Matt Yglesias comments on the rich irony of the Washington Post editorial board's tsk-tsking about "political paralysis" in Japan":
I think it’s interesting, though, that the Post editorial writer doesn’t suggest that the situation could be improved by implementing a rule requiring the upper house to operate by a 60 percent supermajority rule and giving minorities of as few as one member tons of tools to obstruct business. Nor do they seem to feel that, having modified the upper house’s rules in that way, it would be useful to object second- third- and fourth-tier members of the executive branch to a confirmation process dominated by supermajority voting and one-man days-long slowdowns. They don’t suggest any of those changes because, obviously, those would be terrible ideas.
Lots of people all over the political spectrum argue for mandatory civics classes in high school for future voters. I wonder what would happen if everyone had to learn the differences among the world's nominal democracies. I'm sure we'll never find out, since a compulsory comparative politics class would be considered discriminatory toward small, rural states in the US.