The Legislature

Click on each question to check your answer.

1. Describe the legislative process in which a bill becomes law.

*Answer: Describe the various stages that include: first reading, second reading, legislative committee stage, report stage, third reading, same repeated process in the other chamber, and royal assent.

2. Describe a typical week in the work life of an MP when Parliament in session.

*Answer: Describe the following events: routine proceedings, government orders, private member business, oral question period, statement by members, adjournment proceedings, and a typical Monday to Friday in the House of Commons.

3. Why has there been a strong push towards Senate reform in Canada, and why have most reform efforts failed?

*Answer: Discuss the role of the Senate: sober second thought, passing legislation, the justification behind its patronage appointments, the image of the Senate, scandals, the challenges it faces with its powers, composition, tenure, and challenges with the constitution.

4. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of majority government?

*Answer: Compare majority governments to minority government by discussing issues of transparency, accountability and efficiency; discuss the policy-making agenda in majority governments; and discuss how democratic majority governments are by evaluating the role of the opposition.

5. What are offices of the legislature, and what role do they fulfil in responsible government?

*Answer: Public servants who are accountable to the assembly rather than the government or any one ministry. They assist legislators with holding the government to account.  Describe and list various offices including the Chief Electoral Officer, Privacy Commissioner, and commissioner of official languages. Describe the Auditor General as the highest-profile officer, and their responsibilities.

6. What is a consensus government, and how does it operate?

*Answer: Describe consensus governments as a system of governance that operates without political parties operating in legislatures in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Discuss how the premier, speaker, and members of cabinet are selected. Discuss consensus government’s roots in Indigenous principles of governance.

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