Monday night, Republicans and Democrats once again agreed to disagree.
This time, they scotched the Budget Super Committee and with it, any hope of bipartisan accord on the U.S budget deficit. This latest failure likely means automatic budget cuts of $1.2 trillion that will kick in in 2013. It also means lots of finger pointing and angry words.
Yet American politicians look positively polite compared to legislators elsewhere, or to this country’s own past.
South Korea’s budget caused a rumble between opposition lawmakers and the ruling Grand National Party in December 2010. The key sticking point: a controversial river clean-up project.
Taiwan’s parliament is notorious for fistfights, food fights, and all-out brawls. This July 2010 scuffle between ruling and opposition party members over an economic agreement with China sent two politicians to the hospital.
The Russian Duma is no stranger to parliamentary theatrics. This 1999 photo depicts two deputies trading punches in the lower house of parliament during a debate about a peace mission to Belgrade.
During 2009, the Bolivian opposition party literally fought an electoral law that would allow President Evo Morales to run for a second five-year term. Morales got his way after he went on a five-day hunger strike.
Judging by the way that Vice speaker of the Ukrainian Vekhovnaya Rada Martynyuk is throttling deputy Oleg Lyashko, demanding the right to take the floor can bring serious consequences in Kiev.
The days leading up to Felipe Calderon’s inauguration as Mexico’s president in December 2006 was marred by charges of fraud and political rivalries and that devolved into fisticuffs on the congressional floor.
During fierce debate over whether Kansas should enter the Union as a slave state or free state, South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks caned U.S. Senator Charles Sumner in the Senate Chamber in 1856.