The Politics of Seat Reductions in Canadian Legislative Assemblies

Article 5 / 14 , Vol 42 No. 3 (Fall)

The Politics of Seat Reductions in Canadian Legislative Assemblies

How do Canadian parliaments determine the correct number of representatives required for their assemblies? There is really no objective answer. In this article, the author explains common reasoning used to promote or oppose proposals to reduce the number of seats in a legislature. He concludes that whether a person believes a legislative assembly warrants more or fewer private members, what matters is whether those members have a meaningful role. This article synthesizes information presented in “Fewer politicians and smaller assemblies: how party elites rationalize reducing the number of seats in a legislature – lessons from Canada,” an article the author published in a recent issue of the Journal of Legislative Studies.

Alex Marland
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The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly

Article 4 / 12 , Vol 34 No 3 (Autumn)

The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly to increase public awareness of its procedural functions and provide the basis for a comparative analysis with other legislatures. The article includes a history of the legislature; the socio-demographics of MHAs; the resources of MHAs and party caucuses; and the relationship between government and opposition. The analysis includes the role of the Speaker, legislative committees, the procedure for bills, and the difficulties of mounting an effective opposition amidst lopsided majority governments.

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