Laws have to be accurate, well-written, and leave little to interpretation. This is why they’re written in a very specific way in what many people call legalese (re: lots of whereas’s, hereto’s, and subject to’s).
Needless to say, it is just as difficult to write these laws as it is to read them.
But it’s still important for pro-lifers to known how it’s done. We’ll walk you through how a law comes into being and how we as pro-lifers can help create pro-life laws.
How do we pass a law?
In order for a law to be passed, it must go through all the stages of the parliamentary process, which are:
- First Reading
- Second Reading
- Third Reading
Then you repeat these steps again in the Senate (if the law was introduced in the House of Commons) or in the House of Commons (if the law introduced in the Senate).
Oh, and if you pass the bill (that’s what a proposed law is called before it is passed, by the way) in one house (i.e. the Senate) and then the other house (i.e. House of Commons) amends the bill, it has to go back to the other house for approval. You can see why you want the law well-written in the first place!
Who gets to introduce laws?
If you want a bill introduced in Parliament, you must find a parliamentarian to introduce your bill.
But not any parliamentarian can introduce a law whenever they want, because then there would be chaos. No law would pass because bills would keep getting introduced.
Basically there are three ways to introduce a bill:
- Cabinet ministers (who introduce bills, approved previously by cabinet, essentially whenever they would like with consent from their House Leader)
- Opposition supply days (these are allocated days where the opposition parties control the agenda for the day, including the ability to introduce bills)
- Private members (these are parliamentarians who are not members of cabinet)
Private members get the right to introduce a bill through an order determined by a lottery. Yes, the names of private members go in a hat and their names are drawn to create the order. Hint: if more pro-lifers are elected, the chances of a pro-life bill being introduced increases!
Who writes the law?
Say you have found a parliamentarian willing to sponsor your pro-life bill. Now what?
Any bill sponsored by a cabinet minister will have a huge supply of lawyers and legal experts to draft the bill (hint: this is why it is important to have pro-life cabinet ministers). Opposition party leaders will also have a larger supply of lawyers and legal experts, though certainly not the extent of cabinet ministers. Private members will have access to a legal expert, though shared with other private members.
So why does this matter to pro-lifers?
Clearly introducing a bill is not easy, let alone passing a bill, especially a private members’ bill. The more pro-lifers we have in cabinet,in opposition party leadership and generally in both Houses of the Parliament, the better chance we have of an MP or Senator sponsoring a bill. Not only that, but if we are able to elect enough pro-life MP’s to constitute a majority in the House of Commons, pro-life bills won’t just be introduced, they’ll be passed.
What you can do as a pro-lifer is ensure that as many pro-lifers get nominated and elected as possible. You can also lobby other parliamentarians when a pro-life bill is introduced to help ensure that it passes into law. RightNow is here to help provide you with the training and knowledge needed to speak to your MP about important bills, and vote in nominations to ensure pro-life candidates are elected!