Anglic Union

“There is also the matter of funding,” Michael said. “The Other House has the power of the purse, but not the power of law, namely they may say yes or no to requests for funds, but they may not modify the request to insert specifications. The education budgets are very soon coming up before the Other House and it would appear to me, speaking at the edge of what a Senator may lawfully say, that there is a significant likelihood that the Other House will raise objections to that budget. Historically, our committee and their corresponding committee have polite informal talks to be sure we are all on the same wavelength, and to learn what if anything has to be amended before they would accept the proposed budget, but at the moment it appears that the Other House will not accept the education budget as written. That hasn’t been done in a long time, but the rules are very clear on it.”

“As it happens,” Elektra said, “my next meeting today is with representatives of the Other House, people with serious issues about the education budget. The request for a meeting also noted recent several efforts to launch technical colleges or universities that did not use federal funding.”

“The students have given us a solution,” Glorious Day said. “It’s something the Lords and Senators have not done in a long time. We have plenty of hearings that are dog-and-pony shows, either to notify the public of an important issue or to speak up for the pre-determined outcome. Senator Broadcloth and his hearing with Doctor Chelan as a witness appear to have been part of a plan that did not have the intended result. He expected it to reveal that there was a corporate slush fund being used to support some of his opponents for the presidential campaign forthcoming. That would’ve been illegal and destroyed their campaigns. Well it did destroy their campaigns, it’s just that it also revealed who was behind the new Bulger operation. Victor had been very careful to mask his position until it came out. However, there is another sort of hearing, a hearing where you want to pry out information one step at a time, leading to some sort of a destination.”

“So we should be beginning,” Michael said, “by having hearings under some obscure name, not ‘the quality of the Technical University’ but, say, ‘advancing the quality of industrial production’. That was a line used by Drummond-McLaren that hopefully will be attractive to your party, Glorious Day. We advance a piece at a time from there. We need to do this in a good order.”

“Let me think about this a bit,” Glorious Day said. “I seem to recall Elektra did a piece of this, before she rose into the Upper House.”

“Quality of industry?” Elektra asked. “Start with the industrial organizations. Then out of fairness give other people their say. Go with the majority of the faculty committee in charge of academic quality, with questions carefully phrased to trap them against the minority report that we pretend we have not yet seen, then the administration, with the same objective.”

About George Phillies

science fiction author -- researcher in polymer dynamics -- collector of board wargames -- President, National Fantasy Fan Federation
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