Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Senate floor speeches on SB110 (GMO bill) and procedural squabble

by Larry Geller

I’ve described Hawaii’s state legislature as a “feudal-democratic” system. This realization came to me back when Calvin Say was still Speaker of the House, and I started an article. But there was a revolt in the House, and Say was ousted as speaker. Let me use the diagram I drew at that time to illustrate what I mean.

My model is the system of government that existed in feudal Japan before the modern era. There was an emperor, a shogun, and numerous feudal lords. Whether the emperor or the shogun was more powerful varied from time to time.

Here’s an “organization chart” of the shogunate (click for larger):


Oh, sorry, that’s the House under Calvin Say.

The emperor would, of course, be our Governor, Neil Abercrombie.

There are 20 feudal lords in the House. Perhaps the most powerful of them is the Chair of the Finance Committee.

In the Senate, these days, the most powerful feudal lord would likely be Judiciary chair Senator Clayton Hee.

Under the lords are their retainers, the vice-chairs of the committees.

Now, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but a video beats that handily. Rather than belabor the feudalism comparison any more right now, I’ll let the senators themselves speak, and I expect you’ll see what I mean.

Don’t miss J. Kalani English a few minutes in, but especially note the two speeches by Sen. Clayton Hee. You can click the little thingy at the lower right for full screen.

Q.E.D., quod erat demonstrandum


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