Legislative Assemblies in The Commonwealth
A number of colonies in the British Empire were given a degree of involvement in running their own affairs by the creation of a representative body, often named the Legislative Assembly. Typically the Legislative Assembly was partially or wholly elected by popular vote; this was usually in contrast with the other chamber of the legislature, called the Legislative Council, whose membership was generally either nominated by the Governor, or indirectly elected. Conflict between the two chambers frequently led to the Legislative Council being reformed, or even abolished outright, thus leaving the Legislative Assembly as either the more powerful chamber in the parliament, or the only one.
The modern-day Legislative Assembly in a Commonwealth country, either as a national or sub-national parliament, is in most cases an evolution of one of these colonial legislative chambers.
In a number of territories, the name House of Assembly is used instead.
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Famous quotes containing the words commonwealth, legislative and/or assemblies:
“While the Governor, and the Mayor, and countless officers of the Commonwealth are at large, the champions of liberty are imprisoned.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people, and every blessing of society, depend so much upon an upright and skilful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive, and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, as both should be checks upon that.”
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“He who comes into Assemblies only to gratifie his Curiosity, and not to make a Figure, enjoys the Pleasures of Retirement in a[n] ...exquisite Degree.”
—Richard Steele (16721729)