Thursday, 5 April 2007

Where There's A Cause There's A Caucus

There's an interesting article in today's Washington Post (A15 for readers of the hardcopy version ) which can be found at


by Zachary A Goldfarb - on Congressional caucuses, or as they are technically known - 'Congressional Member Organizations'. I recommend the Article.

On the Eastern side of the Atlantic we have a similar type of group - known as an 'All Party Parliamentary Group'. Perhaps not surprisingly for Britain it is said that the largest one is the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group. (Zachary Goldfarb mentioned the popularity of the Congressional Wine Caucus). The British-American Parliamentary Group is one of the most popular. It's purpose is described as

"To promote friendly relations and mutual understanding between members of Congress and Members of Parliament [which includes Members of the House of Lords]; to arrange for the exchange of visits and information; and to provide opportunities for discussion."

A recent notice on the parliamentary intranet invited members to apply to be a member of the two person delegation represting the UK Parliament at the 400th Anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.

In Britain APPGs are usually classified into Subject Groups and Country Groups. Registration is compulsory for any group which has members from more than one political party -and which has at least one officer sitting in the House of Commons.

Details of the rules - and the registration details of APPGs as at 14th March 2007 can be found at: