Today the Hansard Society will hold its AGM in the Palace of Westminster. The Society has been a great advocate and educator about the Westminster Parliament and beyond (and as Parliaments have been established in the other nations of the UK, it has been active within them). It's website states -
"The Hansard Society believes that the health of representative democracy rests on the foundation of a strong Parliament and an informed and engaged citizenry. Founded in 1944, we are a charity working in the UK and around the world to promote democracy and strengthen parliaments. An independent, non-partisan political research and education Society our work is devoted to:
1. Exploring the evolution of representative democracy: offering evidence-based ideas for reform of political and parliamentary institutions, processes and culture to help foster democratic renewal.
2. Educating citizens, particularly young people: so that they have the knowledge and confidence to play an active role in our democracy and be future leaders in civic and political life.
3. Connecting citizens with parliamentarians and policy-makers: through innovative on and off-line initiatives to address the democratic deficit.
4. Convening debate on topical political issues: providing a non-partisan forum for the exchange of ideas about our democratic future.
The website is well worth exploring. It has some excellent resources. Each year they produce their "Audit of Political Engagement", which is taken very seriously by Parliamentarians and academics. Those who don't use it deny themselves much useful information about what is going on in the minds of electors. Can anyone wishing to be an MP afford not to read it?
It has also played a key role in encouraging Parliamentary Reform during its history - and Parliament is all the better for it.
After the AGM some of the newly elected select committee chairs will discuss how committees organise their work, their role in the scrutiny process, the challenges the committees will face over the coming year, as well as their aims for this Parliament and what they would consider a successful outcome.
I'm really looking forward to going.
For further information about the Hansard Society visit http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/