This blog is going to take a break while I finish up a story for the print edition and then luxuriate in two weeks of vacation. And on that note, and with another year now nearly over, I want to say thanks.

So, thanks.

This little adventure started four years ago and when the final numbers are sorted out, the pageview total for 2011 will be nearly four times what it was in 2008, our first full year of The Commons and this blog. Indeed, each year has been bigger and better than the previous one and 2011 set another new high for pageviews. This was an incredible year to be where I was and I’m glad and thankful and humbled that so many were here to share it.

Earlier this month, under this post, a regular reader joked that he had finally figured out my agenda—it is a hazard of writing about politics, or really being in any way remotely associated with the business, that one’s agenda will periodically become the subject of speculation. In this case, the reader figured that he’d busted me as a dupe of Big Parliament. I suppose that’s true. I’m not sure that I had any such intent when I got here, but I’ve become very fond of the place. It’s an honour every time I step inside the House of Commons. And no matter how often I’ve come away confused or troubled or tempted to take up smoking, I have tried to remember where I am and what the place stands for. For the sake of maintaining one’s respect it surely helps that you have to wear a jacket and tie to sit in the good seats. And I thank the sergeant-at-arms for consequently compelling me to improve my wardrobe.

I hope that respect been evident. I also hope it’s been clear how fascinating I find it all: the people, the ideas, the theatre, the reality, the things people say and the things people do. At its best, politics is transcendent. At its worst, it still matters. It is all so much wondrous stuff.

So thanks to all the readers, commenters, fans, dissenters, tweeters and mystified onlookers. And thanks to my editors. And thanks, while we’re at it, to my Grandpa Wherry for buying me my first magazine subscription. A toast to 2011 and best wishes for 2012.

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