“Unparliamentary Language”

This video shows an Irish MP losing his temper and using language that one does not normally see in parliamentary proceedings.  As I watched this, I was at first unimpressed by the lack of decorum, but then came to believe it was actually evidence of candor and of someone who genuinely cares about doing the right thing.

We know that people generally hold legislators in low regard for, among other things, lack of concern with real problems.  I wonder if spontaneous outbursts like this may actually help them burnish their credentials in this regard.  It’s a “costly” signal like criticizing a member of the same party, or crying on the campaign trail…


About Jake Wobig

I teach international relations and comparative politics at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina
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One Response to “Unparliamentary Language”

  1. poliskeptics says:

    There have been more elegant demonstrations of the argument that politicians are constrained by real preferences – poli-sci jargon for getting into politics because they actually believe in making the world a better place per their worldview’s definition of “better” – but there have also definitely been less effective ones, too.

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