Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the role of legislatures as a central institution of Canadian democracy. While there is a negative stereotype of parliamentary reform as futile and of marginal value, the legislatures are, in contrast, not powerless and irrelevant: they remain a vital link between the citizens and their governments, and as a source of support and legitimacy of government actions. They are forums for public discussion and a source of democratic accountability. Legislatures benefit governments, which nowadays face a deficit in terms of public trust and confidence. The four sections of this article are devoted to legislatures. The first discusses the explicit and implicit functions attributed to legislatures in the literature, and how these relate to the main formal roles of legislatures within the Canadian political system. The second section discusses the decline of legislatures. The third focuses on the organizational arrangement, procedures, and activities through which legislatures accomplish their formal constitutional responsibilities and perform some informal functions within the Canadian political system. The last section discusses the potential for reforms that would allow legislatures to cope with the challenges of today and the future.

Keywords: legislatures, Canadian democracy, parliament, roles of legislatures, Canadian political system, decline of legislatures

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.