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POLI 1119 (76)
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Langara College
Political Science
POLI 1119

Parliament Role of Parliament o Hold Government to Account  Question Period  Public Debate  Scrutiny of Public Expenditure – Public Accounts Committee chaired by Opposition  The Opposition doesn’t have power over the government but it fuels public debate  Unique to Westminster system  Able to shine a bright light onto the government and the state supports this  Opposition has all the resources to hold government into account  Everything is public (except for the one exception in WWII where Canadians and Americans’ lives were at risk)  Holds people highly accountable o Pass laws  How a Bill becomes Law:  First Reading (bill is tabled)  Second Reading (debate and vote)  Committee Stage (witnesses and vote)  Report Stage (debate and vote)  Third Reading (debate rare, vote)  Other Chamber (start all over)  Royal Assent  Second Reading: ensures the debate is there and the public witnesses it at all times  Committee Stage: expert witnesses; explores facts in details  Report Stage: how is this going to play in the public sphere?  Public: key democratic check throughout all of this  The Senate historically will not vote against the governing party’s campaign promise  Royal Assent: purely symbolic; they have no choice over this 
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