Wednesday, 7 November 2007

The New Session

The Queen opened the new session of Parliament (2007/08) in the House of Lords. MPs were summoned from the House of Commons and she delivered a short speech dealing with the legislation that Parliament will consider during the coming year. The speech was prepared by the Government. The text can be read at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk_politics/7080881.stm.

The two Houses then adjourned until the afternoon. Both began business by "defying" the Monarch - considering first legislation NOT mentioned by her. In the Commons they gave a first reading to the Outlawries Bill and the Lords did the same for the Select Vestries Bill. This is done as the first action in every session. The debates on the Queen's Speech then began. In both Houses the debate begins with two speeches by Government backbenchers moving and seconding an address to the Queen. These are usually humourous affairs. Then the real debate began.

The (almost) verbatim report of the debate can be found in Hansard at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/pahansard.htm

Unofficial results from Virginia elections can be found at https://www.voterinfo.sbe.virginia.gov/election/DATA/2007/196E44FA-8B19-4240-9A44-737216DAA55D/Unofficial/7_s.shtml. As I write this the results in Senate district 37 are very close with Janet Oleszek (Dem) trailing Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II (Rep) by only 69 votes - one precinct has yet to report!

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