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POLB50Y3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Tyrant, Bicameralism, Responsible Government

Political Science
Course Code
Christopher Cochrane
Study Guide

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Canadian Government and Politics Midterm
How does a bill become a law in Canada?
To create a new law, which is also known as a statute or act, the government first introduces a bill
which must be passed through various stages in the House of Commons and the Senate, in order for it
to become a validated law. A bill is a proposed law that is introduced in either the House of
Commons or the Senate. However, most bills are introduced in the House of Commons and passed by
the Senate. Essentially, bills can be amended or they can repeal existing laws, or can be a completely
new law. For example, a law that made abortion illegal was passed in Canada in 1969, but was
repealed in 1988 making it legal. There are several stages before a bill can be officially passed. First, it
must go through the first house, in which either the House of Commons or the Senate can be first,
then the other would be the second house. The first reading is where the bill is formally introduced,
printed with notes to the House. During the second reading, the bill is debated. If its passed, the bill is
then referred to a committee to further study and review. The committee studies the clauses of the
bill and makes amendments. The committee then presents the bill as a report, as to be accepted or
rejected. During this time, the bill can be debated further. During the 3rd reading, the House reviews
the bill in its final form, and then it’s printed with all the amendments made. Once the bill has passed
through the first house, it reaches the second house where it must again pass through the same stages.
The senate may amend, delay or refuse to pass bills, although traditionally the Senate passes most
bills. However, any amendments made by the second house must be agreed upon by the first house,
or the bill is rejected and therefore does not become a law. To complete the process, the bill must be
given to the Royal Assent. Bills can be given to the Royal Assent in two ways: agreed upon by the
Governor general or the Deputy in a formal ceremony that takes place in the Senate.
In practice, to what extent and in what ways does responsible government work, or not work to
democratize state power?
In practice, the responsible government does work to democratize state power by having an indirect
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