Speaking to legislators in Mexico

 I spoke yesterday to a conference, La Conferencia Permanente De Congresos Locales, in Mexico.   It was attended by about 500 members drawn from local legislatures.  The lecture was delivered from Westminster via video link.  There were initial technical problems establishing the link: it took more or less as long to get the problems sorted as it did to deliver the lecture.  I spoke on ‘Parliaments in the 21st Century: the representative challenge’, identifying the problems presently faced by legislatures and the opportunities that exist for them to meet the challenge and to engage more effectively with the people.  I was able to explore some of the themes that I will be developing when I speak at the Italian Chamber of Deputies next month. 

Half-way during my talk, the division bells in the Commons started ringing.  I ploughed on regardless, but it was probably a bit of a shock to the audience.  The fact that I didn’t move probably intimated that it wasn’t the fire alarm.

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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4 Responses to Speaking to legislators in Mexico

  1. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,
    I would have liked to hear you discuss Parliament in the language of Cervantes and Marquez. If you used and interpreter then my compliments may be a bit more modest but perhaps he or she made a few comments as relates to the bells. I would have and I used to do that sort of thing on occasion…

    • Lord Norton says:

      franksummers3ba: I delivered it in English, with a simultaneous translation – I had sent a copy in advance so that it could be translated ready for the occasion. I was asked at the end about the bells – was it Big Ben?

      • ladytizzy says:

        At least they know Big Ben is a bell. Some visitors to Oxford would return to their home country with the sure knowledge, imparted to them by friendly students, that the brass cross in The Broad was the original site where the Martyrs Freeman, Hardy and Willis went up in flames.

  2. ladytizzy says:

    Lord Norton, what happens to lost deposits in elections, and who decides the amounts and thresholds? Why £5,000 for a Police and Crime Commissioner, or £10,000 for Mayor of London, yet ‘only’ £500 for a Parliamentary Candidate?

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