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  • by jdavidb (1361) on 2004.11.08 22:01 (#35882) Homepage Journal

    Last I checked you could still walk up to the U.S. Capitol and touch it. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong. My wife and I just requested tickets to the inauguration, though, so maybe we'll try to test that hypothesis in January. Incidentally, I should think that allowing rank and file citizens to attend the inauguration implies maybe we are not so paranoid as you think. Remember back in June when average Americans from all over attended Reagan's funeral. People could walk right on in and pass by the coffin.

    I'm not sure what touching the Canadian Parliament building proves, nor how it differs from security in the U.S. I'm sure there are reasonable security measures in place regarding getting close to high Canadian officials, just as there are in the U.S.

    It wasn't so long ago you could drive right in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I was reading tonight that that changed on a temporary basis after the Oklahoma City bombing, and that the temporary restriction was made permanent after September 11th. Given that you can still drive pretty close to the White House, what exactly is unreasonable here? Can you get that close to the Prime Minister's residence in Canada?

    In a related tangent, I understand that earlier this year protestors in Britain beaned the Prime Minister in the head with condoms filled with purple flour, right in the middle of a session of Parliament. I think the U.S. is probably just about as accessible. No, we're not going to try that in January.

    What, exactly, are you not able to do in the U.S. that you want to do? Yes, there's a lot of security right now, but in what specific way is your government inaccessible? The only example you offer is probably applicable for the U.S. as well.

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • There's a huge fence around the Capitol to keep everyone at least five hundred meters back (Or at least there was when I was there a week before the election)
    • I was thinking more of the White House with its high fence and street closed in front and how the temporary security measures have become permanent. How press conferences are orchistrated affairs in a special room. How Bush has broken the tradition of walking to the inauguration and is likely to do it again. The president is supposed to be first among equals but we're starting to revere him as something like royalty. And the gap is growing in the name of security measures. This is a problem for democra

      • I think you are looking at a result that is not solely from recent trends, but the end result of over 200 years of development. Going back to the time of Andrew Jackson, you actually had a mob celebrating his inauguration at the White House, such that President Jackson had to leave and stay at a hotel, while the aides lured the crowd outside with booze. :) Security has obviously tightened since then, and while the September 11 attacks certainly hastened it, the trends were well underway. (As I observed e

        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Curiously, when George Bush visited Ottawa recently, security within the parliament building became so tight that some of the MPs were prevented from getting into theor seats in parliament to vote on ongoing legislation.

        There was quite an uproar. It was actually illegal for the security forces to prevent MPs from reaching their post, but the main issue was that the high security was obviously set up in a hurry and the relevant process was poorly communicated to all the affected parties.