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Political Science T1 L9 Legislatures and Responsible Governements.docx

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Political Science
Paul Hamilton

What are legislatures? - Centerpieces of democracy - Institution with primary responsibility to enact laws - Executives and courts also make law Structures of Legislatures ** - Unicameral: One House - Examples: China, Israel, Finland, Nebraska - Bicameral: Two Houses - Examples: Australia, USA, Canada, Germany… - Senate in Canada – 105 members Potential Functions of Legislatures - Page 222 (Dyck) - Legislative - Debate - Representation - Institutionalize opposition - Investigations - Initiate new policy More functions… - Scrutinize executive - Ratify/veto executive action (US Senate) - Refine policy prepared by executive (Committees) - Grooms leaders - Ombudsman service - Judicial function (Clinton impeachment) MPs - Cabinet (the big boys on campus, only say that matters) - Backbenchers (everyone on the government side, all other MPs not on cabinet, have little say in anything) - Opposition (all the MPS who are not in the governing parties, leader of the party with the most is called the “leader of the official opposition”) - Caucus (meetings of the MPs of each party, talk about current issues/policies/agenda) Current Parliament – bracket is where parliament was before election - Conservatives 166 (143) - NDP 103 (37) - Liberals 34 (77) - BQ 4 (47) - Gre
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