The "Lower house" in the Netherlands.

This is where all the important decisions are made. The Tweede kamer counts 150 members. These people are members of certain political parties which can be voted upon by the people.

Their meetings are generally public and may be attended by anyone who takes an interest in such things. Of course, this includes the media. There are 230 seats open to the general public.

Meetings are conducted on tuesdays, wednesdays and thursdays, starting on the third tuesday of september (prinsjesdag) and ending when summer starts. I am not aware of a fixed date for the end of a year, but there may be one. There are no meetings around Christmas and Easter.

There are two ways for the Tweede Kamer to conduct votes. Voting can be done by fraction, by which the votes of the present members of fractions, representing the entire fraction, are counted as a single vote. It can also be done individually, in which case names of all members are called, and they all vote pro or anti. Votes can also be conducted in written form, but this is only done when somebody needs to be elected for an important political function.

The first meeting of the Staten-generaal, the combined name for the Eerste Kamer and the Tweede Kamer, was conducted in 1464 under the reign of Filip de Goede (Philippe de Bon, Philip the Good), who was duke of Burgundy at the time.

The Tweede kamer is headed by the prime minister (currently Wim Kok).

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