This election, you are going to hear the words minority, majority and coalition thrown around a lot. These phrases represent possible results. If you listen to the rhetoric, you’re probably convinced that anything other than a majority is somehow a failure. This is, however, simply not the truth. This entry will explain the differences between these three types of governments and will weigh the pros and cons of each.
How laws are made
Before you dig into the nuts and bolts of majority, minority and coalition governments, you needto understand how a law is made. Each law starts off as a bill, a proposed law created by a member of parliament. Any MP can create a bill, even those in the opposition.
To keep things simple, a bill is voted on by the House of Commons and, if it receives the majority of votes, it becomes law. The process is, in actuality, much more complex. It involves committees examining the bill and multiple votes in both the House of Commons and the Senate. However, the main component of the process is the votes in the House. If the bill passes these votes, it will almost always become law.
Certain votes are also called “confidence” votes. These include motions of non-confidence, budget votes and highly important bills. If a governing party loses a confidence vote, the government falls and an election is called. This is what happened on March 26th.
A majority government occurs when one party wins the majority of the 308 electoral seats. The magic number of seats is 155, or half of the House plus one. If this occurs, the Prime Minister and his party gain several advantages. The party will always be guaranteed the support of the majority of the seats in the House of Commons. This means that all of the government’s bills will be passed. It also means that the government will not fall before its term is up, as it will always win confidence votes.
This configuration of government is considered the best result by many...
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