Sunday, 1 January 2012

Bienvenue 2012 - et bonne annee!

2012 has finally arrived - and it promises to be an exciting year (at least for those who share the interests of Washminster). The French elections are due in the first half of the year - with the two rounds of the Presidential preceding the two rounds of the legislative elections. Then there are the US elections - which seem already to have been going on for months - but move up a gear with the Iowa caucus this week, and onto the Presidential & Congressional elections on November 6th.

Washminster will follow the twists and turns of the various campaigns - whilst also providing an insight into how the processes work.

Even without elections - this is likely to be a momentous years within the legislatures that Washminster is dedicated to following.

In Britain,  while the Olympics may distract us, real conflict is expected in the Palace of Westminster. The coalition will face new pressures - and the 'loyal' opposition will be challenging a Government agenda it has fundamental disagreements with. Expect to see heightened conflict between the parties; and between the two chamber of Parliament. With the constitutional changes made earlier in the session - we'll see how Parliament itself is developing.

The 112th Congress will exist throughout the year (the 113th, elected at November's elections) will come into existence next January. Don't expect love and peace to break out between (or within) the warring tribes on Capitol Hill.

With negotiations and a European Council on treaty changes due this month in Europe, be assured that the European Parliament will be fighting its corner.

In the French Parlement, power rests with the Right in the Assemblee nationale, but now with the Left in the Senat. With multiple elections, expect the battles to be reflected in Paris.

I have just returned from a restful fortnight in beautiful Cornwall - all fired up for the year ahead! Sensibly, I took a few days off keeping up with the news & reading about politics and legislative affairs. Instead I researched some Roman History (Britain in general, the Milton Keynes area in particular). A change is as good as a rest - particularly when accompanied by some great walks around Lands End; the Lizard and St Ives. If you've never been to the south west tip of Cornwall - you should visit - it's a great place.

In the latter days I was able to reindulge my passion for elections; US & French politics - plus catching up on some reading about events in the UK. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing? Today we have a belated family Christmas party (with the Nicholson branch), the Morgan branch gets together later in  the month.

Enjoy the rest of New Years Day - and tomorrow the in-depth coverage from Washmnister resumes (and I'll also post my questions from today's family quizz - my round is on "Elections 2012").

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