent campaigning, using persuasion and influence to attract supporters to believe in a particular party's case. There is close to no time at all to even consider how the other political party would attack situations. This is the biggest challenge that congress must overcome. I believe in order to have a more efficient government, every situation needs multiple solutions. The growing ideological differences could be used to America's advantage in a way to compromise on situations.

- Alienor R.

Nicole :) said...

This article compares the two very different approaches to government of the United States and Britain, more specifically the way the members of their "House's" interact (House of Commons for Britain and the House of Representatives for US. The article indicates that the British way is better, due to the fact that they are civil and even friendly across political parties while Americans are in full out war mode all the time. Although I do agree with this assessment, I believe the article contains a smidgen of bias. This article must have been written by someone British, and clues to this can be found in the different spellings of "programme" as opposed to "program" as well as "Briton" as opposed to "Britain." I agree with the author that the political parties in the United States are pushing farther and farther apart, and that this issue needs to be resolved.

Nicole H.

Catherine Graass said...

In “Who isn’t coming for dinner?” Lexington contrasts the Houses of Representatives in the US with Britain’s House of Commons, noting how friendly the House of Common’s members are outside of meetings and comparing that with the non-speaking House of Representatives. On first thought, I assumed the thesis was at the end of the first paragraph: “The casual observer might easily conclude that America has the more consensual form of politics and Britain the more adversarial.” But after reading the entire passage I realized the real thesis says something completely different from what I initially believed. Lexington contrasts the two governing systems and highlights the key flaw in the House of Representatives, which continues to push the two parties ideas farther and farther from each other. Because the congressmen are up for re-election, every two years, they are constantly raising funds and gaining followers to ensure their re-election. While in a meeting, sitting shoulder to shoulder, they are polite, never daring to break the rules; the opposite of the loud, filled with arguments, House of Commons. As soon as the meeting is over, they are back to their usual tasks raising funds and what not, while the members of the House of Commons are companionably having tea and spending time with each other as friends. The author draws a connection between this off-site friendliness to their efficiency in the meetings and suggests that the US House of Representatives could “…make a start by asking a member of the other party over for dinner.” He hopes this would lessen the wide gap between the two parties’ ideas and hopefully eventually result in some compromises. But I’m not completely sold on this theory. Though what he’s trying to say, I find it hard to see the connection between progress in a country and a few dinners with friends. I don’t think getting to know the opposite party’s members would make one let down all their followers, throw away their funds, and back off on doing what they were voted in the House of Representatives to do. A reasonable compromise between the two parties is obviously what everybody needs, but nobody wants to do it. Voting in people who promise to compromise seems like a more logical approach to solving the nation’s problems, though “Who isn’t coming for dinner?” states some very thought provoking.
Catherine G.

Maria said...

This article had some good comparisons between the British government and the American government. For example, the British listen to programs that referees facts, while American’s listen to programs that better suit the political side they favor. If Americans started to listen to other political sides opinions, other than their own, then both sides would have more ways to compromise. Instead of arguing, they would talk it out. If Americans don’t learn to talk things out other than argue, then the gap between America’s parties will grow even farther.
Maria I.

Sophia R. said...

In the article "Who Isn't Coming to Dinner", Lexington compares the British Parliamentary system to the American Congress. The author notes that while in parliament, the British "heap scorn and vitriol upon one another in the debating chamber" but following that, they "retire companionably together to bars and tea rooms". On the contrary, the American House of Representatives is completely civil but fails to share harmony outside of the House. Lexington concludes that America's Congress needs to change by recognizing their opponents' points and finding an in-between. He suggests to "make a start by asking a member of the other party over for dinner". I agree with what the author is getting at. I believe that a more deliberative approach would open up opportunity for bipartisan solution amongst the congressmen. The House should consider adopting some of the tactics practiced by Parliament because it can open brand new ways of solving issues. The consequence for not compromising is seen in "the gap between America's parties growing". It has become more of a rivalry between the parties and they both attempt to prove that they are right, adding to the problem. If a member of Congress would simply ask a different political party member to dinner, I am sure it would lead to a sturdier base for a strong government.

Bryce H. said...

I believe that the biggest challenge for Congress to overcome is growing differences between the two major parties. Because the parties automatically choose opposing stances on all issues, Congress ends up either failing to compromise or compromising in a way that does not help anyone. As well, the common ground between Democratic and Republican voters leads to greater division amongst the people and increases the likelihood that voters vote for the party as opposed to the politician or policy. Novel stances on ideas are also unlikely to gain steam unless they align with a party and thus polarize half of the nation. Overall, the increasing distance between the two parties bogs down politics at all levels.
Bryce H.

Scout S. said...

In the article, "Who isn't coming for dinner", the author discusses the differences between between British parliament and American democracy. The author also suggests that civility between Republicans and Democrats within the american goverment could be nicer and not so aggressive. Lexington states that after the British are done in parliament they retire to having tea together while Americans just keep fighting. If the Americans knew when to stop being aggressive that both political groups would get along better and could agree on more things.
Scout S.

Michael Roseman said...

Congress is an ever changing process, with new people and new situations surfacing all the time. I believe that the biggest challenge for Congress is the growing differences between the two parties. Since both parties almost always have differences in their beliefs, Congress is stuck in a black hole of nothingness, in which not much gets done. Even when common ground is found, a single feud between two politicians sparks the fire, and creates even more separation. The way to more success and living easier lives will come when the two sides, Republicans and Democrats, reach more common ground and agree to push the country to another level of greatness. 'MERICA

Will A said...

The largest of the three points above is the third. The reason presented is that there is no compromise in the US legislation because Congressmen and Senators are too busy trying to get reelected than to sit down with another member and discuss the problems and bills that are being presented to them. For instance, in the second half of Barack Obama's term, little was able to be passed through congress because the majority was Republican. Because of this, neither side was able to get there way and the American government was at a near standstill. The point is, that if the members of government are not able to compromise and meet each other halfway, there will be no significant progress to present to the American people.

Will A

George W said...

I believe that of the three issues stated above, the failure for current members to honor what was intended by the Founding fathers, is of most importance. The current members are failing to deliberate in session, rather, they are sticking to what they, or their party, sees as the only true path. This system of impasses and roadblocks is what is preventing the congress from getting anything done which carries any significant merit. Both houses are failing to recognize that unless they compromise on bills, america will come to a standstill due to dimwitted, stubborn and ignorant politicians who are unwilling to play hardball.

Kenzie B. said...

In the article "Who Isn't Coming to Dinner", the author discusses the difference between the British parliament and the House of Congress. I don't think the US should change the government to be exactly like the British parliament, but i do believe that the people that are trying to get into the house of congress should be more open to each others ideas. I also think that there should be more time between elections, because that would give them more time to learn about their opponents ideas and it would give them time to get to know each other, instead of always being busy getting their campaign ready for the next elections.

Katie Rostamo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie Rostamo said...

In the article “Who Isn’t Coming for Dinner”, the author begins with comparing American congress to the British parliamentary system, and making the argument that America needs to engage in more socialization outside of congress. I agree with this because it would cause the members of congress to relate more to one another. If they were to have one on one dinner with each other it would allow them to understand where the other person is coming from and give them a different outlook on issues. If our members of congress could compromise better our congress might work together better as a whole. From the way congressman and their lives are portrayed in the article, they seem to be so obsessed with their own ideas and personal success that they forget they are working with a group, and that that group must connect better on a personal level in order to work efficiently.

Katie R

Anonymous said...

In the article, the author shows that American government and politics are much more gruesome than those of the British system. I agree with the author in this. American elections focus almost entirely on bashing one's opponent, whereas in England, the goal is to make as many friends as you can after they step out of parliamentary meetings. American politicians need to become friendlier in the sense that there only concern will no longer be making their opponent look bad instead of making themselves look good.

Katy W

Anonymous said...

In this article the author describes the American government getting personal in terms of degrading the opponent and their beliefs. By getting personal and in a way backstabbing, these officials and candidates are setting a bad example for the public. Results of this bad behavior of getting personal tells the public that it is appropriate to behave in an inappropriate way with politics. By behaving badly, and defaming the opponent, the political officials are making the public behave inappropriately as well: thus causing American citizens to become father away from the opponent causing them to reject alternative views. I feel like if the political officials and candidates show the public that they are willing to listen and not behave badly to each other, the public will follow this example and more collaborative thinking from the public will emerge.

Anonymous said...

- Thomas Norman

Erika I said...

In the article "Who isn't coming to dinner?", the author discusses how the American political system has been basically been reduced to relentless and pointless fighting. I agree with the author on this point. I believe that American political figures should make more of an effort to collaborate and meet their opposition half way. In addition, I think that the people of the United States would feel more united and empowered if their government was willing to work together for the benefit of the country as a whole. Overall, I believe that the article is correct in criticizing the incessant fighting and competition that exists in the United States' government today.

Will.S said...

In "Who isn't coming for dinner," the author is obviously upset over out current political state. In his thesis, he points out that an ill-informed might believe that America has a more consensual for of government, while Great Britain has the more adversarial. The author then goes on to explain that it is quite the opposite. Politics has become too much of a competition. The Republicans and Democrats have become crazed over beating the other one than the welfare of parts of our country. Obviously they aren't disregarding the welfare of our country, but merely ignoring some parts. The fact that each parties views are becoming more and more inconsistent with the other's is not helping. The common ground within the parties in fading. An example of the competition I am talking about is the amount of money a presidential candidate spend on their campaign. It is a ridiculous amount, and the fuel for spending so much is solely based on competition. I believe that this is the hardest challenge to overcome because both parties are gradually growing father away from each other.

Amy K Berry said...

The biggest factor that Congress must overcome at the moment is that they currently are sharing an unwillingness to honor our Founders’ belief in “deliberation, institutional loyalty, and compromise” as well as the fact that the growing ideological differences between the different parties in Congress is keeping them from doing so. The article does help raise the point that Congress has gotten out of hand with their taking of the argument out of the everything and just talking about one another seeing as they can’t seem to move on from their own political views to help lead the country in a way to benefit not only themselves but the American people, who they are elected to serve. Until they are able to put aside the differences that each party has Congress will continue to not live up to what citizen’s expect of their elected leaders.

-Kate Berry

Anonymous said...


I believe that Congress fails to live up to the Congressional system because of the differences between members of each party in Congress. Although we shouldn’t take all of Britain’s system, we should consider having some of their certain elements of political discourse. Instead of being friendly during the sessions, America should have heated debates amongst themselves, and be friendly afterwards. We should consider copying the civility that the British do have. We should explore new ways to show political discourse and consider compromising.
-Abby J.

Ellen.v14 said...

The American governmental system allows a difference in opinion, which is needed. Although when it comes to listening and considering other opinions no one wants to abandon their beliefs. In The Economist’s, “Who isn’t coming to dinner,” there is an apparent problem presented. The hostile and unreasonable relationships between America’s Congress are uncontrollable. Because there are two parties we can all be understanding and know there will be differences in opinion. But at what point can government draw the line of irrational fights and immature ways of handling situations. It is unbelievable that in this writing we are told that, “In America’s system the battle never pauses.” Our congress needs to realize that the only way to handle differences is professionally, not outside of office. Unless we can all be mature and consider other opinions but hold firm to our own, nothing will progress at a fast rate in the American Congress.

Ellen V.

Jake Fletcher said...

I completely agree with ellen. It is extremely embarrassing that in the writing it says, "In America's system the battle never pauses." But even though it is embarrassing, it is the truth. And the truth hurts sometimes. Candidates from opposing parties never stop fighting and it's not like its reasonable fighting either. They will fight over the most stupid things you can think of which only makes themselves look ignorant. They bicker about everything that everyone else does wrong and they don't notice what all they are doing wrong, and even if they do notice it, no one is doing anything to fix it. Everyone in congress just likes to hear themselves speak. There is no civility like Abby said and it is embarrassing once again.

Chase Correll said...

Ellen presents a great thought when stating that opposing sides of congress are always arguing with one another over opposing ideas. I believe that if the opposing sides of congress were to work together on their opposing beliefs, then much more work would be accomplished. Both sides differ when viewing a variety of problems yet instead of figuring out how to solve such problems, they continue to argue with each other rather than working together to solve the problems.

Mark_Moebius said...

I think this article presents a very valid point in that American government seems more civil in session while the British government is chaotic during session, and vice-versa outside of court. It is reasonable to fight in court and that is why there are many different parties to present different ideas from different groups; however, outside of court people should not hate each other as we are all attempting to solve the same problem and move towards the same goal of a brighter future.

Sarah Colley said...

I think this government poses a valid point. American politics are too divided, and it has caused a lot of tension between people. I think politics are meant to be discussed by people with each other, but instead it is considered "rude" to mention politics at a dinner party. Another thing, I think politicians should be able to support bills that were created by a politician of an opposite group. The more we discuss politics and be open about things, I think America will be come more unified and more tolerant of other people's beliefs.