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Lecture 12

Lecture 12- Legislatures.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Charles Jones

Comparative Politics: Legislatures ©Nigmendra Narain Definition  Multi-member – a number of people that are elected  Representative body  Considers public issues – be in large public issues could be related to pregnancy etc. things that affect all of us  Give assent  Binding measures of public policy – through legislatures we come up with rules that are eventually enforced. Why Important?  Symbol of popular representation - legislatures especially represent liberal democracies  Connect society to laws and legal authority – it forms a connection between the citizen and a law enforced (police)  Consent of the governed - it links society and law by providing legitimacy to the government. Structure  Size: how many members? (esp. lower chamber)  Number of chambers: what vision of democracy? (what purposes you see for the government) o Unicameral = one chamber – all laws only pass through the legislature from this one chamber  Election – representation by population  Accountable and decisive o Bicameral = two chambers  Larger states – representation issues settled  Federations  Lower: Rep = populations  Upper: Rep = component sub-nationals – sometimes its states, provinces or regions (like in Canada) – upper chamber doesn’t necessarily represent Page 1 of 4 (c) Nigmendra Narain, Political Science, UWO  Review, revise, asset, amend  ‘second thought’ – usually more detailed, independent  Defend component sub-nationals’ interests (and others) – upper chamber takes care of different interests, not of the population (job of the lower chamber)  Weak bicameralism: limited powers and roles  Strong bicameralism: equal power and roles (not same) Functions  Representation o Some have reserved seats to ensure diversity, e.g. quota – New Zealand Maori, Canada doesn’t have seats reserved for indigenous people. If they are included they are less likely to protest.  Deliberation o Public matters of national importance o Debating legislatures: debate and discussion primarily on the floor of legislature (Britain) o Committee-based legislature: debate and discussion primarily in committee (America) – usually do work such as support, policy work, engage in scrutiny outside the spotlight. (if there is a problem they do not solve it in the legislature, they can take their time and solve issues)  Legislation o Varying degrees: create, debate, decide, pass, consent o Committee-based: more active or effective eng
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