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.
However, if the Model Parliament is primarily training people to sit in Canadian legislatures the consensus was that it should be furnished with desks (preferably moveable, and all on the same level--not tiered).
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.
How an elected assembly manages the time of its members and the rhythms of its sittings is a very important issue to which the Model Parliament training sessions should give more attention.
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.
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.
The Manning Centre for Building Democracy wants to create and operate such a Model Parliament.