Parliamentary Law

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Parliamentary Law

The general body of enacted rules and recognized usages governing the procedure of legislative assemblies and other deliberative sessions such as meetings of stockholders and directors of corporations, town meetings, and board meetings. Roberts Rules of Order are an example of such rules.

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The Model Parliament of Canada could make a significant contribution in this regard.
During the last year I have travelled across Canada talking to Speakers and Clerks about creation of the Model Parliament and a number of interesting points were brought to my attention.
Dress codes for members and house officers (something which would have to be decided for the Model Parliament) can have a bearing on the ambience of the chamber--depending on whether the Dress Code tends toward formality or informality.
All legislatures have orientation days and material for new members which would be useful material for the Model Parliament training programs.
The Model Parliament should strive to achieve this visitor/guest friendly atmosphere.
Whether opening prayers should be a part of the procedures of the Model Parliament of Canada, and if so, what form those prayers should take, are issues which should be address by the Model Parliament members to give them a taste of debating the sensitive issue of the role of faith in politics and government.
The Model Parliament of Canada might also be used to provide leadership by example, for instance, with respect to establishing new standards for parliamentary and legislative debate.
What could the Model Parliament of Canada do to address this problem of the deteriorating quality of debate in our legislative chambers?
This would be leadership by example--conducting such special Model Parliament debates often enough and well enough that members of our real legislative chambers will be encouraged and incentivized to emulate them.
I have received many suggestions as to what should be taught in a training program organized by our Model Parliament. The following list is not exhaustive but it will give an idea of the vast amount of information that must be covered.
To add to the realism of the experience of participants in the Model Parliament of Canada, several well organized Lobby Days would be a valuable addition to the curriculum.
Yet there is no permanent, well-financed, continuously operated "model parliament" in Canada where would-be lawmakers--federal, provincial, or municipal--can be exposed in advance to "what it's really like" to sit as an elected member of a democratic assembly.

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