Which democracy has the calmest, most rational political discourse?

Every democracy gets pretty shrill about certain topics, but in general, which democracy today is best able to discuss topics and issues in a calm, fair, rational, factual-based way?

I’m guessing it is not Ukraine. :wink:

Can we count constitutional monarchies with elected parliaments? If so, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of a brawl in the Landtag of Liechtenstein.

It’s certainly not India. I’ve read stories about literal riots during sessions of parliment.

Is the OP asking about the calmness of political discourse within the national legislature, or within the society at large? Because those might not always correlate closely.

You obviously weren’t there when they discussed changing the color of their stamps.

Society at large.

Hong Kong has seemed pretty chill since they’ve gotten some rights in the 90’s.

Youtube has some vids for “Hong Kong parliament fight”.

This one is interesting in that the arguing members slip into English when they get angry.

Apparently Canadians in general rather pride themselves on their polite and reasonable approach to political debate.

Or maybe they just look good because they’re standing next to us?

Tbh, I love the political discourse in the UK.

I think it’s helped greatly by a combination of two things; the obligation to impartiality on the part of media and - as many will have seen - the adversarial approach to argument in politics itself.

The fact of a well-funned public service broadcaster taking it’s social responsibility very seriously doesn’t hurt ether:


That only applies to broadcast media though.

They’re afraid the sergeant at arms will put an end to any unrest in Parliament :slight_smile:

Shoulda been here in '95, in the run-up to the Quebec referendum. Anglos wiping their feet on the Québécois flag, Francos ditto with the Maple Leaf. Was not a fun time.

TV channels are supposed to be impartial. The press are under no such obligation or enforcement procedure (as could in extremis be applied to TV), and they tend to have an influence on the overall news agenda, as to what are salient issues and prevailing moods. Hence the way in which people generally over-estimate the generosity of welfare benefits of various kinds, levels of immigration, sizes of ethnic minority communities, and so on.

True, there is no paid political advertising on TV; instead parties that develop enough of a presence (the criteria vary over time) get guaranteed time slots at election time to show their own broadcasts, which are usually pretty dire and an occasion to go and put the kettle on. All of which keeps the temperature down.

Debate in Parliament may be governed by all sorts of elaborate rules of courtesy, but you can still come out with all sorts of nonsense, provided it’s personally polite about other members, and there are plenty of hotheads and nutters out on the streets from time to time, or indeed writing newspaper opinion pieces.

Switzerland seems to have a pretty calm relation between politicians of different political parties, mainly because they have a pretty unique system of collegial executive where all main parties are represented in the cabinet (with the function of head of state rotating among cabinet members), all cabinet members have to publicly promote the majority decision; also because major policy decisions are decided via referenda the parties have to promote their stances on policy on their merits. All of which seems to contribute to a scarcity of personal vilification in Swiss federal politics.

In fact, it seems to me there was some significant political controversy regarding the prince of Liechtenstein’s powers, some years ago.

I too would vote for Switzerland for this reason. I believe that some years ago they had to change the composition of the cabinet, that had been pretty much identical for decades, to reflect an electoral evolution (more votes for a nationalist party, I believe) and the process went smoothly, despite the novelty of the situation.

Just to clarify - it’s only broadcast media which is meant to remain impartial in the UK. Impartiality doesn’t include print & online media. Yes, a well funded broadcaster takes social responsibility very seriously, so seriously in fact that it downplayed sexual assaults by Muslims grooming gangs for over a decade. They downplayed these attacks for the social & political good.

Im not trying to suggest the UK system is better or worse than any other. However, having an “impartial” state broadcaster does have it’s own downside.

…Democracy doesn’t work like that. :rolleyes: …maybe?
(… because humans don’t work like that? maybe? )

Not wanting to derail the thread, But I think calling the BBC a ‘state broadcaster’ is pretty misleading. It’s tax payer funded, but it isn’t a wing of The State, political or impartial.