A Passage of a Bill Through the American and Canadian Governments

Authors Avatar

A Passage of a Bill Through the American and Canadian Governments

In various states legislative duties and powers are distributed differently, despite the fact that all democratic legislatures share similar functions: representation, formulation, initiation and enacting of laws, control of public finance, checks and balances on the executive branch of government, a judicial role and amending constitutions. In some of the states power is very decentralized (U.S.), while in others it ends up being concentrated in the hands of certain individuals (Canada and Gt. Britain, where Parliament is dominated by majority parties that control all cabinet posts). Mr. James Guy states that because legislatures are a product of the unique political culture found in every polity, they differ in organization, power, and structure.

In the word's two major types of democratic political systems, the parliamentary and presidential, the support of executive branch must accompany the legislature in the lawmaking. The parliamentary system is exceptionally well suited to executive leadership of Prime Minister and the Cabinet in the legislature. The presidential system is much more complicated because the President and the Cabinet are not present in the congress.

Both House of Commons in Canada and House of Representatives in U.S. have the same main function: converting of a proposed bill into law. Mr. James Guy identifies it as "the passage of legislation". However, this procedure in Canada is quite different from the one taking place in United States. To recognize the distinction let's have a look at the process in both U.S. and Canadian legislatures.

A bill is not a law. It is a proposal placed before an assembly, which may either become a law or get rejected in full.

On the first stage of the long life of a law it is specified as a bill. This law-child is factually a proposal placed before an assembly. It is up to the assembly either to accept the law-child and let it grow up to become a real law, or to kill it right on the spot by rejecting it. In Canada, there are two ways for the law-child to be born: to be proposed and introduced to the House of Commons as a private-member's bill or as a government bill. A private-member's bill may be introduced by any member of Parliament on either the government or opposition side of the House. These law-children are the most unfortunate in the whole legislature of Canada, for they usually get executed as soon as the leading party learns about their existence. The government does not support its "foster children". Guy commentates in his People, Politics and Government that even though Opposition members who introduce private-member's bills recognize these facts, they use the opportunity to generate public opinion that will influence the direction of a particular government policy.

Join now!

A government bill is a money bill or a policy proposal that is introduced in the House of Commons by a cabinet minister. Let's trace the progress of this law-child through the government, since it is the one that has all the chances to survive the danger of getting rejected - its parents, the leading party, will make sure it becomes a law.

So, the first step in the life of a law is to "be born", or to get introduced to the government. Usually a bill gets proposed by a cabinet minister. The responsible minister calls for the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay