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Ontario Voted

Between 9am and 9pm yesterday, the people of (the province of, not the city) Ontario took to the polls to elect a new government and (possibly) a new premier. Things did not turn out exactly as predicted. [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Jun 13, 2014 - 128 comments

Tony Benn (1925-2014)

Acknowledged to be one of the few British politicians who became more left-wing after having actually served in government, former veteran left-wing campaigner Tony Benn has died at home aged 88. Tony was a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP) for 50 years, and a Cabinet Minister under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. His legacy can be seen in postage, in the powerful five questions, the speeches he gave, and his diaries.
posted by Wordshore on Mar 14, 2014 - 84 comments

Fettering discretion

Yesterday the House of Commons and the House of Lords debated a response to Syria's use of chemical weapons. The government lost the debate and the commons rejected military action. David Cameron said "the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action. I get that, and the Government will act accordingly.." A government MP explains why she voted against and Charles Stross makes a suggestion for what could be done (distributing gas masks, field decontamination showers, NAAK kits, and medical resources to everyone in the conflict zones)
posted by Gilgongo on Aug 30, 2013 - 394 comments

Zombie-free since 1867

Canada will never be a safe haven for zombies. [more inside]
posted by asnider on Feb 13, 2013 - 45 comments

The British Parliament are debating same-sex marriage

The Guardian is liveblogging the debate. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Feb 5, 2013 - 102 comments

You can't eat scenery

The governments of the United Kingdom and Scotland agree on a framework for the latter to vote on independence. Other reporting in the Telegraph, Guardian and the Scottish Sun. The referendum, for this nation of 5.25 million people and a unicorn as its national animal, will be held before the end of 2014. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 15, 2012 - 109 comments

Le Sexisme Ordinaire

In May new French minister caused a stir by wearing jeans to inaugral cabinet meeting. On Tuesday she wore a floral dress when addressing the Parliament. [more inside]
posted by zeikka on Jul 20, 2012 - 155 comments

“So if we continue voting like this in the (House of Commons), there’ll be no b-day for me this year?” tweeted NDP MP Hoang Mai.

It is still June 13 for the Parliament of Canada, where voting has continued overnight on the "omnibus budget bill" (previously), due to 159 separate amendment votes that have been forced by the opposition. None are likely to pass, but the arduous process is meant to function as a protest against legislation which many critics have argued goes far beyond the scope of a traditional budget. [more inside]
posted by mek on Jun 14, 2012 - 76 comments

The Forgotten Prime Minister

On the 11th May 1812, Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister of Great Britain was shot by a disgruntled (and possibly insane) merchant in the lobby of the house of commons. In that moment he became the only British Prime Minister ever to be assassinated. That's all that most people know about him, but the truth is he deserves far more attention than that... [more inside]
posted by garius on May 11, 2012 - 17 comments

Agora, a virtual parliament

PDI is a policy-agnostic political party that does not have, nor will ever have, a political ideology. It has a single and radical proposal: PDI elected representatives will vote in congress according to what the people have previously voted through the internet using Agora.
posted by mhjb on Apr 14, 2012 - 89 comments

A prehistoric monster which has mysteriously survived into the modern world

The City of London Corporation has been in the news lately related to Occupy London. But the deeper story of how this medieval remnant functions in 21st century England is far stranger... and more sinister.
posted by Joakim Ziegler on Nov 2, 2011 - 51 comments

Officially a filibuster

While outside Parliament it is 2:00 AM EST, Friday June 24, inside it will remain the "Thursday June 23 Chamberverse" until the Canadian House of Commons rises. Canada's new Official Opposition, the New Democratic party is currently filibustering the Conservative majority government over Bill C-6 - An act to provide for the Resumption and Continuation of Postal Services brought forward to force postal workers at Canada Post, an arms-length Crown Corporation back to work. [more inside]
posted by HLD on Jun 23, 2011 - 85 comments

One Nation Under a Groove

The Smithsonian's forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture won't open until 2015, but it has already made a number of important acquisitions, including most recently, the Parliament-Funkadelic Mothership.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 19, 2011 - 32 comments

Games and resources from museums for children

Show Me is a site collecting games and resources for children from UK museums. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy on Mar 27, 2011 - 6 comments

News of the ... Screwed?

Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
posted by Len on Sep 9, 2010 - 46 comments

Moonage Daydream: The Rock Album as Science Fiction

"Having vaulted from the fringes of pop culture into the mainstream after a newly atomic America became obsessed with films about mutants and aliens, SF literature matured and flowered throughout the '60s and beyond, just as rock 'n' roll did the same. It was inevitable that the two would mix."
posted by gman on Jun 23, 2010 - 47 comments

If politicians were mathematicians

If politicians were mathematicians. "I would like to suggest two systems for parliamentary votes, one that would weaken the party system but without killing it off entirely, and one that would protect large minorities. Neither has the slightest chance of being adopted, because they are both too complicated to be taken seriously. But mathematicians wouldn’t find them complicated at all — hence the title of this post." Fields medalist Tim Gowers messes around with political axioms.
posted by escabeche on May 12, 2010 - 18 comments

What happens if David Cameron loses?

Most people assumed the Tories would walk the coming election. But with their poll lead evaporating, what would a Conservative defeat mean for Britain – and David Cameron? What happens if David Cameron loses? [more inside]
posted by Len on Mar 26, 2010 - 70 comments

a very long article

How America Can Rise Again by James Fallows
Is America going to hell? After a year of economic calamity that many fear has sent us into irreversible decline, the author finds reassurance in the peculiarly American cycle of crisis and renewal, and in the continuing strength of the forces that have made the country great: our university system, our receptiveness to immigration, our culture of innovation. In most significant ways, the U.S. remains the envy of the world. But here's the alarming problem: our governing system is old and broken and dysfunctional. Fixing it—without resorting to a constitutional convention or a coup—is the key to securing the nation's future. (via|previously)
posted by kliuless on Jan 6, 2010 - 61 comments

An Unlikely Couple

In 1771, John Wilkes succeeded in defending the freedom of the press to report the then secret debates of Parliament. In 2009, the well-known libel law firm Carter-Ruck, possibly acting on behalf of their clients Trafigura, succeeded in gagging The Guardian newspaper from reporting a question to be asked in Parliament (see #61). [more inside]
posted by Sova on Oct 12, 2009 - 53 comments

27 countries, 375 estimated voters, one European election

The European elections results 2009 website will open on June 7 at 18.00 CET. While waiting for the results, check out the issues, the EU 30 years ago and now and the EU Parliament twitter feed.
posted by ruelle on Jun 7, 2009 - 97 comments

Who is Daniel Hannan?

On Tuesday, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan took the opportunity to "skewer" Gordon Brown in the kind of biting rhetoric rarely, if ever, seen in UK parliament. Despite having alerted UK press organisations, including his own part-time employer, Hannan's speech was not picked up by the UK press until... it started getting a heavy push from the US punditocracy. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Mar 26, 2009 - 46 comments

Damn you Cromwell!

For all which Treasons and Crimes, this Court doth adjudge that the said Charles Stuart, as a Tyrant, Traitor, Murtherer, and a public enemy, shall be put to death by the severing of his Head from his Body. On January 30, 1649, King Charles I was beheaded on a scaffold at Whitehall. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 30, 2009 - 50 comments

The House will now consider the Flags for Orphans bill

UK MPs trying to block publishing their expenses - they're voting on Thursday to overturn last year's High Court ruling. TheyWorkForYou is emailing members to let them know that the UK government buried the news of this vote amongst last week's Heathrow runway anouncement. They are trying to reverse the 16 May 2008 High Court decision that MPs' expenses must, under the Freedom Of Information Act, be made public. What can you do about this mixture of Jo Moore and Krusty? [more inside]
posted by TheDonF on Jan 19, 2009 - 58 comments

Everybody's hugging!

Of what purpose is a lap dance? Is it about alcohol and leisure? Is it an exercise in objectification? Is it a question that requires a lap-dancing body (phwoar!) to decide? Or Parliament? Should someone hold a seance and ask Paul Raymond? (previously) [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack on Nov 26, 2008 - 89 comments

Lords a-blogging

Lords of the Blog is a collaborative blog written by Members of the House of Lords for the purposes of public engagement - a pilot project. [more inside]
posted by Phanx on Apr 1, 2008 - 17 comments

Bloggers in Parliament

This year's elections in Malaysia are historic due to the major wins by the Opposition/People's Front and the National Front's loss of 5 states and the 2/3 majority in parliament (one they've held since 1969) (comparisons). Two of the newly elected Members of Parliament are bloggers Tony Pua and Jeff Ooi; another blogger, Elizabeth Wong, has won a seat in the state assembly of the now-Opposition-run Selangor. This is significant, as Malaysian bloggers had been under attack by the government. (last link YouTube video in Malay with subtitles).
posted by divabat on Mar 9, 2008 - 16 comments

Restoring the right to protest with your keyboard

The Government are clear that there should be no unnecessary restrictions on people's right to protest and it is right to review provisions which have generated such concern. Two years ago, the British government effectively removed the right to spontaneous peaceful protest around the UK Parliament. Now, that legislation is under review, with a public consultation open until mid-January. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Dec 6, 2007 - 9 comments

Big man with a big heart does his part

Mark Wallinger has won the Turner Prize for 'State Britain' his recreation of Brian Haw's Parliament Square peace protest. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 5, 2007 - 12 comments

I wants to get funked up.

From 50's doo-wop crooner (and hairstylist extraordinaire) to 60's soul stepper to 70's psychedelic funk overlord and beyond, Parliament Funkadelic: One Nation Under A Groove takes a loving, informative and very entertaining look at the career of the legendary George Clinton and his unstoppable, hydra-headed funk machine. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 25, 2007 - 13 comments

Kiwi politicians lack humor

The New Zealand media knows when something is funny[youtube], but seems parliament lacks a sense of humor. Parliament is moving to restrict publication of footage of MPs misbehaving. Oh well. No more of this then. Censorship of satire? What Next?
posted by chrisbucks on Jun 27, 2007 - 12 comments

Malaysia, Politics, and Bloggers

An Indonesian TV crew was invited to Malaysia for their Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign but encountered many problems. They write up about it - and start a flurry of comments and controversy across the Malaysian government about blogging. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Apr 6, 2007 - 14 comments

The strangest election ever

There's about to be an election (pdf) in the British Parliament's second chamber, the House of Lords. Not an election where the public can choose their lawmakers: that's still a matter of debate. No, one of the 92 hereditary Lords has died, and those of his party colleagues that remain get to choose another hereditary peer to take his place. So the election, in which only hereditary peers registered as Conservatives can stand, will be decided by the votes of the 47 Conservative hereditary peers still clinging to the twig. And just to make sure it's properly democratic - the vote is by proportional representation.
posted by athenian on Feb 18, 2007 - 40 comments

"Number one, Mr. Speaker"

Prime Minister's Questions is a weekly televised convention in the UK started in the 1950s during which Members of Parliament get a chance to hold their leader accountable for his or her actions. Sick of boring political meetings? "PMQ" is fast-paced, hip, heated, eloquent, insulting, and sometimes hilarious. In fact, the inherant humor of it is has been well explored.

But brits aren't the only ones; "Question Time", as it's called generically, has been adapted in other countries as well. Yet the show often shocks Americans since the concept of weekly unscripted access to leaders without giving days of question prep-time seems like a fantasy. Of course, maybe the alternative (0:41) is much worse.
posted by TimeTravelSpeed on Dec 5, 2006 - 63 comments

The Cats of Parliament Hill

Along the Ottawa River, past the Peace Tower, is the Centre Block of Parliament—for cats. Started by Irene Desormeaux in the 1970s and taken care of by Rene Chartrand (who recently received the Humane Society of Canada's Heroes for Animals Award) since 1987, the 20-40 cats on the property have been one of the lesser-known parts of Parliament Hill. [via]
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire on Apr 16, 2006 - 13 comments

A House full of insults: an informal look at the history of parliamentary put-downs

A House full of insults is an informal look at the history of parliamentary put-downs and their inconsistent consequences in Britain's House of Commons.
posted by nthdegx on Dec 11, 2005 - 22 comments

Free your mind and your ass will follow.

Got questions about the Funk Mob? This is the place to go. The Motherpage covers everything P. Funk, from an extensive faq, through an incredibly detailed discography, to a bibliography that can lead to years more reading.
posted by OmieWise on Oct 20, 2005 - 28 comments

Arctic Blue Books

Arctic Blue Books Online - 'a searchable, World-Wide Web version of Andrew Taylor's unique index to the 19th Century British Parliamentary Papers concerned with the Canadian Arctic. '
posted by plep on Dec 28, 2004 - 2 comments

Gettin involvit in the Scottish Pairlament

Gettin involvit in the Scottish Pairlament The Scottish Pairlament is here for tae represent aw Scotland's folk. We want tae mak siccar that as mony folk as can is able tae find oot aboot whit the Scottish Pairlament dis and whit wey it warks.
posted by xmutex on Sep 10, 2004 - 16 comments

BUSH PULLS OUT OF SPEECH TO PARLIAMENT

Bush pulls out of speech to Parliament during upcoming British trip. Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Francois Mitterand, have all given speeches to the Lords and the Commons while visiting Britain, but Bush is afraid of hecklers.
posted by wsg on Nov 17, 2003 - 63 comments

A sordid tale

Diego Garcia islanders await call to go home. 'Cherry and thousands of other islanders were the victims of a brutal depopulation strategy by Britain in the 1960s and 1970s which sought to hand over an empty island to the United States for use as a key military base. The depopulation campaign ended in 1973 with the removal of the last islanders, who were dumped on the quays of the Mauritian capital, Port Louis ... '
The Chagos Islands: A sordid tale. 'The story involves "bribes" from the United States, racism among senior civil servants, and the UK Government deceiving parliament and the United Nations.'
The Chagos archipelago: Decolonisation and human rights., by the Southern African Human Rights NGO Network, includes a brief history of the islands from original settlement by French settlers and African slaves. 'For a people as a whole to be actually victimised by the act of forced eviction from their homeland must be the most humiliating, supreme injustice and degrading treatment any people can be made to undergo. '
posted by plep on Jul 29, 2003 - 4 comments

Ludvig Borga v. Tarja Halonen in a steel cage

You're a pro wrestler (seen here in action figure form) who was just elected to the parliment of Finland with one of the highest vote totals in the country. Although calling your President a lesbian isn't really the first thing you want to do after your election.
posted by RobbieFal on Mar 20, 2003 - 11 comments

Canadian Prime Minister surprises with pledge to put Kyoto accord to Parliament.

Canadian Prime Minister surprises with pledge to put Kyoto accord to Parliament. Until now, with resistance from the oil-rich western provinces, Canada has been luke-warm on Kyoto. PM Jean Chretien surprised all of us (a pleasant surprise, for many) by making the announcement today at the Summit in South Africa. The PM recently announced that he'll be leaving office in 18 months - leaving him with a lot of power and little accountability - possibly working on his own legacy rather than for the good of his country. So far so good.
posted by stevengarrity on Sep 2, 2002 - 15 comments

"I think I'm big enough to play the game"

"I think I'm big enough to play the game" says Australian Parliament member Barry Haase, referring to his "purchase" for a day by brothel owner Mary-Anne Kenworthy (heh heh, she said 'member'). Auctioned to the highest bidder (he fetched $1000Australian) at the local Rotary Club charity auction, Haase will perform such duties as cleaning the brothel in a "frilly apron" and conducting a tour of the premises. Wonder if he'll wear anything besides what the proprietress' called her "tour hat"...
posted by runthegamut on Aug 28, 2002 - 7 comments

Do you, Adam, take this man Steve, to be your lawfully wedded husband ...

Do you, Adam, take this man Steve, to be your lawfully wedded husband ... "... a panel of Ontario judges ordered Parliament to broaden its definition of marriage to include gay men and women, the first decision of its kind in Canada. " Rulings on cases in BC and Quebec to follow.

Good news for the Canadian Tourist industry, at any rate. So far the only heartbreak in all this is the utter lack of Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn stores in Canada for these people to register at.
posted by kristin on Jul 14, 2002 - 13 comments

At Least 10 Dead in Attack on Indian Parliament

At Least 10 Dead in Attack on Indian Parliament Just heard the news break. Apparently 5 terrorists broke into the building and opened fire. 4 of them were killed. CNN doesn't have anything yet (2:30am Central).
posted by manero on Dec 13, 2001 - 13 comments

blair postpones freedom of information act

blair postpones freedom of information act until 2005, despite being a labour party pledge for 25 years...... after the undemocratic anti-terrorism legislation forced through parliament on monday, what hope for real civil liberties in the uk?
posted by quarsan on Nov 16, 2001 - 5 comments

Remember, remember the 5th of November

Remember, remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder treason and plot.
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
(where was the best fireworks display you've ever been to? have you ever burnt something important? and was Guy Falkes framed?)
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 5, 2001 - 20 comments

"May the spirit of peace, and the love of human beings for each other, be shown in our sympathy."

"May the spirit of peace, and the love of human beings for each other, be shown in our sympathy." More than 75,000 people streamed onto Canada's Parliament Hill in Ottawa today for a special service to remember the victims of Tuesday's attack in the U.S.
posted by tranquileye on Sep 14, 2001 - 2 comments

PNGDF soliders take arms, hold Port Moresby barracks

PNGDF soliders take arms, hold Port Moresby barracks
PM Morauta in hiding
The Defence Force is protesting pay and planned downsizing of the military. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the takeover was sparked by rumors of an Australian seizure of the Moresby barracks. As of yesterday, more troops have joined the takeover
There are unconfirmed reports that the soldiers would stage a protest march on the Parliament building. The Parliament is not currently in session.
posted by rschram on Mar 19, 2001 - 5 comments

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