Food Fight Breaks Out in Ukrainian Parliament

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When your legislators really care about democracy, it shows.  In the U.S., most speeches are made to a C-SPAN camera in an otherwise empty room, and almost nobody watches.  In other countries, they feel strongly enough to get involved in bench-clearing legislative brawls, cut down doors with power tools and even eat proposed legislation in an effort to keep it from passing.

We haven't even had a good caning since 1856.

Add Ukraine to the list of countries where parliamentary debate can actually be entertaining, violent, or even entertainingly violent.  During a recent battle over whether Russia's lease on the naval base at Sevastopol would be extended, opposition lawmakers set off smoke bombs in the chamber and threw eggs at Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.  Lytvyn took shelter under an umbrella and kept working as the eggs continued to fly:

A few scuffles broke out, but there was nothing like the impressive displays of all-out physical democracy that can characterize debate in places like Taiwan or South Korea.  But then Ukraine has not been a democracy as long as they have, so who knows what the future holds.

Despite the egging, the bill extending the lease passed by a narrow margin.