Monday, February 20, 2017

Schrödinger's Cat Box

Everyone by now knows the thought experiment called Schrödinger's Cat and the 2 possible states of the cat. In Government there is a varient on this that involves 3 states.

When a bill is introduced, it is read by the poo-bah of the chamber to the assembled critters, then referred to whatever committees might be interested in the effects of the bill should it be enacted. A legislative committee is a Schrödinger's Cat box within which a bill can achieve one of 3 states.

State 1: It can be approved with recommendation and sent back to the chamber.
State 2: It can be disapproved, in which case it leaves the box out the bottom slot in neatly cut strips.
State 3: It can be tabled for (much) later consideration, usually after the legislature has adjourned. This has the same effect as State 2, but without the embarrassment of a recorded vote for or against. State 1 or 2 sets up a requirement for a public hearing at which the committee members are expected to support or attack the bill with the populace invited to enter commentary. 

This can be dangerous as pols have been known to say some really stupid things to their constituents to justify a position on a bill. Moving consideration out to the next century is much safer.

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