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Parliament and Government

The Parliament of Québec consists of the Lieutenant Governor  and the National Assembly. The Lieutenant Governor, appointed by the Federal Government, is the Queen's representative in each of the Canadian Provinces. The Lieutenant Governor only assents to Acts.  He does not participate in debates.

The National Assembly

The National Assembly is composed of 125 Members, representing the 125 electoral divisions. The Parliament Members are elected by the population. The voting procedure is based on the principle of  first-past-the-post system in each riding. The role of the National Assembly is to pass legislation, in other words to lay down compulsory standards in the areas recognized as coming under provincial jurisdiction in the Canadian constitution.

In the Québec's parliamentary system, inspired from Great Britain , the Parliament and the Government represent separate powers : the legislative power and the executive power.

The Parliament

The Parliament examines proposed legislation submitted to it in the form of bills by the Government and either accepts or rejects them. Parliament also oversees the Government's application of laws and supervises all government activities (legislative power).

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The Government

The Government is formed of certain elected representatives of the party holding the majority of the seats in the National Assembly.  Its function is to provide the political management of Québec.  In the parliamentary system, the executive power is accountable to the Parliament.

Almost all bills are conceived and drafted by the Government, in other words the Premier and the Cabinet. Altough we tend to associate the Government with the notion of "power", in a legal sense the Government stems from, and is controlled by, Parliament.

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The Prime Minister

Formally designated by the Lieutenant-Governor, the Prime Minister is in fact chosen by the electorate when it elects a majority of Members from the same party. The Premier, in turn, selects the Members who will form the Cabinet (Executive Council), and holds power for as long as he retains the confidence of a majority of Members. Convention also requires each minister to support the decisions made by the Cabinet, or resign, in keeping with the principle of ministerial responsibility.

(Source : National Assembly of Québec Website)

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