|Lady Jessica Tagaarth|
Lady Jessica Tagaarth was first elected to the Imperial Senate in 1963 as part of a large freshman class of Liberal Party (LP) Senators. At the time, Lady Jessica was only the eigth woman elected to the Senate. From the beginning of her senatorial career, Lady Jessica was an outspoken champion of greater rights for minorities and greater public assistance to the poor.
Raised in a noble family, Lady Jessica - as was the custom of her class in those days - married young. A wife at 17 and a mother at 18, Lady Jessica spent her early twenties as a conventional aristocratic wife and hostess. An economic downturn in the late 1950s led to the failure of her husband's business and she was forced to sell some of her ancestral lands to remain solvent. This brush with economic failure seemed to awaken in Lady Jessica a concern for those in her husband's business who also lost their incomes, but who lacked the cushion of titles and lands. This led her to charitable activism and, eventually, to the Liberal Party.
At the height of the Liberal Party, in 1969, it formed the Government. While considered too junior - and too feminine - to hold a ministerial portflio, Lady Jessica did serve as the floor leader for the LP senate faction. Her success in that position led to an offer of a ministerial portfolio in 1973. She served as Minister of Education until the 1975 elections. After the elections, she served as Minsiter of Labour and Welfare in the resulting coalition government.
After the LP lost ground in the 1981 elections and dropped out of the Government, Lady Jessica was chosen as the new leader of the party, a position she held until 1993. After the 1993 elections, Lady Jessica found herself the longest serving member of the Senate and was elected Speaker.
Following the contentious elections of 2005, Lady Jessica was asked to form a new government as Imperial Chancellor. While she successfully organised a coalition of the Liberal Party, the Reform Party and the Christian Union, there were wide-spread speculation that she might not hold her position long. Pundits believes she would likely to resign within a year or two.
In late 2005, the Emperor suffered a severe heart attack leading to conflict between the Imperial Senate, the Imperial Household and barons over the regency and succesion to the Sword. When that conflict led to plot by members of the Imperial Household to close the Senate and an equally disastrous attempt by the barons to replace the Emperor with his cousin, Lady Jessica tendered her resignation forcing the Senate into adjournment and preventing a potentially deadly confrontation between the Senate the Imperial Guard.
In the aftermath of the chaos, Lady Jessica resigned her Senate seat and a national unity government was formed by the Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, Freedom Party and Christian Union.
Although she is officially retired, there are rumours that Lady Jessica may be named to head a commission to review the Excalbian Constitution and to make recommendations for changes to avoid a similar crisis in the future.
Lady Jessica's husband, Lord Janis Tagaarth, died in 2002 at the age of 73. Her eldest son, Baron Janis Tagaarth II, was linked romatically with the controversial Princess Christiana. There is also speculation that Baron Janis was involved in the barons' efforts to revive the Council of Lords. Whether the Council's involvement in the attempt to name an usurper to the throne will affect Baron Janis' entry into politics remains to be seen.