I had a quick look at the statistics for the blog early this morning. By that stage, as is usual, it had only attracted a small number of visitors. By chance, I looked again at lunchtime and the line on the graph had suddenly shot up, way beyond the normal daily traffic. I kept checking – the figure reached four-figures and continued climbing. By this evening, we had the largest numbers of visitors since the record first day.
What could have caused this sudden popularity? Had Lord Soley’s comments on China elicited a sudden interest in Asia? Had my question on the number of hereditary peers sitting in the Commons attracted the attention of pub quizmasters up and down the country? In fact, the increase is attributable to coverage of the blog in Germany on Spiegel Online:
It is perhaps appropriate that we should attract interest from Germany given that it also has a distinctive second chamber, the Bundesrat (pictured). It is a powerful second chamber, though not directly elected. It comprises representatives from the sixteen state governments and is a significant actor in protecting their interests. It is also notable that when legislative chambers in EU countries are mentioned for producing some influential work on EU matters, it is often second chambers that are to the fore; among those variously singled out are the House of Lords and the Bundesrat.