It's after midnight, so the Texas special session should be over. But, the live feed is still rolling and 160,000+ people watching are wondering what's going on here. We're all wondering why people are still moving around, why the tape is still going, and why people aren't just walking away and going home. The latest from AP is that the Republicans were able to pass the restrictions, although it's unknown if it stands because the vote started before midnight but it did not finish. Even though the session was supposed to end at midnight, it's technically still open until it is closed by the chair, so now it's a lot of procedural arguing or who knows what. I'm actually sad that I didn't watch more of this thing.
As what's going on is getting figured out and settled, I think there should be a live feed for every single legislative session, no matter what's on the table, whether or not there's a filibuster, and whether or not it's a special session or just a good 'ole normal session.
What a Way to See what Our Elected Representatives are Doing
Yes, these things are open to the public and we can just sit in and listen, but most of us can't do that. We have jobs to go to, children to raise, and errands to us. Many of us can't take the time out of our day to drive down to a legislative session and to hear what's going on. However, with a live feed provided by news organizations, video bloggers, and even non-profits, more people would be able to listen and to hear what our elected representatives are voting on. We would be able to hear what these people are saying and hold them accountable to their votes and to their constituents. We could watch or listen passively while we're at work, or be able to catch bits and pieces in between things.
More People Would Be Engaged in Government
Senator Wendy Davis, who started the filibuster, announced that she was going to do this only the day before. LOOK AT THE TURNOUT AND THE BUZZ! Not only was the gallery filled the entire time, but thousands upon thousands of people watched the live feed from all over the world. Imagine what kind of engagement we would have if legislative sessions were available in this format all the time, where representatives could announce what they were doing to rally support or people could come together if they new certain issues were going to be introduced. If this was accomplished in a matter of hours on the issue of abortion, then throngs of people could also show up for other issues as well. Even if it just opens up one additional way for people to know what our local representatives are doing, and what kind of legislation they are working on, that's a huge step forward for us when so few us vote or pay attention to what these people are doing in the first place.
It Helps When Crap Like This Happens
Reports are currently conflicting, as the Republicans say the voting started before midnight, but Democrats and reporters are saying it started after midnight. Many people are confused, as it was thought the last roll call vote was on ending the filibuster, not about voting on the bill. However, it looks like the bill passed, according to news reports from several organizations. Although, this is probably not the end of this, as legislators and the people will protest this bill and the shaky circumstances in which it was passed.
Well, the live feed is over now. I think I'm going to go to bed.