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Second Reading

Second Reading Debate

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. 

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Reproduced from the Teacher's Guide to the Legislative Assembly, 1993 with permission from the Legislative Assembly Office.
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