Tour of Parliament
Sunday, June 16, 2019
Went and looked at the Senate and House of Commons setup for the nation of Canada today. Both of the current chambers are temporary, while their usual homes are being renovated. In the case of the House of Commons, while their Center Block digs are being worked on, they took over a formerly open courtyard in the West Block, and built up benches to provide a proper legislative setting, adding a roof to protect the politicians from the elements. Apparently, there are three levels to the roof, to be able to control the amount of sun and light coming down into the courtyard, so as to make sure they look ok on the televised proceedings. One cool thing about the setting is that the walls of the chamber used to be exterior walls, and have that weathered, classic look to them.
Similarly, the Senate now convenes in what was a former rail station turned government building turned into legislative body. As far as what we got to see on the tour, the Senate tour was actually more interesting, since the old school rail stations in major cities have often been very beautiful structures, and this was no exception. The Senate chamber itself was less grandiose, what with only 105 Senators in Canada, against 338 Members of Parliament, but it had it's own cool touches, like the ref carpet adorned with designs of the leaves of the ten different species of maple tree found in Canada.
Ultimately, both tours were lacking, because they basically ran you through the legislative chambers, showed off a committee room, and threw in a few facts about process. Just felt like there was so much more to see in a national capital, whether more about the history aspects, or more to see within the buildings themselves.
But it was a nice way to spend an afternoon, though after wandering this way and that for a couple hours, I was very much exhausted by the time I got back to the hotel. Sadly, I didn't manage to fall asleep, and I'm still quite awake now, when I really need to be getting to sleep.
I blame the Shawshank Redemption being on TV, because that's tied for my all time favorite movie, and I was unable to turn away and go to bed. Should have just watched it in bed, and then turned out the lights, probably.