The advent of fixed-term Parliaments means that we know when the next election will be. We know when purdah will kick in and given the need for the 'conscious uncoupling' of the Coalition, we are already in a state of permanent election campaigning.
We Europeans did nothing to help Tunisia achieve its revolution in January 2011. Yet, today, we can and must support the most successful of the Arab Spring countries - because we know that democracy can never be taken for granted.
Campaigning has become daily routine for me. I now know that no matter what my job is and where I am in the world it'll always be something I'm proud to be involved in and that motivates me.
The admission by former Liberal Democrat Party Treasurer Lord Razzall, that he was offered cash for peerages "several times a year" over a period of twelve years but failed to report any of these criminal offences threatens to take the lid back off one Westminster's most unseemly and nocuous can of worms of recent decades: cash for honours.
As Parliament Week draws to a close, both its organisers and prominent figures, like Mariam and Alvin, will soon turn their attentions to May 2015, and the challenges that are sure to arise.
There's already a lot of buzz around Parliament about the upcoming election. On 7 May , over three million young people will have the chance to vote in Britain for the first time. Here's the bad: only one-third of young people say that they will vote, compared to two-thirds of the general population and 75% of those over 65.
No-one is short on an opinion about Ed Miliband and the way that he is leading the Labour Party. After the media storm at the weekend about a plot to oust him, things have gone quieter but the media are still desperate to see leadership blood...
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act should be reviewed to protect the "welfare of women" along with the "welfare of children".
The speed of change in terms of global drug policy over the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable. As is their way, Britain's political class has largely responded by shutting their eyes, putting their fingers in their ears and insisting on business as usual.
Standing in the middle of Parliament Square, I watch the October twilight turn the breath of the Superintendent and the Baroness into steam. In the middle of hundreds of protestors with placards like "People, not banks!", the Green member of the House of Lords Jenny Jones is receiving a Pinteresque line of questioning...
Real democracy is messy, like the Houses of Parliament is rocky and uneven; an organic structure in the Gothic style... It should not be made clean, and it should not be made smooth. Winston Churchill, for one, was not afraid of the fight. And neither, one may hope, are #OccupyDemocracy.
Recall would strengthen the link between an MP and their constituents, which is at the heart of our representative democracy. Real recall would mean MPs who are involved in serious misconduct, fail to represent their constituents (think Nadine Dorries or George Galloway ditching the Commons for reality TV), switch parties without triggering a by-election or break electoral promises could face recall if enough of their constituents demand it.
These retiring MPs will be inspired by the likes of Ruth Kelly and James Purnell before them. All stepped down while still relatively young, having recognised that political comebacks here are few and far between. But what the likes of Kelly and Purnell have also shown is there is life away from the public eye, the media spotlight and well beyond the ruthless world of politics.
The public, media and political response to the revelation that Lord Freud, in a fringe meeting at Conservative Party conference, suggested that some people with disabilities are not "worth" the minimum wage and perhaps should instead work for as little as £2 an hour, has been fascinating.
It is significant that the Labour leadership backs the motion in Parliament on Monday. Hopefully many Conservative politicians will join them so that the motion is passed with the handsome majority that such a mild measure requires. If the British Parliament votes in favour it would be highly important symbolically, a strong expression of Parliamentary support for recognition...
I think being a locally focused MP is almost like cabinet career suicide. Off the top of my head I can't think of anyone in the cabinet now or in the shadow cabinet whom are there purely to represent their local constituents.