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Lecture 5

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL214Y1
Professor
Nelson Wiseman
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture, October 7 2013 “Machinery of government” part 3 Outline: 1. Theory vs Practise 2. Components of Parliament (3) 3. Functions of Parliament (9) 4. MP’s as representatives (5) 5. What MP’s do Good questions for the test:  Professor: Cabinet – How is it structured? Operated? How does it work? How is it changed? Legislative branch  Parliament  Makes law Theory vs Practise  In theory as long as a law doesn’t violate the charters, it becomes a law  BUT, in practise, the executive sets the agenda for parliament o Drafts laws, bills o Almost always rubberstamped by parliament  If parliament denies the bill, then government has to resign and an election has to take place  Tight party discipline o Ensures party members support laws o No MP is independent, all dependent on Parry Leader  In theory, parliament holds government to account. Especially the opposition, which could be an alternative government o Question period, speech from the throne, budget  If government loses the majority vote, it should resign o Parliamentary committees o Opposition days (supply days)  In practise, executive is dominant Components of Parliament (3) 1. Queen, Governor General a. No bill becomes law without royal assent b. Constitution: only governor general can introduce spending/taxation bill, and has to be done in the house of commons 2. Upper House, Senate a. Appointed by the PM b. Checks popularly elected House of Commons i. In 70 years, only defeated 6 bills ii. But, it frustrates the House of Commons 3. Lower House, House of Commons a. Elected  Bills have to be passed through both o BUT, clashes can happen. For example, if the senate or House of Commons have conservatives – liberals in an imbalanced way. Senate  Confederation time o 24 from Quebec, 24 Ontario, 12 Brunswick, 12 British Columbia (72 seats) o 1949 New-Found land was added o Territories were added o Modern Senate (105 senators) based on province not population  Created to provide ‘sober’ second thought  Purpose: to protect minorities  Can’t introduce a money bill, only House of Commons (HOC) can  Senate seems outdated now o Unaccountable (unelected), Ineffective (Does what it is told)  Senate’s lower status can be seen in the 1982 amendment formula o If HOC passes a bill a 2 time, it doesn’t matter what the senate thinks  Should the senate be abolished or reformed? o Need 7 provincial legislatures and parliament to agree o In order to change the amending formula, need 10 provinces  NOT going to be reformed or abolished  If it happens, then other things will be demanded (to be changed) as well, like legalizing marijuana.  Easier to change laws than the constitution House of Commons  When talking about parliament, it is mainly the House of Commons  Functions: o To make/defeat a government  Speech from the throne after election  If it passes, parliament makes government  Confidence is necessary o Provides r
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