mhsieh
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:28 pm

British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 5:16 am

What is the reason for some members of Parliment to stand up after a miniter has spoken....
is it like raising your hands to be called on to ask the next question or is it a sign of support (like applause)?
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 5:31 am

The MP is trying to catch the eye of the Speaker in order to be called to speak - not necessarily next, but at some point during the debate.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
mhsieh
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:28 pm

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 5:54 am

Thanks Banco....
The Parliment is fun to watch. Especially with the jeering and heckling...kinda like a pub.
Parlimentry system is definitely more challenging for the politicians. You've got to be quick on your feet. Guys like George W. or Dan Quayle would be "very interesting to watch" in a parlimentry system.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 6:10 am

I was watching it today, and it is very entertaining as well as instructive. Here you have a chance for people to debate properly - no time constraints (a speech can be one word as well as 100,000). Much better than seeing some guy drone on and on on CSPAN.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
trident3
Posts: 989
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:10 am

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 6:11 am

Mhsieh did you realise that the two red lines on the floor of the chamber are 2 1/2 swords lengths apart so that the MPs can't kill each other! If you think our parliament is colourfull you should see the Australian parliament when the debates really kick off!
"We are the warrior race-Tough men in the toughest sport." Brian Noble, Head Coach, Great Britain Rugby League.
 
Arsenal@LHR
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 6:13 am

You're not alone, i love watching a Parliamentiary session, especially PMQ's (Prime Ministers Questions). The howling and laughing sometimes cracks me up aswell. Big grin
In Arsene we trust!!
 
FDXmech
Posts: 3219
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 9:48 pm

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 7:05 am

I watched PM Blair on TV today and view Parliament every so often on CSPAN. A true joy to watch.
I imagine a BS'er would be torn to shreds.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
GDB
Posts: 12678
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: British Parliament

Thu Mar 13, 2003 7:14 am

If you see a large Black Labrador dog lying at the feet of the government benches, it's not some odd, arcane tradition.
The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, has been blind since childhood, and it's his guide dog!

I got the chance to sit in the public gallery for Prime Ministers Questions in June 1999, (a friend's dad works for the Labour Party), but Blair was away trying to keep the Northern Ireland Peace Process on the road, and the then opposition leader, William Hauge, was not there either.

 
Scotty
Posts: 1846
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 1999 10:51 pm

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 7:25 am

There ARE time constraints to stop individual members taking forever and buggering up the debate. That is called "filibustering". The Speaker controls it all - the fat guy at the top with the black gear on. He's also an MP.

The whole thing is antiquated with an antiquated voting system but better TV than all the soaps put together. When you actually go there, it is surprising how small it is - there arent enough seats for all of the MPs.

Scotty
 
GDB
Posts: 12678
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: British Parliament

Thu Mar 13, 2003 7:52 am

Easily fixed Scotty, reduce the excessive amount of Scottish MP's, compared to the population!

Joking aside. the Labour benches were really overfilled with people, quite a bit of standing room only due their unusually large majority .
 
Scotty
Posts: 1846
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 1999 10:51 pm

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 8:33 am

I'm with you GDB.

I'd pull them all out. Why should Scottish MPs vote on matters which are nothing to do with them? All they are doing is picking up fat pay cheques for doing feck all.

And if the composition of the Commons reflected accurately the voting trends in the country, there would be no need for Labour MPs to stand, because there would be less of them.

Scotty
 
mhsieh
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:28 pm

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 4:18 pm

Can you imagine the "fun" MP's would have had if Clinton was the PM with the Monica-gate scandal??
Maybe he would have been booted with a no-confidence vote?
On the other hand, maybe the British are more tolerant of these sort of "personal issues" than the "puritanical" Americans.
 
GDB
Posts: 12678
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: British Parliament

Thu Mar 13, 2003 4:51 pm

They never used to be, but are now, due in part I think to what happened under John Major.
Beset by economic and political problems, the PM told the annual Tory conference in 1993 that he wanted a return to 'back to basics', a sort of moral crusade.
He says he did not mean personal sexual morality, but the press uncovered many Tory MP's shagging away outside marriage, when they were also ministers, they often were pressured into resigning.
Only last year, in a twist to the story, it emerged that Major himself had an affair before becoming PM, with Tory MP Edwina Currie, she left parliament after losing her seat in 1997, 10 years after the affair, to write 'racy' political novels and her memoirs.
But now the public are more tolerant, shortly after coming to power in 1997, Labour Foreign Secretary Robin Cook had an affair with his secretary, left his wife, divorcing her to marry the secretary, he kept his job.

 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: British Parliment

Thu Mar 13, 2003 5:49 pm

I think its a much better way to raise the speakers attentiion.

In India, they have been known to throw the microphones!
Tch! Tch!

-Roy
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: British Parliment

Fri Mar 14, 2003 4:02 am

Incidentally, the fact that the chamber is too small for the number of MP's (it seats about 400, there are over 650 MP's) is quite deliberate. It was Churchill who decided this when the Commons was rebuilt after the war (It sat in the House of Lords during the war) because it was felt the atmosphere would be better.

As for PMQ's, they are absolutely vital to the survival of the Prime Minister. A poor performer will be torn to shreds so they spend a great deal of time rehearsing possible questions and answers. You could argue that this is hardly the proper priority for a Prime Minister, as it takes around a day to do so, but the chance to directly quiz the head of government is very important.

Even so, around half the questions put are likely to be "planted" by the government to allow the PM to slag off the opposition. A a result, it is often more of a test of the Leader of the Opposition than the PM.

PMQ's are not even particularly old. It was the middle of the last century before they became something approaching what we have now, the likes of Pitt and Gladstone never had to go through the ordeal.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Arsenal@LHR
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: British Parliment

Fri Mar 14, 2003 9:20 am

Most of the time, Blair shines when it comes to PMQ's, Duncan Smith just can't seem to rattle Blair no matter how hard he tries.
In Arsene we trust!!
 
USAFHummer
Posts: 10261
Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 12:22 pm

RE: British Parliment

Fri Mar 14, 2003 11:26 am

I was fortunate enough to get on a tour of Parliament in October...the House of commons chamber is extremely small...much smaller than my school gym, I was fairly shocked at that...compared to the House chamber at the Capitol Building in DC which is bigger...even the State Capitol building in Harrisburg, its House chamber dwarfs the House of Commons chamber...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sat Mar 15, 2003 3:38 am

As I say, it's deliberate. Incidentally, you were very lucky to get a tour, getting in to Parliament is not that easy even for us Brits, your MP has to get you an invitation.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
GDB
Posts: 12678
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: British Parliament

Sat Mar 15, 2003 5:43 am

One of the great parliamentarians of today is Labour MP Dennis Skinner, a former miner and MP since 1970.
Though on the far left of Labour and never been a minister, he has by far the best attendance record in the house, never missing anything, always ask questions, (though very critical of New Labour, he reserves his considerable bile for the Tories), always sits in the same seat too.
He can be mocking, sarcastic, penetrating and plain funny, he always gets returned with a thumping majority in his constituency of Bolsover, (he's nicknamed 'the beast of Bolsover')

In today's careerist world, there are not many like him left, whatever you think of his politics.
 
mhsieh
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:28 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sat Mar 15, 2003 6:02 am

How much money does a British MP make?
Is it considered a "full-time" job? Or do some of them have another career on the side?
 
Scotty
Posts: 1846
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 1999 10:51 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sat Mar 15, 2003 6:18 am

Banco

Access to the oublic gallery is open to anyone, although there are horrendous queues. If you want to get into the Lobby area, thats when you need an invite from your MP (if you can drag him/her away from the bar)

Scotty
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8103
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: British Parliment

Sat Mar 15, 2003 6:26 am

The best parliment is Taiwan. They go absolutely MENTAL, one time I happened to watch, a fight broke out preceded by an MP taking of his shoes and throwing them at an opponent.

GDB, your story of your visit to Westminster was very moving. Thank you.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
mhsieh
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:28 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:51 am

Taiwanese people have been deprived of democracy until very recently so there are some outrageous antics used.
It may seem a bit like a circus but it's all part of "progress". It's also quite entertaining.
 
QANTASforever
Posts: 5794
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2001 6:03 am

RE: British Parliment

Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:55 am

I've got an idea.

How about we all post some pics of our parliament/congress/whatever building and also the chamber/congress/house/senate whatever?

Should be interesting.

Here's mine:

Whole thing cost approx $1.2 billion and was completed in 1988. Atop of it stands one of the world tallest (and most expensive) flagpoles. The parliament is so large that it required an entire post(zip) code. It extends 5 floors below the ground and contains secure locations for parliamentary members. It is also reported that a secret military bunker lies deep within the parliament.




Senate:



House of Representatives:



Can't wait to see the parliament of others Big grin

QANTASFOREVER
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Arsenal@LHR
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: British Parliment

Sat Mar 15, 2003 8:57 am

An MP is a full time job, i don't know of any MP's with secondary jobs although some might have other business interests etc. The pay is good, an MP usually earns between 40,000 and 55,000 pounds a year plus bonus's and other perks.
In Arsene we trust!!
 
hkg82
Posts: 1304
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 4:24 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 3:35 am

The way all the MPs go "YEAH, YEAH..." collectively in agreement or "NO, NOOO" when they disagree with Blair or who ever is speaking is HILARIOUS & you half expect them to throw something at the person who's giving the speech! LOL.

Hkg82.
 
AC320
Posts: 2809
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 11:29 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 3:56 am

okay QANTASFOREVER, I'll bite: Here's the Canadian Parliament...



Speaker of the Senate's office


Hallway


Library


Senate


House of Commons


More photos here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Information/Photos/Index-e.htm
fuddle duddle
 
GDB
Posts: 12678
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: British Parliament

Sun Mar 16, 2003 4:07 am

Interesting that the Canadian one retains the British 'adversarial' layout, said to encourage an aggressive atmosphere, while the much newer Australian one has a more circular one, which it is claimed has a more consensual feel.
Didn't work for former PM Keating, I remember footage of him calling the opposition 'bastards' and 'unrepresentative swill'!


 
seb146
Posts: 14331
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 4:40 am

I have not had cable for some time, so I have not been able to watch British Parlement goings on. But one question I have always had is: When the PM stands and says something like "I refer my right honorable friend to the response I gave some moments ago" what the hell are they talking about?

GO CANUCKS!!
Patriotic and Proud Liberal
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 4:55 am

Nice idea Qantasforever.

Here's the Reichstag building which accommodates the Bundestag/Parliament. Outside:



... and inside:




The Bundesrat is the link between the Federal Government and the states and is involved in all federal legislative proceedings. Outside ...



... and inside:


I support the right to arm bears
 
eg777er
Posts: 1782
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 11:11 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 4:57 am

This basically means "I just answered that question you moron" in a slightly more polite way............

(Members of your party are 'My right honourable friend' and those of the opposition 'the right honourable gentleman/lady').
 
Scotty
Posts: 1846
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 1999 10:51 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:07 am

The PMs questions always take the format of "Can the PM inform the house of his intentions to visit my constituency" or some innocent question like that. His response "I refer my right honorable friend to the response I gave some moments ago" refers to the very general statement which he gives at the start of PM's Questions. The response then allows the questioner to respond something to the effect of "Could the PM then explain why he intends to subject my constituents to war in the Gulf?"

Its all very orchestrated and all of the questions are trailed in advance so that he knows whats coming. Occasionally, the Speaker will allow a supplementary to be asked which is when he gets caught out!!

Scotty
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:41 am

The whole "honourable" thing goes further than that. With the caveats that Eg777 put in for party allegiance, you also have "my honourable and learned friend2 (lawyer), "my honourable and gallant friend" (military) and so on.

This kind of thing is beginning to die out as we see a new breed of professional politicians enter Parliament, since they have not done anything except politics. It is a matter of regret that the chances of someone like myself entering Parliament are much less now than say twenty years ago, merely because (at 31) I am probably too old - although some may feel there are other reasons. People work their way through the party system from a much younger age nowadays in order to get a shot at Parliament although this remains more true of Labour and Lib/Dem candidates than Tory ones.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
skyservice_330
Posts: 1302
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 6:50 am

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:48 am

**WARNING WARNING!!..THIS IS IS A JOKE, DO NOT GET OFFENDED! I REPEAT, DO NOT GET OFFENDED**
__________________________________________________________________

"The house of commons is like congress with a two drink minimum."
-Robin Williams
LIVE on Broadway 2002
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:52 am

Yours or ours, Skyservice?  Big grin Big grin


Why would anyone take offence?
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Scotty
Posts: 1846
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 1999 10:51 pm

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 6:25 am

The Scottish Parliament came back into existence in 1999, after an absence of almost 300 years, being "suspended" in 1707. Obviously things have changed a bit since then.

Here is the temporary home of the Parliament on The Mound in Edinburgh. It has 129 Members (MSPs)



The new Parliament building is currently under construction in one of the most historic sites in Edinburgh - right across the road from the 12th Century Holyrood Palace and below the crags of Arthur's Seat.

Here's a pic of the new building, the debating chamber and the public gallery, under construction.



The conventions of operating in the Scottish Parliament owe much to their Westminster cousins - we looked at how they operated, realised that most of it was completely antiquated and chucked it all out. So all that stuff about "my honourable friend" and two swordslengths etc... has disappeared. The Speaker is known as the Presiding Officer and the chamber is very different from the Commons. Electronic voting is used, rather than the medieval lobby system.

Scotty
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8103
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: British Parliment

Sun Mar 16, 2003 6:50 am




[Edited 2003-03-15 22:51:50]
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
skyservice_330
Posts: 1302
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 6:50 am

Banco

Mon Mar 17, 2003 8:50 am

ROFL- I guess it could stand true for both. Big grin

Why would anyone take offence? Well, One thing I have learned on here is that people love to take something small and turn into something big so for instance:

Making a joke about the house of commons(for arguments sake we will say the British one) = I am against the British/UK = I am against the War with Iraq = I am against President Bush = I am against all Americans = I am just an American hating canuck with a Molson in my hand.  Big grin

See my point, eh.  Smokin cool
 
Arsenal@LHR
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: British Parliment

Mon Mar 17, 2003 9:38 am

No one takes offence to any of the jokes in the House of Commons, sometimes it can get heated with a few strong jokes and comments, but you have to be professional.
In Arsene we trust!!

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