I wish the U.S. Congress operated with more of the same ground rules (both official and unofficial) as does the British Parliament. You see, yesterday I found myself watching the House of Commons proceedings as MPs deliberated the merits of a renewable energy feed-in tariff (FIT). I mean they actually deliberated.
I've always gotten a kick out of watching the Prime Minister's question and answer session, and have ever since C-SPAN started carrying it many years ago. But I am less accustomed to watching the rank-and-file debate the specifics of policy. That's why I appreciated the level of back and forth as compared to what I am used to watching from Capitol Hill when they are "debating" policy.
Unfortunately, for those who support FITs as the best mechanism for growing renewable energy capacity, Labour party rebels failed to convince enough of their fellow MPs to support the proposal. According to the BBC, the move, led by Labour's Alan Simpson, was defeated by 250 votes to 210. It had garnered cross-party support with some 276 MPs from all parties signing a Commons motion ahead of Wednesday's vote. 35 Labour MPs voted against the government.