Seeking Bipartisanship, Parliament Tries Animal Sacrifice

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Well, tripartisanship, anyway.

Sheep Beware In April, deputies in Kyrgyzstan's parliament participated in a traditional ceremony in which they sacrificed seven sheep in order to drive "evil spirits" out of the chamber. It was hoped that this tradition would win out over another tradition, namely the one where members of parliament beat the crap out of each other.

Things have been especially difficult since an uprising threw out the president last year, and the parliament that was voted in afterward has "occasionally proved rowdy." Two MPs got in a fistfight earlier in April, and a security sweep afterward turned up 11 guns, including at least one AK-47. In another Kyrgyz tradition, the pugilists in that case "later publicly exchanged traditional robes and hats as a sign of reconciliation" (something I'd really like to see Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell do). But that doesn't seem to have been enough to get rid of the evil.

At least one Kyrgyz politician objected to the sacrifice. "Deputies have no idea about parliamentary culture," he complained. "This is an official building where the president works, and the parliament slaughters rams?" Setting aside the ram-slaughtering, though, the rest of this is unfortunately not that uncommon as far as parliamentary culture goes.

I was disappointed to see that yesterday's GOP debate didn't involve a sacrifice (unless you count Tim Pawlenty), but the campaign is just getting started.