Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, November 13, 2006

Queen's Speech on Wednesday

The Queen's Speech, which marks the opening of a new session of Parliament in London. This year the speech is on 15 November.

In the past C-SPAN has carried the BBC broadcast of the ceremonies and the speech live (VERY early morning of the 15th) and then repeated it later in the day. I can't find the times on the C-SPAN schedule yet, but you can check at The C-SPAN web site.   Find the time, set your TIVO or DVD or VHS recorder and capture this.

I find the ceremony colourful and fascinating (and slow and tedious) and a great "picture" of one bit of British political culture. (Can you imagine the House of Representatives going through a ritual charade of refusing to open the doors to the President for his State of the Union speech until his "man in waiting" asked three times for the doors to be opened?)

The speech is a shopping list of items the government intends to pursue in the upcoming session of Parliament, and, given the nature of the parliamentary system, a list of things that will get done. The transcript is usually available very shortly after the speech on the BBC News or the PM's web site.

The transcript of last year's Queen's Speech is online at the PM's web site

A BBC article What is the Queen's Speech? is online at the BBC web site.

Parliament's web site has an article on the State Opening.


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