The Two-Way
8:06 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Take That! How To Solve Legislative Difficulties, The Ukrainian Way

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:18 am

Ukrainian parliamentarians don't need the wimpy American filibuster. When deputies want to try to block a nomination, they simply storm the rostrum. This week, Ukrainian opposition delegates were outraged over the ruling government coalition's picks for speaker of the chamber and prime minister, notes USA Today. So they started brawls on the floor, including today's contretemps:

One of the Ukrainian deputies who did not fight was world heavyweight champion Vitaly Klitschko, observes KyivPost. It's probably a good thing, too.

"I understand many people want Klitschko to launch an offensive," he said, without explaining the third person reference. "But I would like to remind (them) that, for example, in the United States a boxers fists are considered weapons and the fists of a world champion are considered nuclear weapons."

So THAT's what Juan Manuel Marquez was hiding in his gloves.

For those lawmakers who don't have the nuclear codes, the Ukrainian parliament offers another instructive example. Try throwing eggs and smoke bombs at the Speaker!

That fight was on April 27, 2010 and centered on whether neighbor Russian could keep docking navy ships at a Ukrainian port on the Black Sea, according to USA Today.

Ukraine isn't alone. As Mark noted, there's been a spectacular donnybrook in South Korea's parliament, where women deputies duke it out too, and of course, the Taiwanese parliament, which is a real free-for-all.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.