Monday, 12 May 2014

Ms. Marianne in Victoria

En garde!  Did you know that traditionally the governing party sat 2.5 sword lengths across from the Opposition when discussing business?  Yes, it is true!  Debates could get quite heated in Old England and this put some distance between the parties whose arguments often led to sword fights.  Fascinating how British traditions and history are entwined in our current political system! Today to accommodate the third row of seats in the Legislative Assembly, this 2.5 sword length is not maintained in its entirety.  I wonder how they might solve this problem?  See page 14 for an answer I spent several days last week studying what goes on at the Parliament Buildings in Victoria, listening to speakers and hearing wonderful stories revealing colourful characters and interesting facts.  Here is one fact, the brass bar across the entrance to the Legislative Chamber cannot be crossed unless you are a member of the Legislative Assembly. I felt quite privileged being allowed into the Chamber and sitting in a MLA’s seat. The BC Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy offers teachers an opportunity to grow professionally and share this knowledge with their students and school.  The absolute pinnacle was having dinner at Government House where the Lieutenant Governor (LG), Judith Guichon, resides during her 5 year term.  As the Crown’s representative she is often travelling the province attending ceremonies and promoting our province.  Did you know that she comes from a ranching family in the Nicola Valley?  Unfortunately Her Honour (LG) was away on business but Madame Speaker, Linda Reid, warmly welcomed us.  This enriching memorable experience leaves me wanting a deeper understanding of the fascinating world of Parliamentary democracy.  If you are interested in learning resources to complement your government unit see

                                                          ~ Ms Marianne


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