Great Britain: Hear! Hear!

After watching emerging nations make a shambles of parliamentary democracy, sympathetic observers often point out that it took Britain's mother of parliaments some 700 years to achieve its civilized way of functioning. Perhaps they should take another look. In the House of Commons last week, lawmakers were behaving more like a Saturday-afternoon soccer crowd than Honorable Members.

Historically, the House has been a lively cockpit. In 1901, twelve Irish M.P.s were hauled from their seats by police when other efforts to eject them failed. In an attempt to make debate more seemly,...

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