Model Parliament: A Testing Ground for our Leaders of Tomorrow
The students of Social Studies 11, led by the energetic and creative Social Studies Department, are currently conducting a Model Parliament. In the photo, we see Brentwood veteran Mr. Rob MacLean, aka, the ‘reluctant speaker’ treated with the dignity he deserves. In their role as Members of Parliament, the students have formed Conservatives, NDP, Bloc Quebecois and Liberal caucuses. The Model Parliamentarians will complete all of the necessary steps to pass a bill, in this case the National Essential Services Act, into law. From this role play, the students will gain a feeling for the creation of laws in a parliamentary democracy and perhaps an appreciation for Sir Winston Churchill’s 1947 observation “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
Photo: When a new Speaker of the House of Commons is elected, the successful candidate is physically dragged to the Chair by other MPs. The reluctance to accept the post of the Speaker of the House (acted out in a ceremonial 'dragging' of the speaker) is a British tradition originating in an era where if the monarch didn't agree with the message being communicated by the Speaker, there was a risk of execution of the Speaker!