Making the Sausage: How Policies Become Laws

AuthorMark Bourrie
chapter two
Making the Sausage:
How Policies Become
Policies can come from several directions: from political party grass-
roots, the bureaucracy, public demand, media suggestions, interest
groups and lobbyists, ministers and their stas, central agencies of gov-
ernment, foreign governments, and even from the whims of a prime
minister or premier. Parties that are elected are expected to keep their
promises but are not legally bound to do so (and can’t be held to pledges
made during campaigns, even if they look like contracts),1 but they are
expected to govern. ey do so by shepherding bills through Parlia-
ment and provincial legislature and, at least as important, by Cabinet
approval of regulations wrien by bureaucrats that esh out these laws.
A bill becomes a law aer being passed by Parliament or a legisla-
ture, given royal assent, “gazeed” (published in the Canada Gazee,
the ocial “newspaper” of the jurisdiction, which is now online), and
proclaimed. All these steps are necessary. A bill can pass all but the last
step and still not be a law. And governments have sometimes chosen
1 Canadian Taxpayers Federation v Ontario (Minister of Finance) (2004), 73 OR (3d)
621, [2004] OTC 1115 (Sup Ct). The Canadian Taxpayers Federation had a photo op
with Dalton McGuinty in which the Ontario Liberal leader signed a pledge saying
his government would not raise taxes. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled
that the two parties had not created an enforceable contract.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT