Politicians Do It Under Oath

Why not give the State of the Union under oath?

A comment in a DailyKos thread got me thinking:

Good thing we don’t

Have a parlimentary form of government, where I understand things get a lot more heated than to impugn someone’s decency. Personally, I think we should institute the custom of having the President come to the house floor to justify his actions, much as the Prime Minister in Great Britain must. No more lying-ass State of the Union speeches once a year. He should be down there at least once a month. (by SleeplessinSeattle)


A common wish from anyone who’s ever seen Prime Minister’s question time on CSPAN. If only!

Swing State Project: Campaign & Election News

(by DavidNYC)

I think this idea has a great deal of promise.  It reminds me of a paper I once had to write comparing British and American politics.  I proposed mixing some of the ideas both systems had to offer.  One might imagine an event where members of the Press can ask the President (or other elected officials) any question, and the President, under oath, must respond.  Further, this panel asking the questions could be made up of citizens selected in much the same fashion as juries are.

When I think back on it, it is the under oath aspect that appeals to me so much.  Having the State of the Union be given under oath, or having the Executive testify under oath before Congress on a regular basis just sounds amazing.  Having the federal branches of the legislature testify under oath before the state legislatures, and so on.

Having something more like the British system is appealing, but I think creating more instances of sworn speech for elected officials could achieve more.

I think this would go a long way towards holding politicians accountable.