I’m not sure if this is to lighten the mood, but I thought this was amusingly relevant. Michael Pollan, in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, describes the chicken processing operation on a small farm. There, the killing and defeathering takes place in the outdoors.
“This was when I began to appreciate what a morally powerful idea an open-air abattoir is. [The farm]’s customers know to come after noon on a chicken day, but there’s nothing to prevent them from showing up earlier and watching their dinner being killed–indeed, customers are welcome to watch, and occasionally one does. More than any USDA rule or regulation, this transparency is their best assurance that the meat they’re buying has been humanely and cleanly processed.”
And so it is with politics: transparency, a public welcomed to watch, and one that occasionally does, is a better assurance than ethics rules that our elected representatives will legislate ethically and on our behalf.