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Members of the Legislative Assembly

Legislative Assembly in session in 1914Members of the Legislative Assembly make up the legislative, or law-making branch of our parliamentary system.  Each is elected by a constituency and represents that constituency in the Assembly.

If MLAs had a written job description, it would show most of their working hours spent in their constituencies.  MLAs are a link between their constituents and government.  Whether in their constituency offices or travelling throughout the constituency itself, MLAs hear constituents' points of view; keep them informed about policies, programs and proposals; help resolve people's problems in dealing with government; and encourage local initiatives.

The balance of MLAs' work takes place in the Assembly Chamber during the session.  Here they take part in a question period and introduce and debate Bills, discuss government estimates, move amendments and motions.  MLAs are normally members of a political party and make decisions based on their party's platform as well as on the views of their constituents.  In modern Parliaments, MLAs have almost always voted along party lines because strict party discipline is considered necessary to ensure that the governing party remains in office until an election is called.  Recently, however, parties have in some cases encouraged MLAs to vote in accordance with their constituents' wishes, which might not necessarily be the same as their party's wishes.

Want to find out who your MLA is?  Click here to link to the Legislative Assembly website and get biographies of each MLA in Alberta!

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