The Legislature - Legislative Assembly of Alberta

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science
Share Embed Donate

Short Description

Download The Legislature - Legislative Assembly of Alberta...


The Legislature Welcome, students of the U.K, to the Legislature of Alberta! This place is full of democracy, history, and interesting objects that, at first glance, look as if they don’t belong. You’ll find that our government is a bit like yours, but with a lot of unique twists and additions. Anyways, just have fun and enjoy this tour of our Alberta Legislature. I, Rickey, will be your guide.

The Public Areas The rotunda is the most beautiful place in the Legislature. It’s a round room near the middle of the Legislature with a large fountain in the centre. The fountain is really something.  There are two statues in the rotunda: Princess Alberta (top right) and Chief Crowfoot. Princess Alberta was the daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of a Canadian governor general, who in 1905, named the area of our province Alberta (more on this later). Chief Crowfoot was a Blackfoot leader who established many treaties with the nation of Canada. If you’re ever at the legislature, take a look at Crowfoot’s head. Notice anything unusual about it?  The other area the public can go unsupervised in the Legislature is the library. It’s loaded with books, newspapers, and legal documents. But it’s most popular attraction is a 50-year old burger encased in a plastic block. Be grateful I didn’t show you any pictures of it. 

The Chambers: Introduction • Welcome to the Chambers. This is where it all happens.

This one three-story high room is the most important in the building and symbolic right down to the colour of the carpet. It’s the reason the rest of the building is here. It’s where all provincial laws are proposed, debated, and either given Royal Assent and passed in to law… or thrown in the political trash bin.

The Chambers: History The Legislature wasn’t always there. In 1905,when Alberta became a province, the second thought that popped into the new government’s mind was “OK, where are we going to make the laws" (first one: “Yay we’re a province now!”) They started out in a curling rink. That worked fine…until curling season started up. Then they started to use the top floor of a place called McKay Avenue school (right). Then, in 1912, the legislature was finished, and the Assembly moved in.

The Chambers: Symbols 

The most important symbol is the Mace. It is carried by the Sergeant-at-Arms (more on him later) into the Chambers and is an immensely important symbol of power. A session could not begin without it. The original Mace’s story is very interesting. The government was too busy to make it by conventional means, so they made it out of oddball objects like a toilet float and teacup handles. A new mace was given to the Assembly for Alberta’s 75th birthday. The Black Rod is used by the SAA to ask the admission of the Lieutenant Governor.

The Chambers Today  

Alberta’s Chambers are doing fine and their procedures have changed little since 1912. It’s procedure is simple: An MLA (say on the Government side) proposes a bill, and then talk about it stops so the other MLAs can do their research. This is called first reading. Second reading is where the two governmental groups, the Government (who support the bill) and the Opposition (who oppose it, of course) debate the bill. It’s voted on by the MLAs, and either dumped or passed for further debate. Then, the Committee of the Whole takes over and a bit more rapid-fire debate is performed. Then, the next day, the Third Reading is held. This is the Opposition’s last chance to get this bill dumped. If they don’t succeed, the SAA, premier, and pages leave the room to bring the Lieutenant Governor into the Chambers. The LG gives the Royal Assent (nods and signs the bill in question) and poof! The bill is now an official law.

The Lieutenant Governor and the Queen The LG’s job can’t be hard, right? I mean, all he has to do is sit in a comfy chair, nod his head, and sign a piece of paper. Actually, the LG’s job is quite hard. The LG, you see, represents the Queen herself. Seeing as you’re from the UK, you should have learned the importance of Her Majesty (left) before you could walk. Over here, she’s almost as important. We have a big portrait of her in the Chambers. There are portraits, statues and icons of her and her ancestors all over the Legislature. So as you can see, the LG’s job is anything but easy.

The Premier

 

The premier is the leader of the Government party in the Chambers. He is also considered the most powerful person in the Alberta govt. Before running for premier, consider this: you will have to work almost nonstop from before dawn till after dusk and you won’t have a second of your life unmonitored by security. Our current premier is The Honorable Ed Stelmach (above left).

Non-Partisan Roles The most powerful non-partisan person and (arguably) the most powerful member of the Chambers is the speaker. He sits in the “throne” and decides whether or not a person should be allowed to keep speaking. The SAA (right) is basically security. He carries around the Mace and Black rod. However, he’s more for calming down agitated citizens in the gallery than combating assassins. Note-passing may be banned in your classroom, but not in the Chambers! They even have people (pages) to pass them. Pages have no role in the debate and are mainly high school students looking to make some cash.

Underground If you think the Legislature is cool above the soil, you’ll love it underground! The public underground area includes the gift shop, the Lego Legislature (left) and the Member’s Way. Yet the best part is what the public can’t see. The Legislature has a catacomb of basements, boiler rooms and workshops, all directly beneath your feet whenever you visit the place. Down there is the place where the infrastructure people work. They're basically maintenance, but they have to do stuff like fix light bulbs in places 100 FEET IN THE AIR!

Legislature Grounds

The grounds surrounding the Legislature are almost as interesting as the building itself. The main section of importance is the Reflecting Pools and the fountain. This fountain isn’t quite as spectacular as the rotunda fountain, but is twice as large. ► The Reflecting Pool is a giant rectangular pool about waist-deep. It’s stationed in front of the Legislature and got it’s name from the beautiful reflection of the Legislature it gives. ► The grounds are littered with statues and icons. An interesting one is a bronze statue of a Ukrainian family. Underneath it is a time capsule set to be opened in 2095.

Other Fun Things The Legislature holds two more interesting things: the Magic Spot and the Palm Room. The Magic Spot is an acoustic phenomenon caused by the rotunda fountain. If you stand in the right spot on the fifth floor, you’ll hear water running as if it was right beside you. Also on that floor is a staircase leading up to the Palm Room - a room full of palm trees that were gifts from California.

Congratulations! You have finished my power point tour of the Legislature!

View more...


Copyright � 2017 NANOPDF Inc.