For all Bills, any debate at second reading is limited to the principle; that is, members discuss
only if they agree or disagree with the Bill's overall intent.
Debating Bills at second reading involves different approaches and strategies. If the Bill is a
government Bill, the minister or private member who sponsored it makes opening comments
outlining why the Bill was introduced and the benefits its passage will have for Albertans.
Then members from opposition parties have the floor, followed by any other members who
wish to speak. Opposition members' comments usually reflect the consensus of their party
caucus (that is, all the members from that party), and often they will suggest an alternative to
the Bill rather than speak in favour of it. Whether the opposition supports the Bill or not, its
members will want to speak in order to put their position on the public record.
At the end of second reading debate, the Speaker calls a vote, and only if the Bill passes this
stage can it go on to the next.